Why can’t spouses seem to get along?

Published 8:28 am Monday, June 10, 2024

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I’m despondent because my marriage is going down the wrong track and I don’t know what to do about it. I tried talking to my pastor but he told me to read the Bible. I’ve tried but really don’t know where to find something that will give me direction. My wife is being completely unreasonable. She says the same about me. She resents me for enjoying sports, and I resent her for her constant aggravation, which leads to bickering. Neither one of us, I guess, is willing to bend. Maybe it is time to go our separate ways. – C.D.

Dear C.D.: “I can’t live with him, but I can’t seem to live without him either,” a woman wrote in desperation. She added that she had moved out of their house three times but still kept coming back. With minor variations, her story could be repeated thousands of times every day.

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Each marriage is different, and we mustn’t oversimplify or overlook the uniqueness of every relationship. But what is the problem? Why can’t spouses seem to get along?

Let’s ask another question: What is the opposite of love? It isn’t hate (although it may take that form). The opposite of love is selfishness. When a husband and wife are concerned only about their own individual desires, the stage is set for conflict.

The Bible gives us another way – the way of Christ. True love, it says, is self-giving, not self-seeking. True love puts the needs of others first. This is what Christ did when He left Heaven’s glory and came down to Earth to show us how we should live. Begin a new page in your marriage by asking Christ to become the center of your life – and your marriage.

“Love … is kind; love does not envy; … does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil. … Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4–8, NKJV).


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)