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Having a Mature Marriage

Immaturity in marriage is often something not considered as immature to the one hurting your marriage. It's another of those things that can sink a marriage. It's also something that can be overcome, and growing out of it can bring closeness, intimacy, and passion to your marriage. To be immature is to be incomplete or underdeveloped. In terms of emotional and personal growth, immaturity has to do with certain attitudes that show that an individual has not yet become an adult in the full sense of the word. These attitudes can seriously affect one's ability to love, relate, care and build good relationships. Have you been around someone who was physically present but a million miles away emotionally? The body might have been in the room, but the mind was elsewhere. You can see it and feel it when you are with that person, and it ultimately makes you feel unimportant. These attitudes affect one's ability to love, relate, care, and build good relationships. This describes detachment, which is the tendency to disconnect from a relationship. The detached partner distances himself or herself mentally or focuses on something else, causing the other partner to feel alone and disconnected. Detachment is a sign of relational immaturity where you are not mature and complete in the ability to love and connect fully. Another issue is control. We are designed by God to control ourselves, not each other. Mature couples support and enjoy each other's freedom and choices. However, an immature partner attempts to make their spouse do things their way, often through using intimidation, aggressiveness, manipulation, or guilt. These actions can sink your love life. When one partner feels that he has to choose what the other wants, he does not feel free. And people who are not free to think for themselves cannot love. Love grows only when it has the freedom to make wholehearted choices. One sign of a mature marriage is that both spouses are responsible and faithful in the relationship. They will do what they say they will do. They will take initiative to solve problems. When they make a mistake they will own up to it and will proceed to make changes. Responsible spouses carry their end of the weight in the marriage. You will need to step out of your own point of view and enter the world of others' feelings, values, experiences, and opinions. All too often a selfish person does not see the selfish characteristic in the person they really are. In most cases this is how many marriages function. When a spouse does not readily engage in wanting to make a change in hurtful attitudes, it is generally the immaturity of self-centeredness. Therefore immaturity causes imbalance, loss of safety and love, and negative feelings in marriage. When one spouse is immature, the other spouse feels like a burden. It is harder to connect on a vulnerable emotional level with an immature person. For example, there are things you will talk about only with your spouse and not with children. What you want in your marriage is to feel like an adult. You want to share your heart, mind, and soul with your spouse and know you are an equal. Fortunately, immaturity in not an incurable issue. If you can mature to the realization that you need help, the sooner you will have the kind of love life you are missing out on, (and really deep inside want) but haven't been able to see it through selfish eyes. Always look at your own immaturity first. The happiest couples are comprised of individuals who first focus on how they themselves are showing immaturity. Most times this will be a tough assignment. Making a change in old habits is often very difficult. "First take the plank out of your own eye" before judging someone else (Matthew 7:5). This step is what love is all about. When you really love someone, you do not want your immaturity to hurt them. You will want to preserve, help, and grow the relationship; and you will do whatever is necessary to stop contributing anything that gets in the way of love. As a couple, you need to agree that whoever does not first look at his own issues is disqualified from judging the other's immaturity. You need to talk openly together about your love life and how you can make it better. Your attitude needs to be that you want to know what your spouse feels so you can start making amends. Sometimes the immaturity is a minor thing, but all too often if you are suffering severely in your marriage it has already become major to where your spouse has shut down and you notice you are drifting further apart each day. Take note and pray with earnestness for God to take control. Ask other people you trust, or that have experienced these same issues to help guide you to a remedy. Humbly listen to their feedback. Often your close friends or family see the picture of your distress and may not know what to say, but if invited to help can offer suggestions to help in your time of need. Seeking help is so vital to your marital happiness. If you have a deeper immaturity, the two of you may need to keep discussing it as a process, and not as a one-time ordeal. Take the initiative, and be the bigger person and say, "I want you to let me know when my immaturity affects you and gets between us. Our relationship is more important to me than what I want." Unfortunately, many times the immature person in your marriage relationship are unwilling to acknowledge their problem. This tends to be the part of the immaturity problem itself. An immature perspective is one that is more about self than about the marriage relationship. Pray for God to help you and your spouse to know how to become aware of how your attitudes affect you and your marriage so you will be guided down the path that leads to a happy, fulfilled, and loving home. If you are both truly connected with God, the source of love, you will finally see how beautiful a marriage can be. I know this to be very true! (My thoughts with Rescue Your Love Life, pages 20-24). Sherry

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