Marital heat exchange

To continue with marriage ideas from laws of science:

Heat transfer naturally occurs from a region of high temperature to an adjoining region of lower temperature. That means when you put an ice-cube in a hot drink, heat flows from the drink into the ice-cube. It is possible to get heat to move from cooler to warmer, but it requires a good deal of energy to make it happen (a refrigerator or a heat pump).

The transfer of heat or love/affection/concern in a marriage works much the same way – it flows more easily from the one who has more to the one who has less. It will flow the other way, but it takes a lot of energy to make it happen.

Our feelings ebb and flow in marriage – this is natural. When you are feeling more loving than she is, there will be more flow from you to her than from her to you. When she is feeling more loving, it will be the other way. There will also be times when stress and business will reduce the ability of one or the other of you to be as loving as you would like – again causing the flow to be more one-sided. As long as the direction of the greater flow changes back and forth over time, this is not a problem – rather this is one of the ways we cover for the other, one of the ways that we function as a couple rather than two individuals. When it’s your time to be giving and doing more, don’t begrudge her. Realise that even what she is giving is probably costing her more energy than what you are giving is costing you. When it’s her turn to do more, don’t feel guilty.

UNLESS: Unless the flow is one way for a prolonged time, and not for a reasonable reason (such as long-term illness). If this goes on and on it will deplete the one who is giving. No matter how much we love, no matter how much we want to give, there is a limit before it starts to cost us significantly. If you have been doing more for a long time, you need to work to change that before it causes you to burn out. If you know she has been doing more for a long time, realise that it cannot and will not continue that way – she will burn out, and when she does she may have no desire – or even ability – to give again. If you suck up all her heat, her flame will go out – and then what?

5 Comments on “Marital heat exchange

  1. This was really good! Never looked at it in that point of view. I’ll have to remember this on a daily basis, thanks.

  2. you state “If this goes on and on it will deplete the one who is giving.”
    to this i ask what is your source of love or where does your ability to love come from. my source is God, who i hope has the ability to provide an unrestricted amount of love (or ability to love).

    • @richard – The Lord is my source – no idea how I’d manage if He were not. But even Christ got tired, and even Christ wanted to not do some of what God wanted Him to do. Being Christ, He prevailed, while not being Christ it is inevitable that we will sometimes fail.

      That said, it is possible in Him to give love where none is returned, but by definition this is not marriage, and a man or woman in this situation will die to the marraige even if they continue to give, serve, and stay married in name.

  3. I love this idea. Especially when you talked about the direction of the flow changing. For me it seems like the flow is changing everyday, even multiple times a day. To me that’s what Marriage is all about – supporting each other when one is weak (or stressed, etc.)
    .-= Eric – BHF´s last blog ..You Cant Solve All Her Problems So- Stop Trying! =-.

  4. This is a great point. I really think you hit on the main reason for any relationship and especially marriage. The Bible tells us to carry each other’s burdens, and I think you are making a practical example of this. The strong carry the weak and then the roles are often reversed. In James 1:27 God shows us our call is to care for the weak (widows and orphans).

    But the great tradgedy is when we don’t receive back and the relationship is one sided. Proverbs is full of guidelines of who we should allow to be our friends and these rules should apply more to our marraiges.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: