No Excuses

How to have a great marriage even if you had lousy role models

Carrie's six-year marriage ended in an ugly divorce-not that it surprised her.
"I didn't have a chance," she told her best friend. "I grew up watching my parents fight constantly. I still remember Mom throwing a bag of flour at Dad. They divorced when I was 15."

On the other hand, Carrie's twin sister, Cheryl, is still happily married after 13 years. Carrie and Cheryl had the same parents, but they interpreted the turmoil in their childhood home differently. Carrie used her parents' angry, conflict-ridden relationship to explain the failure of her own marriage. But that can't be the whole picture, especially in light of her sister's healthy marriage.

A number of factors contribute to the success or failure of any marriage. And while the quality of your parents' relationship influences how you approach marriage, it's not the sole determinant of your future happiness. These guidelines will help you break any unhealthy patterns and show you how to make your marriage the close relationship you and your spouse desire.

Look to God for guidance and support. If your parents had a dysfunctional marriage, it will be difficult for you to develop a healthy relationship when you're not even sure what one looks like. But remember, God wants your marriage to thrive. Trust in him to direct you to the resources you need. Together with your mate, learn to rely on prayer to break through the roadblocks you encounter.

Learn from your parents' example. Seldom is a marriage so bad that a husband and wife could be mistaken for Darth Vader and the bride of Frankenstein. Even a bad marriage has some redeeming elements. Challenge yourself to look for the good in your parents' relationship and learn from what you find.

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Divorce; Marriage; Role models; Success
Today's Christian Woman, Fall, 1996
Posted September 12, 2008

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