Keeping the 2-headed Dragon Out of Your Marriage

I have a red three-headed dragon puppet in my office that I regularly use with kids and families who see me.  In my previous blogs, Learning from the Giraffes Part 1 and Part 2, I reference how the dreaded two-headed dragon can end up in the executive leadership role in many marriages.  Predictably, many of these marriages do not endure.

A two-headed dragon often develops when couples do not follow God’s prescription on how to order their marriage.  The husband and wife are not unified.  Their operating principles are based on personal wants and feelings.  If children are involved, it can be stressful and confusing to determine the expectations from such a disjointed marital unit.  Problems don’t get resolved, which often leads to “irreconcilable differences”.

Here are some steps to ensure that the two-headed dragon doesn’t take control of your marriage:

1) Remember that your husband is the head of the family and you are the heart.  God created men and women with complementing gifts.  Trust in God’s plan that in marriage, we can successfully work through differences.

2) Recognize that both parties have something valuable to contribute.  We are of equal dignity, but each gender plays out his or her role differently.

3) Play to your strengths. Pray first when discussing areas of conflict with your spouse.  Then highlight your feminine perspective on the matter and listen to his masculine approach.  As women, our inherent strengths deal with our attention to relationships, our awareness of a larger dynamic than what is at face value through our intuition, and our receptivity to spirituality.  Men are wired to protect, survive, provide, and be successful interfacing with an oftentimes hostile outside world.

4) Have humility to recognize when you need help and get it. If you and your spouse have tried to resolve conflict with each other but continually go round and round with the same unresolved issues, it’s time to enlist the help of a competent marriage-friendly therapist.  This professional help can provide the accountability and skill enhancement you may need to find your common ground.

Even after giving these steps a sincere try, you may still find your relationship conflicted and without unity.  It may feel like your spouse is not collaborating with you to have a loving marriage.  You might be starting to feel hopeless.  You may be concerned because it does not seem that your spouse is following God’s prescription of loving you, his spouse, the way Christ loved the Church.

Please, don’t despair.  In my next blog, I will discuss the steps you can to get things going in the right direction, even if your spouse is not cooperating.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  Trust that the majority of difficult marriages can be turned around when you use the right tools from your spiritual tool kit.