My husband loves cars, always has and probably always will. One of the best parts of a vacation to him is the road trip and I think if we just flew somewhere he'd be utterly disappointed! So when I came across this paper today talking about this topic I knew I just had to share it. We were a part of our church's couples group for about four years and learned SO much during that time, things we've put into practice in our marriage and this particular topic is no different.
How to keep from going in the ditch.
1. Stay in your own lane... Give each other space.
Now, I am all about sharing every part of your life with your spouse and am in no way advocating living separate lives! But you know what? Sometimes you just need a little time to yourself. If your spouse has had a difficult day, give them some time alone. Let them have a little quite time in the room before bombarding them with all the things going on around the house.
2. Yield signs are there for your protection... Validate each others opinions, thoughts and quirks.
You know that sign on the road as you're going around a curve that says "SLOW"? I wish in marriage we all had one of those to hold up at times! There are just some times in conversations that we can get ourselves in trouble by simply putting our foot in our mouth and saying the wrong thing. Having our spouse hold up that "SLOW" sign as we're starting to say something stupid sure would be helpful! As it is, we simply have to watch for those signs ourselves. Pay attention to what your spouse is saying and learn to not only read them and how they're feeling about something, but also take that reading to heart.
3. When you find yourself at an empass...slow down...get there alive...take another route.
There is absolutely nothing in marriage that has only one way of handling it. It doesn't matter if you're dealing with a big issue like in-laws and finances or something simple like what you're going to eat for dinner, there is always more than one option and more than one way to get to peaceful ground. If the way you're doing something or a decision you've made is bringing nothing but conflict, find another way to do it. It really is ok! Solving the conflict is the important part, not how you solved it.
4. Don't play chicken!
I think that is one of the dumbest games ever! It's explained as "a game in which two drivers drive towards each other on a collision course: one must swerve, or both may die in the crash, but if one driver swerves and the other does not, the one who swerved will be called a "chicken," meaning a coward". Can you honestly see anything good ever coming out of something like that? In marriage that "game" and type of thinking has absolutely no place whatsoever!
5. Road rage is misspent anger.
This one probably hit me the hardest. I am so bad at taking my anger out on my husband. I can be angry at something one of the kids did or something that happened during the day, and as soon as my husband gets home I finally let it all out on him. Let me tell you...nothing good ever comes from that! It doesn't in my marriage and it won't in your marriage. I promise! learn to get control of your anger and not spew it all over your spouse.
6. Exit ramps should be approached with caution.
This is a big one in todays society. It seems like everyone is looking for a way out of their marriage and anything their spouse does can be a cause for divorce. Getting out of your marriage, or even thinking about getting out, should be something that is approached with great caution and care. It should never be a rushed decision made in the heat of a moment. It should never be something biased on your feelings. And it should never be done without the guidance and counsel of someone in spiritual authority such as a pastor. When you get alone and make decisions like this by yourself, you open yourself up to all kinds of bad choices!
So there you go, 6 steps to help your marriage avoid going in the ditch! What are some things you've used to help keep your marriage on track?