10 Ways to Dance around Marriage Landmines

Being married is, at best, an arrangement where two people look forward to the great adventure before them, recognize the eternal truth that life was designed to be experienced in community, and commit themselves to one another in the context of faithful love, boundless belief, and uncompromised trust.

Unfortunately, the world we inhabit can be a minefield for married couples, both the freshly minted and those with a few years of experience under their belts. Distractions, financial pressures, children, temptations, personality flaws, work pressures, you name it. There’s no way to remove all the unexploded mines, and new ones appear sometimes by the hour. So, the only alternative to certain destruction is to dance around them.

The decision to dance around marriage landmines has to be a daily choice, a deliberate commitment in the face of challenges that could otherwise easily overwhelm. Here are 10 ways to do just that:

1. Don’t be afraid: Love is always the antidote to fear. It’s a principle of faith. Believe it.

2. Identify the mines: Know what you’re up against. Call them out. You don’t have to dance in the dark.

3. Dance, regardless: Sometimes it’s tempting to back off, resign ourselves to defeat, and live in the shadows when the going gets tough. Don’t.

4. Hold one another tight: Sometimes the mines go off despite our best efforts. Dance closer.

5. Be open to learn: Do you have friends, parents, grandparents, who are 20, 30, 40 or more years into a strong marriage? Get together, take them out to dinner, and ask them to share some of their best moves.

6. Learn to show others the way through: Along the road, we learn something about the dance. Share what you have learned and map the way through. When we try to help others, we invariably help ourselves.

7. Remember that commitment is what holds us together: If we only dance when we feel strong, or romantic, or successful, or when we don’t see any mines, then we miss the point of commitment. Commitment declares, both privately and to the world, “This is my partner. We’re going to dance even when it’s not easy!”

8. Learn some new songs: Life is, by definition, fluid, growth-oriented, and dynamic. Don’t neglect the songs you know well, but always dedicate time to learning new inspirational ways to help you avoid explosions.

9. Learn how to apply a tourniquet: Occasionally, you will step on a marital landmine and you have to know how to bandage the wound quickly and effectively. Knowing how to forgive, and how to ask for forgiveness, is key.

10. Always believe: People who know anything about dancing know that the belief is as important as any technical prowess. Believe in your partner. Believe in yourself. Believe in love. Dance already.

Huddle up with your wife tonight and ask her: What do you think has been the biggest marital obstacle we have overcome?