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By Samuel M. Smith
© 1989 Up Way
P. O. Box 1015
Kailua, HI 96734 U. S.
retrieval by any means without the express permission of Samuel M.
or Up Way Publications is expressly forbidden, excepting for brief
in critical reviews. This internet version is as exact replication of
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REVISED SECOND EDITION
First Edition . .
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Second Printing . .
. . 1981
. . . Copyright © 1989
reserved. No part
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is one thing to know why marriages end and quite another to know how to
avoid that disaster, even though on the surface it might seem that if
know why marriages end, you avoid doing those things that cause it to
In a sense that is true, but far too often, the marriage is already
for disaster before either spouse realizes the danger.
Talk things over together. The fact that you
have said your vows neither means that you each can read the other's
nor that the other has no right any more to participate in the decision
making process in matters affecting the family unit. Furthermore,
to tell each other your inner feelings is both cheating yourself and
spouse of a caring response and an enlarged viewpoint. How can you
your heartaches and your goals if you don't talk about it? How can they
know if something they are doing irritates you? You may have become one
flesh, but you still have separate minds which can only come into
if you talk to each other. No matter how strong the feeling of love, it
must be nurtured by verbal expressions of love, each telling the other
how much you love and care for the other.
“A soft answer turneth away wrath.”
Each needs to recognize
that the other may respond differently
to any given situation. She may get silent, moody, he may get angry and
attack the perceived problem. But remember, you are no longer just you,
but a loving, caring partnership that works best united against all
He may be unable to
verbalize the words, “I love you,” which
she needs to hear, but he may want to hold her hand or hug her and look
into her eyes and feel the love. She needs to realize that that
his way of saying “I love you,” and not begin fussing that, “You don’t
love me any more!” Women typically have a different viewpoint than men,
and the same happening may be upsetting, depressing or frightening to
and infuriating, painful or even thrilling to him. You need to learn
accept this fact. If he is laughing at something you view as a
he may not be heartless and uncaring, but rather trying to cheer you up
in spite of the problem. We all tend to want to worry about things and
often “make mountains out of molehills.” His smiling lightheartedness
the situation may be his way of trying to calm you down so you can see
that the problem is not really as big as you want to make it.
MARRIAGE: Delight or Disaster
| One of
the most common problems in many marriages is the lack
of communication. Try to be open, each with the other. If something
spouse does or says bothers you, try to tell him (or her) in a loving,
caring and considerate way what it is that bothers you and why and try
to come to an understanding about it. If your spouse won’t listen, try
leaving notes or writing a short letter. (If you write a letter, be
not to say anything which could later be used to blackmail you. You may
think your spouse would never do that to you, but believe me, it
really can and sometimes does happen when things go sour!)
Outside disasters and traumas as storms or
fires or death
of a child can either bring a couple together closer or drive them
depending on how they react toward it and each other. If they unite and
attack the problem as outsider, they get closer, but if one or the
blames the other for the problem and points the finger of accusation at
the spouse, it becomes a wedge to drive them apart.
Tim and June lived on the next farm up the road
from Ron and
Millie. Both couples were about the same age and their farms nearly
but when a tornado flattened both and left them with shattered rubble,
Ron and Millie began immediately to work together and soon had the
and essential buildings rebuilt and new crops started and they came out
of the trauma as a closer, more loving couple.
Tom gave up and began spending his time in the
nearby town bar.
He didn’t want to talk about how to solve the problem with June and
her for wanting to live in the country where the children would not be
subjected to city school troubles. The same tornado in the same
that served to unite Ron and Millie into a closer-than-ever team, drove
a wedge between Tom and June and before long, they were separated, then
divorced. The children she had wanted to protect were deeply hurt as
saw their secure home become one of hate and bitterness.
If you want your marriage to be a success, don't
always be quick
to defend yourself when your spouse tries to tell you of something in
they wish you would improve. And if your spouse has a fault that
you, while it is still just a minor irritant, tell him (or her)
it is and what it would take to please you in that area. Each must be
to receive as well as give constructive criticism and try to make
changes when necessary to please your spouse.
You never win a battle against your spouse,
because you are
|Why Do Marriages
|both on the
same team. There are more than enough outside forces at
work to break up your team without you joining yourself to the outside
forces against your spouse. If one contracts cancer or other disease,
refer to it as his or her disease but the disease, consider the disease
the enemy and both of you work to overcome it
If your spouse really is to blame for a problem,
instead of pointing
accusing finger and yelling about it, let them know that you love them
anyway and the problem is not his, or hers, but belongs to both of you
and you will attack it together.
There are many good medical and scientific
reasons why it is
better for one man and one woman to have sex only with each other in a
marriage bond, but apart from being a demonstration of discontent or an
inability to overcome temptation, or the errant spouse catching a
transmitted disease or the wife becoming pregnant by the person she
adultery with, the actual act of intercourse does not alter the genital
organs of the guilty person nor their ability to return to being a
spouse if the innocent spouse is willing to forgive and forget to save
what can still be a beautiful and delightful marriage. But the errant
must be truly sorry and repentant, which means that, as Jesus expressed
it, they “...go and sin no more.” (John 8:4-11). Continued “affairs”
sure to make trouble and bring disaster as well as being against God’s
While it may be true that the “innocent” spouse
has not had a
sexual relationship with anyone outside the marriage, they may really
the cause of the other partner's infidelity.
“How?” you ask.
Some people have no desire for sex when they have
just been arguing
with the person who now wants to have sex, “kiss and make up.” More so
with women than men, the woman needs to know she is truly loved and
for and not just a “sex object” as is the current expression. But men,
too, may find it difficult or, in some cases even impossible, to engage
in sex with a woman who has just been telling him how no-good or what a
failure he is -- especially if the wife also makes a comparison to
else, whether as a workman, as a person, or especially as a lover.
frequent situation (though much less frequent in the 1980’s) is that in
which, usually for religious reasons, or less often for birth control,
or because of actual pain during intercourse one or the other spouse
sex except when children are wanted. The other partner feels a need,
accordingly and is seen as the one in the wrong. The problem is not
but neither is the answer easy.
MARRIAGE: Delight or Disaster
your spouse never wants to “make love”, there has to be a
reason. What that reason is must be found out before any sort of
action can be taken. Again, communication with and caring concern for
the feelings and wellbeing of the marriage partner are necessary to
out the real reason. It will do absolutely no good to nag and badger a
wrong answer from your spouse, and may do irreparable harm, just as
a disease and treating for the wrong thing can be fatal. It is
NOT natural for a person to have no sex-drive at all, and frequently
some chemical or harmonal imbalance which can be treated either by
of diet, the healing power of God, medication, or an operation.
As important to avoiding a disaster as some of
things we have just discussed, is to continually build your
with your spouse. Just doing the same old things may be enough to keep
from getting a divorce, but adding new and pleasurable memories to your
marriage will also help to avoid disaster.
Among things you may find enjoyable and which
parents may have ever done might be to try going grocery shopping
Break the pattern. Try something new. If the guy will open the car door
like a gentleman for the gal and treat her like a lady, it will usually
make her feel good and give her a little more pride that she has a real
man who cares about her. If the two of you will talk over your likes
dislikes and preferences, each may learn something about the other and
possibly discover something they really like or enjoy and might never
tried otherwise. Just because your Dad thought going grocery shopping
for sissies, does not make it so! So why not give it a try. “Try it,
might like it.” Additional benefits are that you have decided together
on your purchases, so one can not really blame the other if the budget
is overspent, the family cook has an idea of what the mate would enjoy
eating and probably how to cook it, and the two of you have spent time
together sharing in a responsibility and communicating with each other.
An unselfish and giving attitude brings joy and
relating to material wealth or to personal relationships and pleasure.
Be confident your marriage is a success. If you
are afraid your
wife will leave you and are jealous every time you see her notice
of the opposite sex, you will be most miserable and make her miserable,
too. But if you will be the best you can be
|Why Do Marriages
and rest in the confidence and assurance that she chose you because
she loves you and she is your wife because she wants to be, you can be
open and trusting and have no fear.
“Jealousy is cruel as the grave,” the scripture
says, and that
is so true. If you are jealous of your spouse, you will demand to know
where she was, who she was talking to or with and your suspicious
will at the least irritate her and very likely infuriate her, whether
is innocent as a baby or completely guilty.
Practice the habits of caring kindness,
being flexible, and expressing your love for your spouse when things
going well so it will come naturally when the hard times come, and your
spouse will not have to guess at what you are communicating through
reaction to the trauma. Remember that you two have become one in goals
and in love each with the other as an individual, and that your union
both ordained and blessed of God as you work together for Him.
Parents, if one is a disciplinarian and the other
is a comforter,
try to avoid working in opposite directions. You are the parenting
to bring up your children and need to work together. Don’t let the
with a problem play the comforting parent against the disciplinarian.
is sure to cause trouble. Usually the disciplinarian doesn’t get the
from the child and the comforting one doesn’t get the respect.
One final comment. After this edition was already
in the hands
of the printer, I was reminded of the problems caused when, for any
one spouse “cuts-off” the other from conjugal relations (sex) it
problems. Sometimes this is done from an honest feeling of revulsion
by some physical, emotional or mental problem for which the withholding
person can find no easy answer. If, for example one spouse is always
complaining, always finding fault with everything the other does, it
be nearly impossible for the other to feel any desire for the act of
called sex with the grouch even though he or she still has strong
appetite in general. This, then creates a very strong temptation to be
Another common situation of this type is that in
which a Christian
spouse, usually the wife, attempts to coerce the other into church
or stopping drinking or drug abuse by withholding her body from her
I would like to call your attention to what the Apostle Paul says on
subject in 1 Corinthians 7:1 to 6. “Now concerning the things whereof
wrote unto me: it is good for a man not to touch a woman.
MARRIAGE: Delight or Disaster
|Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have
his own wife,
and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto
wife due benevolence: and likewise also, the wife unto the husband. The
wife hath not power of her own body but the husband: and likewise also
the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye
one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give
to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you
for your incontinency. But I speak this by permission, and not of
Please notice how specific Paul is in verse 4:
“The wife hath
not power of her own body but the husband: and likewise also the
hath not power of his own body, but the wife.” Many men can read the
half of that verse but want to forget the second. He goes on to explain
why: “...that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” If that was
in Paul’s pre-TV day, surely, with today’s media emphasis on
it goes double. The withholding of sex as a tool to achieve some
modification is dangerous and will subject your spouse to extreme
to be unfaithful, and that not without justification because of the
you are not fulfilling.
Are you glorifying God through your marriage? Do
those who see
you and your spouse see and feel the love you each have for the other
the Lord and does it make them think of the goodness of God?
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