When Marriages Go To War

Toy Soldiers 250x250I heard an interview the other day with a doctor who had gone to Syria to take care of children caught in the war there.  The doctor spoke of children and families being torn apart, physically, emotionally and relationally by the on-going war.  There may be times when war is unavoidable, but it’s never good.

The same is true when marriages “got to war.”  There may be times when it’s unavoidable, (issues of abuse, cruelty, threats to safety, a rebellious spouse, etc.), but these situations are not the reasons most marriages go to war.  More often than not, the real reason has more to do with the accumulation of smaller offenses.  Either way, the effects are still devastating.

War in marriage is just like any other war…

  • Both sides believe they’re right.
  • Neither side wants to humble themselves or compromise.
  • Both sides suffer.
  • Children will always suffer.
  • Others get drawn into the conflict.
  • It takes more time and resources to rebuild than to work it out.
  • Though things can get back to some sort of “normal,” it never comes back to complete normal.

After nearly 20 years of working with marriages, I strongly urge couples to explore every possible avenue and solution before going to war.  Certainly do not tolerate abuse or cruelty, but do not be quick to jump to war.  It may be inevitable, but don’t assume it is.  Seek support from a counselor, a minister, or close friends who will lovingly support you and tell you the truth.  Make war your last resort.

Weigh in and tell us how you feel about marriage that go to war.

Copyright © 2014 Bret Legg

1 thought on “When Marriages Go To War”

  1. I am not at war in my marriage but the picture of the toy soldiers reminded me of “throw the potato” moments with my husband. Made me smile.


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