A country singing star once commented that it just took him 20 years to become an overnight success. He probably didn’t even recognize the process himself but each song, each concert, took him one step closer to stardom.
Each public appearance garnered him a few more fans until they numbered in the thousands. Suddenly he was a star who some considered an overnight success. They failed to recognize the long road traveled and the almost imperceptible changes in the artist that made him better and better.
Marriage can become an overnight success too but it may take you 20 years or more to believe it. The failure of marriage can also happen suddenly because you didn’t recognize the signs of trouble day after day. Marriage issues creep into our lives and can go unnoticed for years while eating away at love’s foundation. Some issues can cause bigger problems than others.
Alcoholism is an issue that can slowly alter a marriage until it leads to separation or divorce. The drinking issue resulted in only a minor argument when your spouse had one too many at a party but the problem grew. Soon, they wouldn’t stop with one or two drinks, it was several drinks every day. Drinking continues until they begin to pass out and have no idea how they got home.
Slowly you notice the beginning of binge drinking and the promises made but not kept. They’re probably drinking at work where you won’t notice. Too much drinking often leads to abuse and violence. Then it’s easier to spot. Alcoholics are married to the bottle not to you. You wish you would have been aware of the problem sooner, when there was hope.
A controlled relationship is also an issue than can grow slowly. This is where one person begins to feel manipulated or intimidated. Control is increased little by little and gets faster when the controller meets no resistance. You failed to notice it at first and many times you figure it’s best to allow the control to keep peace and avoid a confrontation.
Be aware of the controller’s low self esteem and feelings of inadequacy. Refuse to become timid and passive or over time it could lead to more power and abuse. Just say no and mean it when you say you’re not going to change your mind. If there is no change then know the controller loves power more than you and you may have to terminate the relationship.
Trust can dwindle over the years and go unnoticed because it’s an issue you don’t want to admit. If you can’t trust your spouse, then who can you trust? Again watch for consistent broken promises that become more frequent while your trust turns into mistrust. You feel you can forgive only so much and so long. A marriage without trust is difficult to heal and continue.
There are many more issues that can slowly infect a marriage and when you finally become aware of them it’s as if they unexpectedly materialize. A successful marriage is a watchful one.