Obstacles to a Happy Marriage

Instead of marriage being a blessing it can all too easily become a curse. Discover the obstacles men face on their way to discovering a peaceful and happy marriage and how to overcome them.




All right guys. Hey, welcome to ManTalk. My name is Vince Miller were good.

Thanks so much, man. Talk is exactly what it sounds like. Talking, talking. Got It. We dive into some really relevant and gritty topics that a lot of times are set to the side because of business fear or other obstacles, so we're happy that you're with us today. We're excited to be jumping into a series on marriage and family. A special thanks to counseling care as our sponsors. Vince, we got some sponsors and yeah,

yeah, no, this is getting exciting. Marcus Bachmann was so generous to sponsor us for a month here for episodes. Great stuff.

Their teams great to like. It's going to be I think throughout this entire series. We're gonna. It's gonna be a great resource. Marcus has some sound bites and little things for us to be able to bring some insights to the table on, so I'm excited. Yeah, they got great counselors over there too, so be resolute. Dot Org slash family. If any, any time throughout this series. You need some resources. We got some great stuff from Vince on there. Some great stuff from Marcus and his team, so be resolute.org/family. Yeah. You ready to dive in? And I am man. Sweet man. So we're here obviously founder, Vince Miller. I'm going to pick his brain today. We're going to dive deep into marriage. It was like I got an intro question for you. I want to know the story. So either first sight or first fight. So okay. First Time you laid eyes on your wife and it was sparks and fireworks, whatever it is, or first fight and the first time their barks. But that's because a frying pan

flying over your head. What if they were both the same moment? It was the first site and the first fight. So that's how we met actually. So I was speaking at a chapel service in college and I was putting stuff in the seats before I was about to speak and no kidding. My wife came in and saw me or not then wife, but my girl, you know from South Dakota came in and she says, why are you doing that? Why don't you just hand them out at the door. And I was like, who are you, you stupid freshman. And I thought to myself, man, she's cute at the same time. So no joke. That's how we met. And uh, man, it's been blessed ever since she's been doing that ever since. Oh, that's so good. Actually, that's metaphorical little. Okay, good. Good, good.

Aw Man. No, I think that's so good. It's funny, the first time I ever met my wife. So same thing. We're in college, we're transitioning. I was part of a residence life staff or this freshman dorm. She was part of the new staff coming in and we did this thing where guys would kidnap the guys for the next round of resident assistants. The girls would kidnap the girls and we'd get them out of bed. Four am in the morning and take them to Perkins, Kinda show them the ropes and stuff. So literally my first sight of my wife is 4:00 AM. Her getting out of bed, no makeup, hair all over the place. It was a thing of beauty, man. Just a raw, unfiltered, a woman. It was amazing. Those are great. And you still fell in love? Yeah, we didn't get in a fight. They're either the first fight that, that was over ping pong, cover that later. Um, I think that's so good though. And I asked that question for a specific reason because I think so much

bridge is the site, so it's setting a vision and the other side is conflict resolution. That fighting aspect of it. So much of, at least my marriage life comes down to what's the vision for our family. Um, and how are we resolving conflict throughout that journey together. So I wanna I wanna kind of start on this side of things because I think we'll spend a lot of time talking about the conflict resolution, the different obstacles that come in into a happy marriage. But give me your perspective on the vision of marriage. What's the purpose of marriage, whether it's going back to the creation story, Adam, Adam, and eve, but set a context for our guys on a vision or a purpose for marriage. I think marriage is very important. It's a reflection of the image of God. Of course, there's oneness, right? That coming together and I think that represents God and some beautiful ways.

I think when we find one or when we engage in that covenant and commitment of marriage, we are experiencing a little piece of heaven. In fact, Jesus shared some profound illustrations in the New Testament about our entry into heaven and he described it as a marriage. That's how he described it. He said that there's going to be this coming together of husbandry and wife, right in a moment where we are committed to one another and there's going to be this procession into heaven. When we finally come to oneness with our bride, who is Christ. I just. I think the beauty of that imagery is very important and we take it for granted sometimes. So yeah, that, that oneness, that connection aspect of marriage. Yeah. It's just so huge. I was talking to my wife recently, she's gonna be speaking at for a bunch of moms this Wednesday and she's talking about the aspect or the, you know, the piece of being seen and seen mothers and there's nothing like a marriage that does that.

There's no other relationship that has that aspect of you see me, you know me, all the good and all the bad, but there's that commitment. Just that foundation of trust and commitment behind the entire thing that I think is so huge, but the creating connection piece, I mean that's one of the biggest obstacles, don't you think? No, I think that that's probably the greatest obstacle I think for men on their side of marriage is understanding how to emotionally connect with their wife. I think it's because we get so busy in our day, there are so many things going on that we go out and we do things and then we come home and then failed to deeply emotionally connect and I think guys run into that all the time and then struggle to find that emotional connection between them and their wife and their wife with them and I think we both want the same things.

We're just unsure of how to build that oneness right inside of this commitment or covenant of marriage which we make for a lifetime. We struggled to figure out how to do that together because there's not really just a very simple process for each person on how those worlds conjoined, right? How they come together. Everybody is wired a little bit differently, comes from different family systems, learns to do things in different ways, and these two worlds can come together and that oneness often is hard and so hard. Sometimes men don't do the hard work of actually engaging in that emotional one though.

Yeah, well, it's almost like when you come together, husband and wife, you got two different languages. You, you, you're talking about how you're coming from these backgrounds, families, schools, whatever it is you. You've led this up until this point, a life that has been built around a certain language, a certain primary language. Then all sudden you're coming in, you're learning to speak that other language and sometimes you're having to translate. Sometimes you're having to speak a little more clearly, a little more precisely and everything like that, but that's the whole process of, of connection and this journey together of making a connection and as you said, that's. That's one of the goals that Jesus has for us, not just in marriage, but throughout our life. He wants us to experience oneness as the body.

He does, and you know, there's this book that was written I think a couple of decades ago now called men are from Mars. Women are from Venus, which I think is a good way to kind of explain that were very different creatures, right? We have different ways of thinking about things. We have different ways of communicating and we struggle to find a common language and women communicate very differently than men do. And uh, although we can go into a lot of differences there, I think the challenge is finding mutual ways that we can truly emotionally connect to not evade the emotional connection. And guys, I think more often than not are a struggle in marriage just simply because they don't, they're not in touch with their own feelings to be quite honest. I think this is predominantly a male issue, and I'm not saying all of the marriages, but I think this is the male side of marriage, is that we fail to develop healthy emotional connections with our spouse, nor are we in touch with our emotions because we're actually scared of them.

We think that it's not masculine to get in touch with our emotions. When I would say that's probably the most masculine thing we could ever do, is to really get in touch with them and understand how to lead them and guide them and find a way to mutually share with our wife, my wife. When we come home. We have to remember when you go to work every day, we're conquering it there. We understand it. We get to move things around, manipulate things, work on processes, and they're very. They can be very nonemotional at times, but then when you come home you got to do this hard work and like trying to figure out where is my wife at right now? What are my kids do it? How do I emotionally connect to them? We what we want to do is unplug. We use that language, that is the wrong language to use at that moment.

We are now in the most caring environment we could ever be in. We got a plugin is what we gotta do and kind of understand what's going on in our hearts and like uncover it and get comfortable with it and yeah, guys, it's okay to cry once in a while, right? It's okay to be confused and we hate to say that. We love to laugh and poke fun and gesture, but there's other work that we've got to do. We've got to figure out how to emotionally care with the people that God has put us within our life and that means that we've got to get in touch with ourselves and so when we're frustrated, we say we're frustrated. When we're angry, we say we're angry, we're sad. We say we're sad and we get in touch with those feelings and find a way to create mutual connection. And when our wife is sad or angry or frustrated, we figured out ways to connect with her and that's what builds oneness, I believe in May. Right.

Well, that's so good. I think about, I was sitting with a group of guys recently and we were talking about that dynamic between like your work life and your family life, right? And so much of family life, so much of marriage seems like it's long term investments that in a lot of ways they don't. You're not recognized or rewarded for it right away. Whereas you go to work and you can see how hey, if I spend an extra five to 10 hours in the office this week are doing this, I'm going to see tangible results quickly. But so much of that same, uh, that same principle, that same focus applied to marriage or family is really about a long term investment. And I love how you said, um, and I think we're going to get to the, what does the Bible say about this? Because that's really what Marcus says. Marcus Bachmann from counseling care says a lack of biblical knowledge about marriage leads to difficulty. God's word instructs both husbands and wives about how to best love each other. It's learning that language and expressing that maybe in a way that we're not used to. So getting in touch with our emotions for the purpose of connection. What do you see in God's word specifically directed towards guys that call that out of us, that instructs us how to build, connect?

Well, you know, I think there's, there's probably crushed some Christian guys listening to this podcast, and of course they were drawn to Jesus the bride because they were allowed the freedom to deeply emotionally connect with him in a moment that they needed like forgiveness or grace or love or mercy, right? We probably all who are Christians can't connect to that moment that we discovered the grace of Jesus Christ in spite of our sin. That emotional connection is so powerful. It now you probably find a moment or reflect on a relationship that was impactful to you that led you to that what we call a, a, a, um, a decision for Christ. But it was a deep emotional, spiritual connection that is us connecting to the bride of Christ. But we're also trying to connect with our bride, right? And I would say the Bible teaches us that we need that connection and that oneness that we have with Christ should also be modeled in our marriage.

It is. It is part of our image that in oneness we together are becoming a unique representation of Christ together and we've got to work that stuff out. If we avoid doing this work, if we avoid doing this work to people will drift apart gradually. If we're never sharing emotionally and we're never connecting on an emotional level, if we're always just connecting on our opinions or on facts and never taking the dialogue deeper into the things that we feel and experience, we're not really creating a deep connection, and that's really what we're looking and longing for. When Marcus Bachmann says, Hey, we're, we're looking for that biblical connection. That's what he's talking about. If you go back to kind of the early understanding of some Hebrew words and context around marriage, one of them is the word to know, right? To know, so go back to the beginning of the Bible.

Adam knew Eve, okay? We all know what that word know means that it means that we're having some sex man. That's what I'm being, are having sex, but it isn't just about sex. The Hebrew word for to know meant this holistic knowing. It meant knowing spiritually, knowing physically. Yes. Knowing emotionally, knowing intellectually. It was a whole knowing. So for Hebrews, the word to know isn't just exclusively about one thing. Sachs guys, it's about a holistic knowing. It's about completely knowing someone and I think that's what we're after biblically. So Marcus is right. The Bible has something to say about knowing our spouse and more than just a physical sense in a complete sentence. Does that help a little bit? Yeah, absolutely. It's not easy though.

No, I wish it was easy because we think it's only a physical connection, right? That's what we want to know. I never even considered that. Yes, you have. We all have and that's. That's what's wrong. My kids, my poor kids beg, they say otherwise. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. That's so good though, but

now there's that. There's the philosophy. The approach there is to know how do I do that? How do I start? I mean it's, it's a lot emotionally, spiritually, physically, intellectually, all these different places. When I go home today, how do I start it for, for all our guys out there to. Where do we in building a connection? Yeah, so I think one of the places where we can start building a connection is growing, aware ourselves of our own emotions. I think guys tend to cat, we tend to have one category of emotion and it's like anger, but anger is just a mask for all kinds of other feelings. We've got to get in touch with our own emotions and as I said, this is a very masculine thing. It is very non-masculine for us. Never to get in touch with our emotions seriously. We need to be in touch with our emotions.

Uh, you know, Daniel Goldman talked about emotional quotient or Eeq, he called it and him kind of popular, well, never heard of it. Whatever my wife would say. Exactly. You know, we all read this book, read this. It's on emotional intelligence. And really what Daniel Goldman did was genius. He basically popularizes the idea for men to get in touch with their emotions and not just men leaders, right? He took, he took this specific location out of emotions and made it a leadership muscle and all of a sudden he pulled everybody and really he's right about a lot of those things that, that it all begins with. Just kind of have this awareness of your emotions and you're not a one emotion person, right? Anger isn't your only emotion. You have to dig deeper than that and under an uncover when you are, you're sad and you feel lonely and you might be tired or you might be slightly depressed or you're frustrated or whatever you want to name those emotions.

There's basic categories of emotions. I'm sure Marcus has better categories and I just mentioned, right? And you can go to counseling here for help for sure, but we should get in touch with those things and that's why men go to counselors, not just because we have problems, but because we want to get in touch with ourself. Right? So I think it begins with becoming aware that we have emotions. I think secondly, we've got to like name and identify them. I think that's super important. We should sit back name and identify what those emotions are. I think another great step would be to like track one emotion for an entire day, like just watch it if you're feeling like sad at the beginning of the date or track that emotion and try to figure out where it's coming from or even trace it back to responses you've had in your past.

I think that's very valid for a lot of men. We have one emotion only because we have only been taught to have one emotion and why were we taught that? Is it right to only experience one or should we experience an array of them and enjoy them? I think another thing we can do is sit down with our spouse and actually talk about them. What? Yeah, exactly right. Like do something we've never done before and say, you know what? I don't feel great today and I don't know why I feel maybe a little confused or sad or I feel a miss for direction or purpose or I'm. I'm just angry and frustrated with life today. That is a great thing for your marriage because it brings your wife in on your emotional journey. Right, and I think these are all steps we can take. Becoming aware name and identify track emotions, right? Talk about them with your spouse, man. Imagine what would happen if just once a week you as a man shared one emotion you're having with your wife. Your dialogue would go from fact and opinion actually down here, deep to like things that actually matter, like how I'm feeling and watch your relationship grow together and watched the sex go up. I mean

it's not one if you weren't taking notes, you are now, right? Like, watch their emotions more sex maybe. Yeah, maybe. Sometimes that is true. Sometimes it drives women away. It's like too much, like good. Who is this guy? He's all messed up but you know, I would say, you

know, it's definitely gonna help the process because remember we're just not a one category Kinda Guy, right? To know doesn't just mean physical connection. We're talking about the emotional connection and I think if we can figure out how to better emotionally connect to our wife, we'll figure out how to better emotionally connect to all kinds of things like our career, people at work, neighbors, family, etc. Etc. I think that's so good. I can already picture in my mind and see how good my wife is at doing that at saying I'm feeling this and then just starting to unpack it. I mean she's. She's great at It. I struggle at it and I think it's so. It would be so easy to just say, guys, get in touch with your emotions, but I think what you did in terms of identifying it, label it, track it. I mean I think that's a huge part of the challenge.

I think that's something that we can all take away today this week and it's something that all our guys can take with us. So, guys, I think that's really the challenge is getting in touch with your emotions, but do it in a very specific way. The same way you track goals and progress In any other place of your life. Get in touch with your emotions and start to track the items where they're going, where they're resting, where they're sitting. I mean, where you're not finding and understanding your emotions. I think that's so, so good. And like you said, that leads to connection, right? There are so many guys always and you know, I'm not great at this either. You know, I didn't have great examples growing up. I didn't witness healthy marriages, you know, my mom was married, divorced multiple times and, and because of that I never witnessed what it looked like to in a, in a healthy emotional way.

Connects the connection there. So we all have to learn it, you know, and my wife will tell you, I'm still struggling with it, but I'm getting better step by step and we can just take steps in that direction here. I haven't been married 22 years and I'm still learning how to emotionally connect for years. I just gave her the Heisman. Right? Thinking that was the right thing to do. It's none of your business. Stay out. I'm scared to share with you. I don't want to this. Yeah. I don't want to burden you, we, we give them the Heisman on these issues and we and we shouldn't, we shouldn't, they want to draw closer to us and I have found the closer we draw together, the more benefits there are not just physically for a marriage, but just for our oneness and what it looks like to be married to that bride of Christ. Yeah.

So good. Well thanks so much bands. I think that's good insights guys. That's really our challenge for this week is you know, not only for our entire marriage, how do we create connection, but I think really for this week, step in and start to own some of those emotions, you know, not just getting in touch with your emotions, but growing your marriage, eeq, growing your relational you with your wife man, still thankful for just some of the resources that counseling care brought to us. Again, for any resources that you guys need to help you along this journey of doing that, go to be resolute.org/famIly. So guys, thanks for joining us on man's sock. Go out and get connected. Get in touch with your emotions today. Grow your sounds weird, saying it that way. Don't get in touch with your emotions to yourself some time now, but grow your emotional intelligence within your relationships. Guys, thanks for jumping in for another episode of montauk. We'll see you next time. Yeah.