The Volatile Couple
Is your marriage riding an emotional roller coaster? If so, you may be what Professor Murray calls a “volatile” couple. Volatile couples, as their label implies, are unstable, doing their marital dance on the devoted/divorce borderline. Spouses are like microwaves and flash freezers. Their emotions, whether positive or negative, instantly heat up and “boil over;” or plunge to “cold as ice” rapidly. This couple can be intensely romantic and passionate one moment and burst into loud heated animated arguments the next. These couples are trapped in a cycle of making out … making war … and keep spinning out of control lead by their emotions.
The volatile couple can go either way when it comes to divorce; but research says “Volatiles” have more unhappy moments than joyful ones. Their feelings about their marriages are also caught in a cycle. They fluctuate from “we’re doing great!” … to “we’ll be OK, if we can get through this issue” … to “we’re done … it’s over … I can’t take this anymore!”
So what can a volatile couple do?
- Understand that volatile emotions have physical and emotional root causes. You want to see a medical or counseling professional to help you get to the bottom of these out of control emotions.
- Unresolved conflicts often lead to anger issues … you want to seek help in developing your communication and conflict resolution skills.
- Stop waiting for things to get better! Don’t listen to your thoughts that we’re OK … realize that ‘hoping for change’ is not an effective strategy for dealing with your problems. Set a plan of action.
- Start this process alone if necessary. When you can change your behaviors and develop some new attitudes and skills, you are on your way to improving your marriage!
- Emotions are not bad … they are a gift from God, but they do reveal what is in your heart. (Luke 6:4) The good person, out of the good treasure of his heart, produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
- Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you control your emotions. God wants you to experience His fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
The bottom line for these spouses is not to follow their hearts … but to lead their hearts. Proverbs 4:23 tells us: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it!”