FAMILY FUSION: Conquering slow leaks (2)
“Set your expectations high; find men and women whose integrity and values you respect; get their agreement on a course of action; and give them your ultimate trust.” – John Fellows Akers
The circulatory (cardiovascular) system is a fascinating and fabulous piece of engineering designed by God the All-Wise Master Creator. When this remarkable system is working according to the Designer’s plan, it keeps the human being alive and in good health.
This system has about 60 000 miles of blood vessels at its disposal, and it depends on the heart, a fist-sized muscle, to pump around 7 571 litres of blood per day. With good care, the circulatory system can work well year after year, with little or no major problems. However, if a leak occurs in the flawlessly functioning system, danger would be created for one or more areas of the body. Urgent steps must then be taken to stop that leakage to prevent the inevitable.
I was emotionally challenged when a very good friend had to be rushed to hospital after feeling ill. He was diagnosed with having a cerebral aneurysm (bleeding on the brain). A blood vessel had ruptured and it became increasing difficult for the doctors to stop the leaking blood vessel.
After a few days of having his circulatory system compromised, my good friend died. Unlike my friend, there are those who survive this and other similar conditions; although some people may be left with some form of short or long-term paralysis, speech or vision deficiency.
When I think of the circulatory system within our bodies, it stimulated my mind to think of marriage and what perennial success can result if the couple allows the union to function according to the Designer’s plan.
If a spouse decides to create a breach in the “circulatory system” of the marriage, then the probability of death to the union occurring is high, unless urgent steps are taken to stop this leakage.
Last week I wrote about leakage that can come within the marriage when a couple does not spend enough quality time together after the wedding day. Today, using the analogy of the intact physical circulatory system, I want to show that if trust in a marriage is broken, similar to the impact of an aneurysm on the body, serious problems, including death for the marriage, may result.
The World Book Dictionary defines trust as “a firm belief in the honesty, truthfulness, justice or power of a person or a thing”. The flip side of trust is infidelity which is defined as “any violation of the mutually agreed-upon rules or boundaries of a relationship, and is a breach of faith in an inter-personal relationship” (Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia).
Several stories are told of spouses after the wedding accidentally discovering that their beloved partner did not disclose the existence of children from previous relationships. Spouses also speak of coming across many secrets, including bank accounts, investments, large outstanding debts and pending legal matters.
Unfortunately, many also tell of the disappointment experienced after the honeymoon, when trust levels are expected to be at the highest peak, but instead clear evidence is presented that the spouse is involved in a physical or emotional relationship with another person; uncovering the covert financial support of other individuals; the lies about purchasing expensive gifts for other females or males; travelling and arranging to secretly meet individuals or saying they are at work when they are somewhere else with another agenda.
When trust is broken, it shatters the emotions of your partner and injects the kind of emotional trauma that can linger on for a long time. I have heard numerous distraught husbands and wives mention that they were having difficulty in trusting their spouses again, because of some previous breach of trust occurring in their marriage relationship. Genuine love can be described as the heart of the marriage relationship, and trust, which is the most important ingredient in love, is like the healthy lifeblood that daily helps to keep the marriage in a healthy state.
Any breach of trust in the marriage can create a ‘leakage’ that may produce disastrous consequences for the union.
As a result of this disastrous leakage, effective communication can be impaired; anger and bitterness can develop; anxiety can step in; fears can grow; suspicion can raise its ugly head; sexual appetite can diminish, all of which can severely deteriorate the effective operation of the family unit.
Consider a few important directives that may help in preserving trust within the union of your marriage:
1. Develop a passionate selfless love for your spouse, the kind that will continuously allow you to see that beloved partner as No. 1 in your life. Married or not married, you may admire or be admired by someone other than your spouse. If that admiration occurs, see this as a distraction, admire it and leave it alone.
2. Be honest and open with your spouse especially when it comes to matters that have the potential to affect the welfare of the family. Be truthful at all times as deception and lies are bad news for any marriage; they will seriously damage the “main artery” of your marriage and create damage too grave for repair.
3. Place God the Originator of marriage at the helm of your home. Ask God for His wisdom, knowledge and understanding that would assist you in maintaining and growing steadfastly in the all-important ingredient of trust.
4. If injury to trust occurs, avoid surrendering to its pressure too quickly. First seek help before thinking that you have a hopeless situation on your hand.
Conquer the slow leaks and enjoy your marriage.
• Reverend Haynesley Griffith is a marriage and family life consultant.