We recently had the wonderful family cruise, in the Eastern Caribbean.  There’s really nothing quite like spending quality time (with no electronics) with people you love.  But there was one experience that caught me off guard and may have been one of my most important (enlightening) experiences on the trip.


The last night of the cruise, Mike and I had laid down to go to sleep, bags packed, next day clothes and toothbrushes ready for early morning departure.  I was reading a bit before turning off the light and kept hearing this strange noise.  I couldn’t identify it AND it just kept happening.  There wasn’t really any rhythm to it or a sound that made it distinctive, and I couldn’t let it go.  I was intrigued enough to get up and go look out the window.

I was surprised to find a huge thunderstorm brewing right outside the window.  What was more shocking was that the water was wonderfully calm and not effected by the storm at all.  I opened the curtains more to see explosions of lightning in the clouds that revealed the overwhelming size of the storm.  There wasn’t any wind or rain hitting the ship.  It was as if I was sitting in an IMAX theater watching “Thunderstorm 3D” and yet, I was experiencing every sense that storm had to offer.  The brightness of the lightning bolts, the dampness of the impending rain and the rolling pound of the thunder.

Are you hearing strange noises from your spouse?  Are they keeping to themselves instead of sharing heir thoughts and feelings?  Maybe it’s time ask them about it.


All the sudden there were searing flashes of lightning bolts like none I’ve ever experienced.  They were so sharp and quick, like swords slashing through the storm.  And the intensity of the light from them felt like it was searing my retina to the back of my eyeball.  Glancing at the sun, kind of brightness that you can still see after closing your eyes.  I wondered why each of the lightning bolts seemed so intense and consuming.  Could it be that without any filter of trees, buildings and pollution that this is what lightning really looks like?

It was at this point that I had to reach out for confirmation of what I was experiencing.  I woke Mike up from a semi-conscious state and insisted that he come experience this incredible theater that the creator of the universe had put together.  We stood and watch this panoramic view for some time before finally retreating to bed.

You might be wondering how this relates to marriage?  Is our relationship like a thunderstorm?  Is my spouse going to throw lightning bolts at me like The Flash?  Good questions, and guess what, I don’t know the answer.  However, I wonder if you find it surprising, when you look up and there’s as huge relationship thunderstorm brewing right outside your window?

Did you hear rumbling in the distance?  You know you’ve been hearing some things from your spouse, that didn’t seem quite right. But you choose to ignore them and just keep living life, filtering the dissension with busyness, the kids or other priorities.  Don’t ask any questions and maybe it’ll just blow over, right?


However, what we continue to see over and over, is couples who keep hoping that the irritation, preference or argument will eventually just go away, are disappointed.  And the reason is because so much of our relationship unrest isn’t fixable.  We can figure out how to make it work within the relationship but some of it isn’t ever going to be “resolved”.  So, we must all become master compromisers.

One of the leading marriage researchers in the world has scientific proof that most marriage disagreements will never be solved.  So, learning to hear and know one another is crucial in accomplishing great marriage.


I’m pretty sure, no one ever told you marriage was going to be easy.  Of course, you may have never had great marriage modeled for you either.  No matter what the situation, our best advice is SEEK HELP EARLIER THAT LATER.  Don’t wait until there’s a full-blown storm raging right outside your window with tree limbs whipping and power lines sparking.  Find help now or encourage your friends whose marriage is in the middle of a storm, to seek help now.  This will serve in you better in several ways.


  • You can stop hurting one another sooner and have less damage to repair
  • Learning new ways of communicating and compromising can lead to win-win for both people
  • Utilize resources you have available through your church or other mentor couples
  • Call a professional counselor 
  • If you have severe damage in your marriage, then it’s smart to meet with someone trained.  Someone who has the skill, talent and tools to help you get your marriage back on track.

Make an appointment with Mike Dawson, LPC (licensed professional counselor) Fully Living Counseling and Flower Mound Counseling.