What Healthy Couples Need to Know About Destructive Marriages

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Destructive marriages – what do healthy couples need to know?

“Please don’t forget about us.” “Healthy marriages exist too.” “I love your content but I’m wondering if that’s all you’ll be talking about.” “I hope you’ll also have content for us folks in healthy marriages too.”

I get it. I really do.

We follow certain people online because their content speaks to us. We connect with them because they are speaking to our life and season.

Destructive marriages - image of couple

And it’s okay to leave if a person no longer meets our needs. I’m not against anyone unsubscribing or unfollowing me because I am no longer speaking to their relationship right now. Read this blog post for context: Why I’ve Deleted My Books, Courses, and Over 200 Blog Posts

But before we leave, I’m wondering if perhaps we need to pause and ask ourselves if we’re closing a door too early? Maybe it’s time to explore the type of information we continually immerse ourselves in?

Destructive Marriages: Awareness

As someone in an overall healthy marriage, some of the best education I have received on destructive marriages has been through people who’ve been been through the pits of a destructive marriage.

Some of the best instruction I have received about being a safe person for the wounded has been through resources that equip and educate me in areas I lack personal experience.

Some of the best education I have received on unhealthy teachings about marriage has been through people who’ve researched why specific messages harm.

While learning how to work through problems as a healthy couple has been incredibly helpful for me and my husband, that type of education is limited to one kind of marriage.

Yes, we will know “abuse is wrong.” But it’s a mental assent: not that deeper clarity that translates to more profound clarity and nuance, empathy and safety for the person in need.

Healthy couples carrying this shallow mental assent (if indeed they have any awareness at all) can become a messy bump for those around them experiencing chronic unrepentant marriage issues. (Marital abuse is more common than we think.)

Because honestly, you can only give from what you have. If all you know is how to work through normal marriage issues, most issues around you will seem like normal marriage issues, even when they are not.

When we, in healthy marriages, prefer to only embrace material intended for healthy marriages only, we are unwittingly choosing to be unsafe for people in destructive marriages. Hard consideration, I know.

And further, we’re skipping on vital education for our own marriages because learning about destructive dynamics also tends to grow us up too.

Exclusively reading healthy marriage stuff is actually choosing to stay in “healthy marriage silo.”

Completely isolated from the reality of those around us.

(1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men experience sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime with impact such as being concerned for their safety, PTSD symptoms, injury, or needing victim service (USA)” Source: The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)

The Healthy Marriage Silo

Again, this post isn’t about living my content. I really hope you see that.

It’s about how we, the body of Christ, have separations. How we’re hesitant (or ill-equipped) to care for the wounded, to pursue truth AND justice, to rebuke the rebellious and proud, and to hold accountable those who want the benefits of community and fellowship without the responsibilities.

And so our desire to only consume content that speaks to our mostly-healthy life while we’re surrounded by (and continually being called upon to speak to) people living in chronically problematic experiences…is, well, unhealthy.

I’m not suggesting you consume voracious amounts of new information. You don’t have to follow tons of advocacy pages. But follow one. (Examples: Sarah McDugal, Patrick Weaver Ministries, Heather Elizabeth.)

You don’t have to read all the books about problematic Christian teachings. Just read one (Examples, books by Sheila Gregoire, Natalie Hoffman, Leslie Vernick.)

You don’t have to IMMERSE yourself, just dip a toe.

What healthy couples need to know about destructive marriages

In Defense of Marriage?

You see, church, we are already connected.

We’re not trying to be connected; we’re already connected as the body of Christ, if we indeed love Him. We’re all part of a community, and we need to care for one another the way we’re meant to.

See, we’re actually discipled to love marriage so much. Perhaps, we can see abusive and chronically problematic individuals for who they are – attackers of the marriage institution we love.

We can rise up to defend those who have been harmed by the institution we love and hold the harmers accountable.

Remind everyone that abuse, serial infidelity, unrepentant sin, criminal behavior, deserting your marriage covenant IS NOT the way of Christ.

And we won’t stand by idle as the name of Christ is slandered. It’s a pretty good defense of marriage, I think.

Love what you just read? Then you will enjoy my free eBook, 16 Things You Won’t Find in a Healthy Marriage. Click here to grab your copy.

One Comment

  1. Ngina, I love your content, it has helped me tremendously! For us, that are in a marriage that might seem “perfect “ to some, is not always so perfect. I have learned from your content that there is a chance to trust again, forgive, even just hang on i there, it is only a season! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and God lead wisdom and encouragement.

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