There are some facts of nature that never cease to astound me. For instance, did you know that before it snows, fir trees in northern regions actually retract their branches so that the weight of the snow they'll have to bear will be reduced? This withdrawal response is programmed into every branch, even in those smaller than a little finger. The Creator has enabled the tree to anticipate the problem before it occurs, thereby reducing the risks that might accompany a snowy winter.
Perhaps we can do something similar within our own marriages. You will not be able to avoid problems and crises in marriage, but you can anticipate them and prepare for their arrival. Most of the stress points in families are common to others and are therefore predictable.
One of my good friends spent a considerable amount of time with his wife preparing for the moment when their grown kids would move out of the house. They talked often about the empty nest and discussed ways their friends had coped with it. They read books about that phase of life and applied what they had heard to themselves. As a result, their transition to the empty nest was smooth and uneventful.
Into every marriage, a little snow will fall. Blizzards will blow, and storms will howl. But an effort to anticipate these difficult times will help you and your mate stand up under the weight of the winter storm.
Home With a Heart
By Dr. James Dobson