Marriage and Family

Childproofing our Marriage, Part 1

Catchy title, don’t you think? Well, actually, it’s a book I am currently reading, and the author is Dr. Debbie Cherry. She has given me some practical insights into the issues that create problems for a marriage, and she also describes the solutions that can help save a marriage.

Right now I am saddened by all the trashy news about marriages failing, especially in the recent tabloids surrounding the famous Gosselin family. I believe that it is heart breaking to hear the fateful words of the mom who believes that her children are more important than her relationship to her spouse.

Although I may seem out of place for commenting on the above, I have learned (and still learning) that a marriage will not survive if the relationship is based on putting the children first. A child-centered marriage is upside down, but our culture has deemed it the way to success. Focus on the kids, pay attention to the needs of the kids, let the kids decide… Of course, I need to focus on my kids, but if I put too much emphasis on them, and I neglect to focus on my spouse (who was there BEFORE the children arrived), then my marriage is nothing more than a job-sharing process.

So, where does the childproofing begin? In chapter one, Dr. Cherry says that it begins with my childhood foundation. UGH, did she have to bring this up? Yes! If I fail to see where I have come from, and fail to understand the values and experiences I have received from my upbringing, there will be many conflicts that will arise in the marriage. She points out (1) understanding your family tree, (2) looking at the past in a rear-view-mirrored-size view, (3) identifying the different color of glasses you view your life (rose, dark, or clear), (4) accepting that there’s no excuse for the good or bad past times, and (5) be determined to create a healthier future for the next generation.
Dr. Cherry’s words have been an immense support to my life. I am learning on how to recognize my shortcomings, to change my focus on the current status of my family, and to help improve the path toward the future.

Cherry, D. (2004). Childproofing Your Marriage: Keeping Your Marriage a Priority During the Parenting Years. Cook Communications. Orange: Yates & Yates.

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