All marriage couples will tell you, if they are being honest, that there are times when marriage becomes difficult and requires more work than other times. Others would say that it becomes so difficult that it was easier to give up on the marriage and call it quits. I desire to share with you why I feel it is important to keep working through the challenges that your marriage has and find the solutions to making it work.
When Marriage Becomes Difficult
A disagreement here and there is normal in a relationship where two people live together and share space. However, I want to be real about what to do when you find your marriage becoming difficult and struggling with the thoughts of ‘Is it worth the work to stay together‘.
Absolutely, your marriage is worth the work to stay together!
My marriage has had a few times when it was a real struggle for us and finding a solution to fix the problems seemed impossible. That fact about why marriage is so difficult can easily be summed up with the sacredness of the vows that were exchanged with the man or woman of our dreams, to only find out that they have real flaws after you return from the honeymoon.
How dare the person you just vowed your life to, until death do you part, bring pet-peeves, habits and sin into your marriage?
The fairytale seems shattered when reality of who you just gave this ‘once in a life-time' position, as your spouse. Next thing that takes place is that the more you think about these flaws, the more you start doubting your choice and their love for you. The negative thoughts replace the once blissful thoughts that brought the two of you together.
Realizing that you married a ‘broken person‘, you set out on a mission to fix, change and better them.
Before long, your spouse will begin to wonder why you are finding so many things wrong, while overlooking the things that they clearly see in you that needs fixing and starts adding this to their agenda for the sole purpose of their defense.
A little spark of negativity begins to replace the sparks of love. Ammunition has been securely fastened to each spouse's mind and an invisible line have been drawn, with spouse facing off against spouse. Determined to be the last one standing, marriage vows are replaced with survival instincts fills both
soldiers, I mean lovers.
And thus is the start of when marriages become difficult!
It is time to learn how to fight for your marriage!
Marriages are not battle grounds. Spouses are not our enemies. No one is without pet-peeves, habits or sins.
Empower your marriage by changing the mindsets that cause the root issues in your marriage.
You BOTH are Fallible People
Identify the things you are finding faults with and then realize where your spouse could be finding fault with you.
I'm going to just come out and say this to women (myself included)…
“Do you really think you have it all together and your husband is the only one that needs to improve in your marriage?”
At one time in our marriage, I believed this whole-heartedly. I saw how hard I was working to make our house a home, have dinner on the table, keep a spotless house, be the only one to tend to the needs of our children, always be available when my husband needed me and so on.
I overlooked my tone in my voice, my rolling of my eyes, my temperament and even my words, because I justified them all by believing that ‘if he wasn't doing what he was doing, I wouldn't be doing what I was doing'.
This is the biggest lie that married couples believe, making their marriage difficult.
Stop Nagging and Get to the Root
For most of us women, it really isn't about the socks on the floor. It may be that your husband isn't respecting your work around the house. All along, you are arguing about the socks on the floor and he scratches his head trying to see how that is different than you leaving a cup in the car.
Men have no problem getting to the root of the problem.
Men tend to be straight shooters, so they will just come out and say what the problem is and often times, it comes off rough and hurtful. Considering how your spoken words can sound to a sensitive person can help to get your point across and eliminate the strain that speaking your mind can do.
Discuss the Sins, Work on the Habits and Overlook the Pet-peeves
Marriages have it all backwards when it comes to working on a marriage and often times it takes being married for years before you realize how backwards you look at your spouse.
Most marriages struggle with the pet-peeves of the other person, and then graduate to ripping apart their habits, while never really seeing the sin of the other in a marriage.
When a spouse feels like they are being attacked for the little things, like pet-peeves or how they have done things for the last 20+ years, it is easy for them to entertain sinful thoughts that lead to sinful behavior.
What we have found when our marriage is difficult is that one of us has a sin that needs to be confessed, discussed and eliminated. Overlooking the sins, when we feel like the Grand Canyon is separating us, can be the very thing that will end a marriage in turmoil.
Focusing on unhealthy habits together often times will be things to bring us together.
While the pet-peeves end up being the thing that brings laughter to our relationship, because they are the things that make us… US.
When we are feeling like we can't do anything more to fix our marriage, we couldn't be any more right. We can't. After all, we are the very reason our marriage was ending up in the difficult spot we found ourselves in.
This is when we lean on God, who we believe made us for each other and brought us together.
Praying together is one of the strongest things a marriage has to staying together, through the difficult times. Praying out loud, sharing your hurts through prayer, asking God to help, and heal will be one of the easiest ways to soften a heart, open a heart and fill a heart with love.