Stage 3: Swimming Independently

You may no longer be blaming your spouse for the way you feel but stage 3 is a very dangerous and lonesome place to reside within your marriage.  Before reading the description, please take time to read about stages 1&2 in the previous blogs.

Independent swimmers look something like this.  They no longer blame each other for their problems or expect the other to change.  They believe their well being is not dependent upon their spouse but rather upon the choices they make as individuals.  Sounds good, right?

“I can meet my own needs,” becomes the silent mantra.  They each gravitate toward their own set of friends and pursue their own interests.  The underlying conflicts are never resolved and rarely even manifest.  They live in the same house, but truly have very little in common.  They begin to live and look a lot like “married singles.”

The potential consequences of this scenario are obvious.  A common purpose or vision for a marriage stuck in stage 3 is impossible.  Physical and emotional intimacy fades or disappears completely.  Although both may feel they are spiritually strong, the door to the heart has been opened for deception.  And the enemy will make sure that an unhealthy and ungodly relationship is lurking just beyond that door.

The good news; it doesn’t have to be this way.  The relationship that you long for with your spouse can be restored.  To learn more, please take the time to read my book, Two Fleas No DogsAnd please read next week’s blog, stage 4, Rowing Together.  That’s where God wants you to reside in marriage and that’s where you’ll discover the joy and fulfillment you long for.

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