Fishing has taught me a lot about marriage. One of the most frustrating things I experience on a fishing trip is when something malfunctions with my fishing reel, and the line becomes a horrible mess of tangles and knots. Some folks call this a “bird’s nest.” The thin fishing line can bunch up in a giant mound of filament protruding from the reel.

It’s a “reel” pain.

There’s really only one way to deal with this situation: sit down on the side of the riverbank and begin the slow, tedious process of untangling the fishing line.

Yes, it’s daunting. And it’s the last thing you want to do.

It requires an enormous amount of patience and care. And the one rule to remember is that no matter how frustrated you get, you don’t want to start recklessly pulling on the line from the nest, cinching the knots even tighter, making the problem worse.

You’ve got to enter the mess and start carefully unweaving the nest until the tangle is clear and you can finally, and happily, resume catching fish.

I’ve found that tangles in marriage work in the same way. Disagreements and misunderstandings happen. It’s important to hit the pause button, sit down with your spouse, and slowly begin untangling the nest.

Yes, it’s daunting, and it may not be the most pleasant process.

And just like a bird’s nest, it requires an enormous amount of care and patience. BUT the last thing you want is to have tempers flare, say thoughtless words, and make the problem worse. This will cinch your marital tangle even tighter.

Instead, enter the mess together with a spirit of calmness and anticipate a joint solution. Just like in fishing, you’ll find in your marriage that when the tangle starts to unweave, you and your spouse have grown closer in the process.


***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

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