There’s been a lot of talk about marriage recently on Mornings with Carmen. Chip Ingram talked about principles for marriage, Tim Muehlhoff talked about defending your marriage, and Chris Coursey talked about the habits of a joy-filled marriage.

But what about a marriage that is already on the rocks? Is there a way to divorce proof my marriage and, is there a way to radically reorient my marriage if we’ve reached a place where there’s talk of giving up?

Dr. Linda Mintle says yes!

For couples who have committed to love and to cherish one another through good times and bad, the very idea that the relationship could devolve to the point of contempt seems unimaginable. And yet, contempt is exactly the state of many relationships today. Political adversaries hold one another in contempt and so too do some couples.

Good, healthy relationships are characterized by at least a 5 to 1 positive to negative ratio of communication. Contemptuous relationships are characterized by nearly constant negativity and conflict. Mocking, eye-rolling, defensive body language, disrespect, devaluing comments. You’ve seen it and you may have experienced it – you may even be in a relationship right now where you are holding someone else in contempt! If it’s your marriage then stop right now and recognize the very deadly nature of contempt.

Counselors tell us that contempt destroys relationships because contempt kills. That’s right. When Jesus likens getting angry or calling someone a fool to murder, He’s bearing witness to the power of contempt in relationships. So how do we turn things around before the seeds of contempt take root and begin to grow?

You have to shift the relationship into a different mode – recover the love, listen, value the other and stay positive. You can rebuild an atmosphere of appreciation and respect but it’s not easy!

To learn more, listen to Carmen’s conversation with Dr. Linda Mintle.

Contempt can destroy a marriage - Dr. Linda Mintle

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