Marriage, Postmarital

Staying Together Chapter Five: Moving Beyond Our Histories

Note: This thirteen-week blog series will share a snippet from each chapter of our new book, Staying Together, Marriage: A Lifelong Affair by Steve & Mary Prokopchak. This, our latest book, is now available through Destiny Image Publishers or presently with House to House Publications.

Prior to marriage, we spend hours communicating face to face and, when apart, by phone, text message, e-mail, and Facebook. We study one another and practice our listening skills to really hear each other’s hearts. We attempt to win the other through our attentiveness, our affirmation, our words of love, and our body language of acceptance. One couple told us communication was so easy and came so naturally to them that they could not understand what the big deal was about the subject of communication within marriage.

Nothing magical happens when we say, “I do.” There are no internal switches that turn on or off to inhibit the flow of communication. However, in many ways the pursuit is over. The other-focus can begin to return to self-focus and our own particular needs now that our partner has officially and publicly committed to being ours, “until death do us part.” The areas that you had the patience to overlook prior to marriage often become stumbling blocks in the first year of marriage. That which you once shrugged off as cute is now irritating.

What happened? Were we faking it? Were we trying to expose only our good side? It was fun having our heads in the clouds and not needing to worry about all that could go wrong. Reality during engagement is different from reality during marriage, neither of which is necessarily good or bad. So, what’s the issue?

God created us for relationship with Him and others, but at times we personally long for independence from both. How do we move beyond that natural bent toward independence? Are there memories that are hindering our healing? Read about “memory minefields” in this chapter and how to be free of them.

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