It saddens me to hear about friends (especially Christian friends) who are giving up on their marriages. Having a great marriage (or even a good marriage) takes a lot of work.
Marriage is not a fairy tale of “Happily Ever After”. It is a life long journey of “picking your battles”, forgiving easily and often. And learning to just let things go. I try to remember the “10 year rule” when something is bothering me. The 10 Year Rule is this: Whenever something seems like a big deal, I ask myself, “Will this really matter 10 years from now?” Most of the time the answer is “NO”! Even when at the moment it seems like something worth fighting about.
I’ve been married to my husband for 29 years, and I have had plenty of times where I could have given up, walked away, filed for separation, or even said, “That’s it, I want a divorce!”. But I didn’t. I chose to fight for my marriage and family. I chose to make the better choice. The hard choice. The right choice.
You’re probably saying, “But you don’t know what he/she did!!!” You’re right, I don’t, but you don’t know the challenges that my husband and I have had to overcome!!
Things have not always been perfect. We haven’t always acted the way a husband and wife should act. But there is a place that I’ve discovered. Deep down inside that says, “I need to do my part to make this better, even if I haven’t done anything wrong.” The fact of the matter is, we all contribute to the “Good” and “Bad” in our marriages. There is always two sides. We have to put aside our pride, our stubbornness and our ego.
The fact of the matter is:
It’s more important for me to save my marriage than it is to be right,
or get my way!
First of all, you have to decide that your behavior is not based on what your spouse does. It is based on your determination to put 200% into making your marriage the best it can be. You are only responsible for YOU!
Second, make the decision that you’re not going to keep replaying all of the past problems. Leave them in the past!!! You can’t move forward if you are always looking backwards. Things change, people change, change is good! But you have to commit to embracing the changes together.
Third, get a new vision for your marriage! VISION….How do you do that???? It simply starts with dreaming. Dreaming of what it looks like for you as a couple to become and stay fully connected emotionally, spiritually and physically. Vision is putting words to those dreams. It becomes a reminder that keeps you on the right path with each other when life, kids and outside pressures tries to lead you astray.
Here are three questions to ask each other to begin or reshape the vision for your marriage.
1. Emotionally – What are some ways I make you feel valued? What things can I do to make you feel loved?
2. Physically – Do you feel we’re intimate enough? What do we need to do in the season of life we are in to find time be intimate with each other?
3. Spiritually – How do you feel closest to God? What is one thing we can do to experience God together?
Eddie and I still have arguments. There are times when I don’t “Like him”. I’m sure there are moments when he doesn’t want to be around me. But no matter how tough things get, I force myself to look beyond the moment. I refuse to let myself go too far down the road of anger, resentment, unforgiveness, etc. Because I know that going down that road leads to thoughts of “it would be easier if we just got a divorce.”
Let me tell you now. IT WON’T BE EASIER!!!! Especially if you have kids!!
So….if you’re facing tough times right now, don’t be a quitter!! Put on your big girl panties!! Roll up your sleeves! Park your ego at the door!! Now….Get in there and fight for your marriage!!!