A Different Kind of Vacation


Does your marriage need a vacation from a particular issue? Is it time to stop discussing—or fighting—over something and lay it down for a while?

I recently read a blog post from Ted Lowe, a speaker, blogger, and the founder of MarriedPeople. Sometimes married couples argue over and over about the same things. Does this describe your relationship?  I pray you’ll be encouraged today as I share an excerpt from Ted’s message with you.

So many married couples get stuck on a particular issue. They have the same fight over and over about finances, parenting, in-laws, sex, or a million other things. When this happens, it’s not long before the issue becomes more important than the relationship. When a wife looks at her husband, she sees the issue. When a husband hears his wife speak, he hears the issue. And, when they think about each other, they think about the issue.

Because both mates may feel passionately about their point of conflict, they may believe they can’t move forward in their relationship until the issue is resolved. This may be the true, such as is the case with infidelity. But I have discovered that most of the time it’s helpful for couples to just take a vacation from their issues.

Two Vacations in One

Some dear friends of ours were stuck on the issue of whether they should move to a bigger house or stay in their current home. This caused great tension in their marriage. They were at our house the night before they were scheduled to leave and they were afraid they were going to fight the entire trip.

So I encouraged them to take a vacation from talking about moving or staying while on vacation. They were surprised by my suggestion. After all, aren't couples supposed to immediately resolve problems? Shouldn't they really work to figure it out? Shouldn't they see a counselor to help them fix it? Sometimes, yes. But other times, it’s best to just take a vacation from the issue.

When our friends returned, they said they really enjoyed being together. They also realized that they needed a vacation from their issue and the tension that it brought with it. Since then, they decided to stay in their current home, because no home is more important than their relationship. But they needed a break from their problem to see it more clearly and to make their marriage the priority again.

A Very Good Reason for a Vacation

Rather than taking a vacation from their issue, our friends could have gone on their trip and done exactly as they feared. They could have fought the entire time. Galatians 5:15 is a good reminder that sometimes a vacation from an issue is the best thing for couples when the tension is high. “If you go on hurting each other and tearing each other apart, be careful, or you will completely destroy each other.”

Wouldn't a better solution be to take a time out?

A Reminder for People Who Would Like to Take a Permanent Vacation from Their Issues

Sometimes taking a vacation from an issue can feel threatening to spouses who process verbally.  If you are married to a verbal processor, and you suggest taking a vacation from the issues, make sure you reassure her/him that you care about what she/he thinks and feels, and you will definitely revisit the issue later. You can even agree on a particular time that you will talk about the problem again.

Does your marriage need a vacation from a particular issue? Is it time to stop discussing—or fighting—over something and lay it down for a while? You don’t actually have to go on vacation to take a vacation from your problems. You can stay home. And it just might be the best trip you take all year.

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