I hear married couples say it all the time—“The two of us just can’t get on the same page” or “We’re just on different pages”. I’ve said it before, too. Many have come to accept it as a normal thing that happens in marriage. But, the longer we stay on different pages, the more our marriage suffers.
So, how do we end up on different pages in the first place?
Well, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s something that can sneak up on us unless we are intentional about our time and investment into our marriage.
First, we have to understand what it really means to be on different pages. Being on “different pages” is a way of saying that one partner is ahead of or behind the other. The two aren’t going through life at the same pace or in the same direction.
This can cause huge fights and discontentment in a marriage. Instead of feeling like we are playing for the same team, we end up feeling like opponents.
After years of working with married couples in crisis, my husband and I have noticed some common reasons why couples end up on different pages. It’s important that we understand how we got to the problem so we can find the proper solution…or avoid the pitfall altogether…before it’s too late.
Here are 4 reasons why you and your spouse aren’t on the same page:
1. Communication Issues
This is probably the biggest one. Unless we make healthy communication a daily priority, then it will start to break down. Healthy communication means we are actively talking and listening to one another and answering each other’s phone calls, texts, and messages. We silence the cell phone, close the laptop, and turn off the television and look into each others eyes while sharing what’s on our heart. When we fail to do this, we fail to really connect, and we eventually find ourselves on different pages.
2. Poor Choices
This is a hard one. In many situations, there is one spouse who continues to make poor choices, while the other tries to keep the marriage and family afloat. This causes great stress in the marriage and can tear a marriage apart. It’s important to remember that when one partner makes a poor choice, it affects both partners just the same.
Some common poor choices that people make in marriage is flirting with someone outside the marriage, drinking too much, leading an unhealthy lifestyle, lying, hiding money, having an affair, and stealing. These poor choices damage the trust and intimacy in our relationship and lead to major marriage problems.
It’s important that both spouses identify the destructive behavior(s) and get help before it becomes a full blown addiction or worse. And, it’s even more important that both the husband and the wife walk through this road to recovery TOGETHER. It’s never just “his problem” or “her problem”; in marriage, it’s always “our problem,” and we must choose to face it together in order for healing to take place.For more on this, please read, “5 Things to do When You’re in a FOR WORSE Season of Marriage,” by clicking here.
Most of us are guilty of this one from time to time. We want to be “right” more than we want to admit fault and show our flaws. As husband and wife, we must learn to embrace the latter. We aren’t in competition with our spouse. We’re partners playing for the same team. So, let’s stop this “tit-for-tat” game and humble ourselves towards God and one another.
The best way we can do this is by praying together. It doesn’t have to be fancy or lengthy. Just find a time during the day, bow your heads, and talk to God. It’s really hard to stay mad at someone and pray for them at the same time. When we pray together, God softens our hearts towards one another and helps us to lay down our pride. He helps us to see our spouse with fresh, loving eyes and to have wisdom as we work to stay on the same page.
4. Priority Problems
This is another biggie. Reader, this world tells us to choose achievement over relationships and hobbies over family time. But, this kind of thinking will tear our marriage apart and leave us feeling empty in the end.
There is nothing more important in this world than our marriage and family. Nothing. There’s no job, television show, game, hobby, food, friend, extended family member, social media forum, or accolade that should come before my spouse. So, why do we choose those those things over our spouse time after time? It’s because we have our priorities backwards. We have to fight to keep our families first, but they are worth the fight. If WE aren’t intentional about our time with our spouse, then someone or something else will take that time from us.
Dear Reader, if you and your spouse are struggling with being on the same page, please address these issues before it is too late. Everything and everyone else can wait. It’s time to get on the same page.
Also, get your copy of my husband’s BEST-SELLING book, “The Seven Laws of Love,” for some great insight and tips on how God designed love and how it is supposed to look in marriage.