October 29, 2014

Signs on our highways warn us of dangers that are ahead. They are placed in strategic locations to alert the un-aware traveler. In the book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. John Gottman discusses four signs that signal a marriage is starting to die.

You see your marital problems as severe.
Talking things over seems useless so you try to solve problems on your own.
You start leading parallel lives.
Loneliness sets in.

Are there any warning signs in your relationship? One partner may notice these long before the other, less observant partner. My wife is far more sensitive to the warning signs than I am. I have found it is not wise to ignore her concerns!

Action: Make a date for coffee in a quiet relaxed coffee shop. Talk with each other, not about the problems in your relationship, but your feelings about your relationship. You could start with:

“I feel overwhelmed and alone right now.”
“I feel like we are living parallel lives.”
“This makes me feel like our marriage is in danger. How do you feel?”

Work on being honest and on trying to understand each other’s feelings. Don’t worry about discovering solutions…the fact that you are talking about your feelings will help you reconnect. In this case, the process is a big part of the solution. Have a coffee date once a week to start and see where that goes…

Suggested Resource: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman

Written by Mike Woodard

Mike Woodard

Mike is married to Karen, he is father of 4 and grandfather of 2. Backpacking is his favourite past time. Science and theology are his educational background, a biology degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in Christian Studies from Trinity Western Seminary. Mike is the Associate Director of FamilyLife Canada. For more of his story visit familylifecanada.com/mike