| Written By: Dewey Wilson, Ph.D.
We humans are such creatures of habit—especially when we possess deep-rooted, fixed mindsets about something. In this case, we mean fixed mindsets involving specific aspects of our marriage. For example, suppose your spouse simply refuses to get ready in order to arrive on time to events that you attend together. Therefore, you simply refuse to attend any more events with them than what is necessary. Or what about spending money? Fixed mindsets occur when one spouse refuses to spend within the parameters of an agreed upon budget. Often times, instead of working together to combine resources as maybe they once did, each spouse manages their own money, which typically leads to lies, no accountability and uncontrollable debt.
Sadly, when left unattended or unchallenged, fixed mindsets typically result in one or both spouses becoming isolated in the marriage. Only, much of the time, these couples have become incredibly effective at masking what is really going on to the point very few people can actually detect something is not right. When allowed to continue over time, the chances drastically increase that husbands and wives will eventually see their situation as hopeless. They’ll either separate and divorce, or just somehow learn to live together separately.
If this is where you and your spouse are, or are even headed towards for that matter, here are a few facts and suggestions you might find beneficial:
For Christians, there are no such things as hopeless situations, only people that perceive them to be hopeless. 1 Corinthians 10:13 states the temptations you experience are similar to those that other people experience. In every bad situation, God has provided a means of escape. But, in order for you to ever experience anything positive, you must first believe you are not the only person who has ever gone through what you’re going through and that it is possible to experience things differently.
Be willing to accept responsibility for how your fixed mindsets are contributing to living together separately. In what areas of your marriage are you refusing to do something different that might lead to a positive experience for both you and your spouse. Does it possibly involve your spending or simply being willing to get ready for events a little sooner?
Don’t wait for your spouse to make the first move. There’s too much at stake. The longer you wait, the greater chance you or your spouse has of becoming so miserable that you allow yourself to become emotionally or physically involved with someone outside your marriage.
Find another couple you trust or a counselor where you can learn effective ways to communicate your desires and expectations.
Isolation can be the greatest tool Satan can use to destroy your marriage. Maybe its time to break some of those old habits and replace them with some that bring joy back into your marriage?