In my musical life, I would often hear my musical acquaintances say “being in a band is like a marriage”. I disagreed. Bands are fickle and one wrong move relationally and the whole things is destroyed. Clusters of musicians move together from project to project and the line up seems to rotate like a volley ball team. I would eventually conclude that I felt like being in a band was MORE like an “ECO SYSTEM” than a marriage. Last weekend on a long drive home Lisa and I were talking about our own marriage while studying our latest curriculum for our marital small group.
And then it hit me…Marriage IS an “ECO SYSTEM”!
The volatile dealings with my ex-wife, a failing business, child custody wars, financial struggles, and step parenting wore heavily on our relationship and thus diminished the quality, eagerness, and frequency of our sex life. The diminishing sexual nature aggravated me in ways that I wasn’t noticing my behaviors and I became increasingly colder in my speech with Lisa among many other behaviors that affected her negatively.
This began the decline of a great aspect of our marriage. It pulled all other areas of our needs into a whirlpool of frustration. Now that the smoke has cleared, our sexual relationship has been unable to fully return to its glory days, which also means that many of Lisa’s needs have been left less shiny than they once were.
These things hurt each of us and keep the cycle going in the wrong direction. It’s worthless to try figuring out who it started with and who is still at fault.
Energy is wiser spent like children on a marry-go-round trying to kick this thing spinning the other way, the right way. The “ECO SYSTEM” concept has left me eager to work hard to get our needs especially our most significant needs!
Here is one procedure that I think could accomplish that:
#1 we both have to be “aware” without being offended. “Offense” in your “ECO SYSTEM” is parallel to having an abundance of predators and a deficiency of food! It will lead to the extinction of two parts of your “ECO SYSTEM”.
#2 We as a marital team have to address what made us each happy prior to the change in our “ECO SYSTEM” as well as what is making us unhappy about said change. We need to specify and make it easy to correct by not making blanket statements.
#3 We as a marital team in turn have to address what made us each unhappy prior to the change in our “ECO SYSTEM” as well as what is making us happy about said change.
#4 Identify what was introduced that made the change.
#5 Brainstorm diligently towards a plan of getting the best of both worlds.
#6 You can not do this alone. If one spouse is indignant or refuses to fix this for the good of your marriage… you’ll have other work to do before being able to process these critical changes.
Please share some examples of “ECO SYSTEM” disruptions in your marriage both good and bad and how they were remedied or how you think you could remedy them.