Characteristics of a Distressed Marriage (4)

5. Values-Confused Marriage

This kind of marriage is a marriage where strongly held values are in conflict by the spouses. Examples of these values are:

  • Religious Beliefs: “We should attend church every Sunday.” Vs. “Church attendance is not important.”
  • Parenting Responsibilities: “Children should be taught to obey.” Vs. “Children should be given total freedom.”
  • Marital Commitments: “Adultery is unforgivable.” Vs. “An affair could be healthy for a marriage.”
  • Drinking Convictions: “We will not have alcohol in our home.” Vs. “There is nothing wrong with social drinking.”
  • Friendship Choices: “Your friends are a bad influence on us.” Vs. “These have always been my friends, and I like them.”
  • Moral Principles: “Abortion is always wrong because it is murder.” Vs. “Abortion is okay and should be the mother’s choice.”

The Values-Confused Marriage is a mixture of opposing values and beliefs and has the potential for tension, criticism and power struggles. When basic values are in conflict, the partners have great difficulty developing oneness in the mind, will and emotions. God’s design for the married couple is that they be like-minded, having the same desires and purposes. “Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” (Philippians 2:2)