Stage 2: Two Drowning People

It’s very dangerous to be within the reach of a drowning person in open water. Fear and desperation overcome the victim, triggering a self-preservation instinct. In that emotional state they’ll fight to keep their head above water, even if that means taking you down with them.

The second stage of marriage can be like that. In this stage, both the husband and wife have been deeply wounded and are desperate for emotional oxygen. In their attempt to emotionally survive, they often take their spouse to the bottom with them.

If you haven’t read last week’s blog, called “Stage 1: Two Fleas and No Dogs,” please do so. It will help you understand Stage 2. In it I wrote about the revelation that both a husband and wife receive early in marriage. And that revelation, if it is not dealt with correctly, can create a situation in which both are drowning and looking to each other to save themselves.

For the emotionally drowning husband or wife, life is intense and it is all about self. You believe your spouse is the reason you are about to perish. You are certain that if the other person would change, that change would become the life line necessary for your survival.

Unfortunately, the answer never lies with your spouse. It’s impossible to throw the life line to someone else when you’re drowning too.

It may seem that when two people have reached this point that there is little hope of rescue. However, even when marriages have degenerated to this stage they can still be restored. Jan and I have seen many healed when both the husband and wife were already convinced there was no hope and the marriage had died.

All they needed was a lifeline of help from someone other than their spouse. That’s why Jan and I created the Covenant Marriage Events, which is one of the Ancient Paths Seminars. If you feel like you’re drowning in marriage, then I strongly encourage you to attend one of these events. It will change your life forever. You can find the dates, times, and locations on our website.


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