Certain types of differences that are not just matters of style or preference are actually problems, and they cause negative things to happen in relationships. As couples moving towards closeness, you need to be aware of these so you can identify and deal with them successfully.
Destructive differences often come out of a person’s brokenness. It could be from baggage from ones past, immaturities and even character issues. Style differences on the other hand will cause a minimum of destructive differences.
An example could be a spouse having little or no interest in relating to their spouse on an emotional or personal level. They sometimes just don’t want to connect. Lack of communication will cause one to shut down and to not pay attention to their spouse. Usually it reflects when one simply ignores his or her spouse when they return home after being at work or gone for a while. One of you might choose to watch TV or go online until bedtime with no inner action other than maybe asking a question. These things are very hurtful to a marriage.
A bad answer to the above problem is to say, “That’s just the way I am.” There is always a solution if one will but just budge from their selfish patterns. We were designed by God to be relational beings to connect with Him and with each other. Chronically being disengaged makes for a very unhappy home life.
Sadly one can become comfortable with detachment which turns couples into faceless partners not interested or willing to see it as a problem for improving. Most couples don’t realize how to fix their broken marriage because they just don’t know how until it’s too late or almost too late. Instead of healing from broken hearts and lives, they continue on the same course.
Pay attention to hurtful sorts of differences. A few more differences are, irresponsibility, control, criticism and judgment, manipulation, self-centeredness, rage, guilt messages, deception, addictions, and violence. If your marriage exhibits any of these behaviors, you need to take action. Get outside help if you can’t talk it through together. Pray for guidance and when you feel safe, gently confront your spouse by being willing to ask for change. It’s not ease, but so worth your efforts (My thoughts with Rescue Your Love Life, pp. 89-91).