"The Law of Disintegration" in Marriage

Entropy shirt
Entropy shirt

I can remember learning about the "Law of Entropy" in high school science. It essentially states that there is a tendency for all things in the universe to move from order to disorder. While I can accept this in theory about the universe, I know it from personal experience in observing my kids' bedrooms. No matter how clean they become on "cleaning day," I know that they will be messy again in no time. The same holds true about my garage.  

The following was posted a few months ago in Focus on the Family's monthly magazine. It's a simple truth about entropy in marriage that demands attention. James Dobson is posed a question and he offers a very good answer:

Q: You have said that the natural progression of a marriage is to become more distant rather than more intimate.Why is that true?

A: The natural tendency of everything in the universe is to move from order to disorder.If you buy a new car, it will steadily deteriorate from the day you drive it home.Your body is slowly aging and dying.Your house has to be repainted and repaired every few summers.A business that is not managed carefully will unravel and collapse.A brick that is placed on a vacant lot and left there long enough will eventually turn to dust.Indeed, even the sun and all the stars are slowly burning themselves out.We are, in a manner of speaking, in a dying universe where everything that is not specifically being protected and upgraded is in a downward spiral.

The principle that governs this drift from order to disorder might be called “the law of disintegration.”(Engineers and scientists sometimes call it “the law of entropy.”)The only way to postpone or temporarily combat its influence is to invest creative energy and intelligent design into that which is to be preserved.

Not so surprisingly, human relationships also conform to the principle of disintegration.The natural tendency is for husbands and wives to drift away from each other unless they work at staying together.To provide another analogy, it is as though they were sitting in separate rowboats on a choppy lake.If they don’t paddle vigorously to stay in the same neighborhood, one will drift to the north of the lake and the other to the south.That is exactly what happens when marital partners get too busy or distracted to maintain their love.If they don’t take the time for romantic activities and experiences that draw them together, something precious begins to slip away.It doesn’t have to be that way, of course, but the currents of life will separate them unless efforts are made to remain together.

I wish every newly married couple knew about the law of disintegration and actively protected their relationship from it.

Taken from the Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide by Dr. James Dobson.Copyright 2000 by James Dobson.All rights reserved.