Sometimes progress in your marriage relationship can be a very slow process and the same issue comes up over and over. If we talked it through and came to an understanding, why do we have to go back through it again and again? There are a couple of obvious reasons:
We are all human! We have habits that are hard to break, baggage that is hard to overcome. Sometimes we forget or struggle with selfishness. We need reminding just how important this is to our spouse.
Problems are complex and they evolve. We may think we have resolved an issue but in fact we have addressed only an aspect of it. Next time we’ll focus on a different aspect. It is like layers of an onion getting peeled away. Each time you peel a layer you get closer to the heart of the issue and the final resolution.
And we change! Something important to your spouse now may not be so key at a different stage in life. We change as our circumstances change and that is just a part of life.
My challenge to you is to think of these recurring problems differently. As I look back on my life-long struggle with weight, I see a yo-yo pattern of limited success followed by failure again and again. That is how I looked at it and it became very discouraging. Why try when failure would follow?
Now I can see the layers of the onion were peeling off and the whole process brought personal growth. And recently I have learned some things about my stinking thinking that have opened the doors to a hopeful attitude. If I continue thinking of relapse as failure then I will be discouraged and stuck.
Look at it this way… when you take 5 steps forward that is success, and 2 backwards is failure right? No! 5 forward and 2 back will still get you to your goal if you keep moving!! It is wrong to see failure when we or our spouse are not perfect. We should never expect perfection from ourselves or others. So when those pesky issues recur, don’t be surprised. Talk them through again, practice forgiveness, and get moving in the right direction, step by step!
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.