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Healthy Conflict in Marriage

Day 1 of 7

CONTROL IN MARRIAGE

Here’s a riddle: Everybody wants it. But if you use it in your marriage, you could lose everything. What is it?

The answer is control. Whether it’s the right sweetener for our coffee or keeping our home at a certain temperature, we all want our life to function in a way that suits us. And what do we do when something doesn’t work the way we like? We try to control it, of course.

Unfortunately, many people employ a similar strategy in their marriage.

Controlling behavior can often occur because one spouse doesn’t feel loved and validated by the other. So they try to control their spouse’s actions to insure they get the relationship they want. But taking charge over a spouse doesn’t foster connection and love. Instead, it destroys it because control erodes partnership and oneness, the very foundation God designed into the marital relationship.

Here is the hard truth: If you control your spouse, you’re in danger of losing your marriage. In many cases, a spouse who feels controlled will try to escape. That may be through an affair, a divorce, or, at the very least, the spouse may spend all of their time with friends or in another part of the house.

The solution is to give up the role of “boss” and to begin cultivating a relationship of warmth and openness. It may take the help of a counselor, but when a couple learns healthy ways to connect and become complimentary in the way God intended, a strong marriage is just over the horizon.

For a daily dose of encouragement and perspective, check out Jim Daly’s blog, Daly Focus, at JimDalyBlog.com.

This day’s reading

About this plan

It’s not a matter of if you and your spouse will disagree – it’s a matter of when. So how you handle conflict is important. Approach your differences with the right perspective, and not only will you resolve problems more easily, you’ll do it with greater love and grace. It’ll take some guidance from God’s Word and a little hard work, but disputes can become opportunities to build connection and intimacy, rather than tear them down.

Publisher

We would like to thank Jim Daly and Focus on the Family for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: www.FocusontheFamily.com

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