Has Your Marriage Moved From Breathtaking To Frustrating?

Grand Canyon 250x250I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, but I’ve talked to people who have and they tell me it’s breathtaking.  They say you’ll stand in awe of the beauty of this masterpiece of creation.

Yet if you lived there all your life, the familiarity would probably cause it to seem less  breathtaking.  You would probably focus more on jagged rocks, dust and dirt, lack of greenery, over abundance of tourists…you get the idea.

We do the same thing in marriage.  When we first arrive, we enjoy the change of “scenery.”  It’s exciting because it’s so different from where we’ve come.  But the longer you live together, the more you get used to what’s in front of you.  Then you start to see the scenery differences as frustrating rather than breathtaking.

Why does this happen?  Why does breathtaking turn to frustrating?

  • You get homesick.  A place like the Grand Canyon is a nice place to visit, but eventually the new wears off and you’re ready to get back home where things are familiar.
  • It costs to move.  To move to the Grand Canyon, you have to leave what you’ve known behind.  You have to expend the effort to create a different life than you’ve known, and this can wear on you at times.
  • Everything eventually becomes “normal.”  Sure, the Grand Canyon is breathtaking when you first see it, but when you see it day after day you begin to take it for granted.  It becomes “normal.”

When it comes to marriage, we need to get back to seeing our “scenery” differences with awe rather than agony.  We need more Grand Canyon moments in marriage.  We need more moments that are breathtaking rather than frustrating.

How can we get back to that?  Here are some first steps:

  • You must look for the wonder.  Like people who live near the Grand Canyon, familiarity can cause us to stop focusing on the beauty and instead start focusing on the frustrations.  Someone once told me, “You’ll get what you’re looking for.”  (Let that sink in for a minute.)  Train yourself to look for the beauty more than the difficulty.
  • You must remember the creation.  Like the Grand Canyon, your spouse is a wondrous creation of God.  This includes all their quirks and differences.  They are a work of art, (not a piece of work), and we need to remain in awe of that.
  • You must embrace the friction. The great wonder of the Grand Canyon was created through friction.  Mountains, canyons, mesas…they are all the products of opposing forces combining to create something wonderful.  The same is true in marriage.  The differences that cause so much friction can create something breathtaking…if you let it.

As I said, we need more Grand Canyon moments in our marriages.  We need more breathtaking and less frustrating.  Everyday we must decide if we’re going to see a Grand Canyon or just a hole in the ground.

Tell us about the Grand Canyon moments in your marriage and how you learned to see them.

Copyright © 2014 Bret Legg

2 thoughts on “Has Your Marriage Moved From Breathtaking To Frustrating?”

  1. It never ceases to amaze me-
    Just this morning I was faced with one such moment. I didn’t catch it in the moment but just after. There was a fork in the road. I was tempted to complain- but chose not to. I tried to reframe the way I saw things. I was convicted to encourage instead of discourage. I was challenged by this blog to see those differences as beauty… and rightfully so. I am working on changing the things I can change. I am hoping it will have a ripple effect with me and with my spouse for the better.

    • Those forks in the road are everywhere, and what we do with them can make a huge difference in your life and your marriage. Keep it up. I believe it most definitely will have a ripple effect with you and your spouse.


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