Q: I’m beginning to think that getting married was a mistake. We’ve been married less than a year and all we do is argue, usually over little things that don’t really matter. What’s happened to us? — H.E.
A: Couples sometimes assume that just because they’re in love, they won’t have any problems once they’re married. But it isn’t true; every marriage requires adjustments and compromises. A strong marriage requires work on the part of both the husband and wife, and I want to assure you that it’s worth it.
I don’t know your situation, of course, but from what you say, it sounds like you both want to be in control and have your own way. In other words, you see your relationship as a contest, and you each are afraid that if you give in, your spouse will be the winner and you’ll be the loser. Instead of a partnership, your marriage has turned into a tug of war.
But this can never be the foundation of a happy marriage. Instead, you both need to discover what it means to work together to make your marriage the joy that God meant it to be. And this can happen, as you deliberately seek to please each other instead of yourselves. Nothing destroys a marriage quicker than selfishness, which is the opposite of true love.
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Begin by committing your marriage and your lives to Jesus Christ. God gave your marriage to you, and he wants to help you work together to strengthen it. Then ask God to give you a deeper love for each other — the kind of selfless love that Christ has for us. The Bible says, “Love is patient, love is kind. … It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.