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Who's influencing your marriage?

Updated on April 17, 2012

We once did a class in which we were conveying the message of how external influence has potential to shape and mold your direction. Not only what you do, but also how you do it.

We had with us a Ziploc bag, one large, juicy orange, and a very potent smelling onion.

We took the perfectly ripe, delicious orange and sliced it in half. We let everyone take in the very comforting aroma of the orange. It actually made people thirsty.

We then took the onion, chopped it up, and put it in the Ziploc bag with the orange. We put the bag aside to continue our lesson. We waited until after our lesson to have everyone take in a breath of the contents of the bag. If you were there, you could tell without guessing simply by the cringes on everyone’s face, that the overwhelming aroma was not that of the juicy, refreshing orange; rather it was the stink of the onion.

Influence - It's both good and bad

Influence is neutral. It’s what is influencing you that we should always question: whether negative or positive. It is what it is. The main question would be as the old adage asks, "Who's influencing who?"

A mother took her young son shopping. After a day in the stores, a clerk handed the little boy a lollipop. "What do you say?" the mother said to the boy, to which he replied, "Charge it!" (Courier-Journal Sunday Magazine.)

They say, “Birds of a feather flock together.” And while many couples do not even realize it, but as they continue relationships outside of their marriage - even positive ones - they continue to risk compromising their "main" friendship over a period of time.

Is it bad to have friends outside of your marriage? Absolutely not. But it is vital to be aware of the "power of influence."

The power of influence.

While both men and women have this innate potential to be influenced in a negative manner, statistics side more on women than men to have this as a potential threat within a marriage. Why? Simple. Because women are much more “attached” to others than men. In essence, men are much more self reliant then women. Even the women that claim to be “independent” are not. They are simply “dependent” on other sources, but women in general are made by God to have a much deeper, stronger connectivity to people and emotions than men.

This is obviously a good thing, because they can empathize much quicker than men, and so much more. However, it is needful to take note, that not only the enemy knows the weakness, but our own conscience can sometimes fight against what is right. And because of the propensity of strong connection, women are at a much greater risk of being influenced by another, whether male or female. Again, this can be a good thing because if there is a mentor, a teacher, or another who is experienced, they can help much quicker. But unfortunately, it’s usually the nosy neighbor, rowdy ruckus, or meddling moody that likes to peep their heads in another’s marriage.

And if we’re not careful, both husbands and wives can allow the untrained, unprofessional advice and direction of someone who does not have in their best interest the success of your marriage.

Children who see physical violence between their parents are six times more likely to abuse their own spouses after they marry. If those children were also hit by their parents as teenagers, they are 12 times more likely to abuse their spouses.

Homemade, November, 1985.

Married with single friends

If a married couple has external friends that are single, it is only a matter of time before one or both in that marriage will begin a behavioral pattern change. Their focus, desires and thoughts will bend towards the way that a single person thinks and acts. If that couple is not careful and does not change that direction in a timely manner, they will most likely end up in a divorce court.

It’s simple, as Dwight D. Eisenhower once wrote, “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence…”

Guard and protect your marriage

It takes forcible knowledge and power to “guard” against external influences. You must make conscious efforts to block and ward off things that you know are harmful to your relationship. This could come from friends, family, organizations, activities, etc. But in any case, you must take proactive measures to keep your marriage and relationships safe.


Remember, be careful who’s influencing you. Instead… YOU be the positive influence on others!

Marital Influence Poll

Has external influences affected your marriage?

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    • marriagefortoday profile image

      marriagefortoday 6 years ago from Delaware

      Hello, Glassvisage. We were actually relating the statistic that both men and women need to depend on their spouse. But, statistically speaking, women tend to allow external influences, while men are more internal. These are basic, across the board statistics known for quite a while. Men generally tend to internalize problems, whereas women generally tend to verbalize their problems. This is not really anything new, but our main direction is that we must ALL (both husbands and wives) be carefully exactly "who and what" we allow to be our influences in our marriage. Whether family, friends, co-workers, leaders, etc... we must guard and fortify our marriage with everything we got! :) We hope this clarifies a little more for you. Great observation!

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 6 years ago from Northern California

      Interesting, though I disagree that women aren't as self-reliant as men. I have seen plenty of needy men! :) Thanks for sharing.

    • marriagefortoday profile image

      marriagefortoday 6 years ago from Delaware

      You're very welcome! :) More coming and please spread the word!

    • April Reynolds profile image

      April Reynolds 6 years ago from Arizona

      interesting, definately something to be aware of and careful of. Thank you!