Having finished the 31 Series on Authentic Manhood, I picked up my copy of Every Man’s Marriage by Fred Stoeker and Stephen Arterburn. If I want to be truly honest with you reader, I am a little trepidacious about inviting you to pick apart my marriage under the lens of searching for authentic manhood. At the same time, I think that we grow best through exposure to truth & transparency. With that in mind, I finished the first section of Every Man’s Marriage.
When Love Grows Cold
Fred Stoeker laid it all out on the line in the first section (When Love Grows Cold) with a refreshingly honest dissection of the mistakes he made in his own marriage that lead his wife to admit that her love for him had died. I had mixed reactions of both fear and relief.
My biggest fear would to hear Amanda say those same things to me. And yet at the same time, this was all too close to reality in the early stages of our now going on 13 years of marriage. We were both very young, immature, and had a child on our first anniversary. My fight or flight response was to immaturely bury myself in video games as a form of escapism, that drove my wife further and further away. Things have changed drastically since those first couple of years! But nevertheless, you could say that our love had grown cold in those early years.
The Take Away
I identified with Fred on two levels: it was rough & it was worth it. Fred outlined some rookie mistakes that lead him to unintentionally trample his wife. Yet, he stands now with a strong marriage because he resolved to push through the infancy into maturity as an equal with his wife. While those dark days are long gone in my own marriage, there are times when my temper gets the best of me. Does my wife feel trampled? Does Amanda ever feel like I would choose someone else’s side over hers?
So I left the chapter with an acute sense of my own actions and how they affect my family. I And while this was written with marriage in mind, the core truths serve Christianity as a whole asking disciples to be mindful of their own relationships (friends, family, significant others, etc.).
How about you? Ever experienced “love gone cold”? What did you learn from the process?