Control Of The Marriage

The one most willing to sacrifice the relationship controls it.

Someone said this in a comment recently. It took me a second because I read it as “the one most willing to sacrifice FOR the relationship controls it.”

Having thought about it, I think there is some truth in both of those.

Willing to Sacrifice the Marriage

If one spouse is willing to hurt/destroy/end the marriage to get their own way, that person is in control. The marriage is a hostage and the other spouse is forced to negotiate. I’ve seen this dynamic in marriages and it never ends well. It’s like land for peace – it stops working when you don’t have any more land to give.

If you’re the one doing this, please know it is unloving and wrong. Get help now before you’re the reason your marriage ends.

If your wife is doing this to you, please know it’s unlikely you can fix it; you need trained help and you need it yesterday. The only paths forward on your own are a painful divorce or a miserable shell of a marriage. 

Willing to Sacrifice FOR the Marriage

Sacrificing for something is a powerful action. In a marriage with a deeply selfish person, sacrifice may not be appreciated, but even then it has a way of changing the other person’s heart. If the other spouse is not horrible, sacrifice speaks love, commitment, and dedication.

If your wife sacrifices for you, please make a big deal about it. Let her know how much you appreciate her efforts and work to sacrifice for her.

When you sacrifice for your wife, don’t make a big deal about it. If you don’t say something your wife may feel pushed. If you say nothing you leave room for God and your actions to work on her heart.

A great post: Lori and I are spending the weekend with Jason and Tiffani of My Beloved Is Mine!. Jason just wrote a great post entitled Enjoy and Appreciate Your Wife’s Femininity

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7 Comments on “Control Of The Marriage

  1. Dr. David Schnarch says the low drive person in the relationship has all the control. I believe that 100%.

    • I’m sorry. I’m a woman with a higher drive, and I agree with Jeff and Dr S 110%.

      I’m also the extrovert and I can tell you, at least in my marriage, the introvert has all the control. You cannot force them to go out or have friendships, and so if you want to be with the one you love, you are resigned to a life of sitting at home – endlessly.

      • @MeJustMe – My wife is an introvert, and for most of our marriage she had a lower drive. But I neither sit home nor have I lacked for sex in a very long time. This is not about being low drive or introverted, it’s about selfishness. The other things may be used to excuse or hide the selfishness, but that does not make it about those things.

  2. I am the reason my marriage ended. Well I’d say my husbands behavior is, but whatever it amounts to the same thing. I got tired of the name calling, constant unrelenting back stabbing to anyone who would listen, manipulation, mindgames, and contempt, physically impossible demands and the complete and total lack of privacy. Verbal abuse is the short way to say this. I did hold the marriage hostage, and I don’t regret that decision one bit. I don’t regret the marriage because I would be on an unrecognizable life path with out it, not worse, possibly better, but certainly very different. I don’t regret the knowledge I learned from the souls searching this marriage forced me to do in a very stressful and compressed amount of time. I certainly don’t regret my kids. I do regret the high cost of them starting out in life that way though. This is a steep price and all of us, even my husband are still paying it. However I would stay married the way things were, and part of the reason I left was that I wasn’t willing to the things I would have had to do to prevent physical violence in that marriage to someone I loved. It wasn’t just enduring, it was also not wanting to become more like the monster I was living with. That kind of abuse, especially long term, doesn’t bring out the best in anyone. I’m a much wiser, kinder, more patient, and generous, and secure and steady person for being emotionally disengaged from my husband. (Divorce isn’t final yet.)

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