When you can’t see the good
Yesterday, I said if you are only focused on the bad your bride does, bad is all you will see. If you stay there long, odds are your bride will start seeing only the bad in you. Or, if your bride has been that way to you for a while, you will feel pulled to reply in kind. These are normal reactions – normal, but deadly to marriage.
Some couples find a “this far and no further” line both of them honour. They are still looking for and seeing more bad than good, but they balance it enough to keep things from getting worse. Other couples go into a death spiral, the negativity growing on both sides, with neither willing to break the cycle that is destroying their marriage. Some couples do the “this far and no further” game for years, then some event (often an event external to the marriage) causes one of them to become more negative, and the death spiral starts.
If you are in this situation, decide right now YOU are going to be the grown-up and change this dynamic. The longer it goes on the worse it gets, the harder it is to stop, and the more damage there is to deal with even if you pull out in time. You don’t gain anything from playing Russian Roulette with your marriage!