Marital Chess (Part 1)

Devout Catholics  invest in marriage for the long run— in good times and bad.  It often takes a lifetime to grow in virtue in preparation to meet our maker, and  sometimes a lifetime isn’t enough…hence the need for purgatory.  It isn’t a coincidence that marriage is a lifetime proposition.

Beautifully, marriage is a system.  Only one party in marriage has to change for the system to change.

In healthier marriages both parties work in concert towards continued growth and positive change.  The agenda of the husband and wife is transparent.  The communication is clear.  They can openly express their needs and listen to their partner’s needs.  The interactions move the couple closer to their common goal of deeper intimacy with each other and with God.

For the rest of the world, there is a need for what I coin, “marital chess”.

“Marital chess” comes to play when both parties do not equally share in the desire for deeper intimacy and conforming to God’s will.  “Marital chess” can also be needed when partners are unclear or confused about their needs and have poor communication with their mates.

The party who does desire a marriage as the Church described  it to be, can use “marital chess” to go the extra mile in charity with their spouse.  “Marital chess” helps the motivated spouse better understand their partner’s needs even if he doesn’t share them.  “Marital chess” helps spouses respond, not react.  “Marital chess” is the visible part of an overall strategy to love their husbands even when the love is not always reciprocated.

Like real chess, “marital chess” can drain.  But you can learn how to do it correctly so your “marital chess” does not spark “marital stress”.  Tune into the next blog to learn some effective “marital chess”  moves.

The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  Consider whether you might need to learn how to play “marital chess”.