Have you outgrown your marriage?

Romans  12:3-5
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members,[a]and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
The beginning of marriage appears to be a level playing field.  Marriage has a funny way of presenting itself as a beautiful union of bliss when you say your first  “I Do”.  Everything is the same.  You have the same interest.  That person is intriguing and sparks are always flying.  You can view his weaknesses as areas you can compliment.  Your lives fit like a puzzle.  Your love is like a glue that can’t be undone. 
Then life becomes complicated after marriage begins.  His flaws begin to magnify.  Minor blemishes become major eye sores.  It was okay when he was working a low paying job until you found a higher paying job.  It was okay when he was happy working the standard job until you decided to go back to school and advance your career.  It was okay that he didn’t go to church until you recommitted your life to Christ.  It was okay he didn’t plan vacations until your girlfriend and her family went on a family trip.   What happened?
Change happened.  Your life dreams began to give birth while your husband maintained his original course.  When a woman has a life plan that exceeds her husband she runs many risks that change the dynamics of her relationship.  She begins to look at herself differently so naturally things around her take a different shape as well.  There is nothing wrong with change, but change in marriage should accompany opportunities for growth.  When your change overachieves that of your husband, you must step back and assess the potential consequences that will follow.
By no means should any individual not want better for themselves.  We live in a big world and each person plays a significant role.  This role was founded before your creation on earth.  However, your role changes when you agree to become a wife.  Your first commitment apart from God is your husband.  In spite of what successes you accomplish, you role in your home is never greater than his.  Your marks of success are immeasurable when you have a strong home. Humble beginnings are priceless and wholesome, but it begins to run into ruins when you have a taste of the American Dream and the gratification that comes with overachieving success.
The dream is not the problem.  The problem is your level of thinking.  Your mind begins to associate your character based on prestige instead of integrity.  When values are turned inward they can create selfish desires.  All you see is what you want and you focus less on the good of the team.  Your success will only be as great as your team which is your family.  When you become frustrated with your spouse for not being on your level, you play the relationship like a game of levels.  Your mind makes comparison so your language communicates your dissatisfaction on what you think your spouse should be. 
Reality Check!
Your husband may NEVER be on your same success level.  You have a measure of faith that is different from his.  That doesn’t make you better, just different.  If your success is good for you then it should be good for the both of you. Your success is NEVER bigger than your marriage. 
Achievement should always be linked to the success of your family.  Your mind is always going to change.  The more you experience the more you gain insight and increase in vision.  Think about moving out of your parent’s home.  The immediate vision was likely to get an apartment with a friend, go to college, or join the military. 
You may have met your husband who had the same vision because the both of your experiences were limited.  So, after moving out you decide to get married.  The bills require him to work.  While he is focused on taking care of home, you start associating with different women who are going to school.  You dream of finishing your degree which them attracts interference from having a child.  His focus always remains the same:  take care of his family.  You probably begin to feel isolated and trapped in your emotions because your dreams were forced to take a detour because of family responsibilities.
You begin to take classes and pull your stride to complete your education.  Your husband’s focus remains the same; take care of his family.  His focus becomes more intense because the household has grown.  Attending school puts you in the company of achievers and experienced minds that open your mind to greater depths of life.  Your conversation with your husband is no longer parallel because the dynamics of exposure to the world has shifted. 
It is a natural tendency to feel unsupported and frustrated when conversations appear to be one way.  When someone doesn’t share in your experiences it is challenging for them to provide practical advice and guidance.  They are inclined to agree with you or just listen with a blank stare.  That doesn’t mean they care less or are uninterested, it never hurts to ask. 
You are forced to pull more weight because of the demands of your career, education, and achievements.  Who do you think God has put in place to help you bear those loads?  Probably your husband.  Although he may not be equally supportive, any help he’s giving that reduces your load is less you have to carry.  The key to winning while be successful is staying humble and know that your success is an individual achievement connected to your husband.  If he worked, watched the kids, cooked dinners, skipped date nights, dropped you off at the library, he was apart of effort to allow you to succeed.
Lord, help me to see myself as one with my husband.  Help me to find a way to allow my dreams and successes to compliment his dreams.  Help me not be impatient because I feel he isn’t where I am in my success.  Help me to draw no comparisons to his accomplishments.  Help me to be humble in my success.  Help me not to be arrogant or entitled because of the assumed privileges associated with my success.  Help me to see him as you do.  Help me to an inspiration to him and not a distraction.  Help me not to entice fears that evoke separation and admonishment.  Help my conversations with him to always be fresh and inviting.  Help me to show him appreciation for his accomplishments.  Help me not to compare him to other men as though he is flawed.  Help me to see him as perfect for me. 

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Shannon Battle, LPC, Strategy coach

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