Don’t wait until it’s too late to start working on your marriage. It hurts my heart when I hear about couples separating, or just feeling ‘done’ with it all and their heart is checked out. I wish I could help people before they get to that point, or help them once they vocalize that they are there, but the reality is that most of the time the issues aren’t surfaced until one person is too checked out and not willing to get back to restoration. I want to give marriages in that trench hope to work through it, just like you would tell your kids when things get tough. Are we practicing what we preach? When we endure hard things, we persevere through them! And then we grow and strength is gained during those trials. We then are more equipped for when, not if, things get hard in life. Let’s teach our kids and friends that it’s inevitable that we will face hard things in life, it’s not being pessimistic, it is being realistic, so put your boots on and work through it!
Seek wise counsel, identify problems, get to the roots of the issues, invest your time and energy on it, give it all you’ve got, communicate, make it a priority. You wouldn’t give up on your kids, right? You would, and you do, push through for the sake of love. You love anyway, it’s a sacrificial, selfless love that you offer your kids, but do you do the same for your marriage? I pondered getting into counseling at one point in my life, but that went out the window, so here I am writing about it because I have a heart for you. Those of you who think you are the only ones working through differences, seasons of marriage that aren’t bubbling over, or facing stumbling blocks of communication between the man you once loved and adored, you are not alone, and it’s a normal part of the marriage journey. For many, life has happened and you’re as far from him as the acquaintance you try to avoid making eye contact with at the grocery store. Sometimes we don’t know what’s really going on to be able to help our friends and neighbors because the reality is, it’s kept behind closed doors so most of the time we aren’t aware of the hurdles people are climbing until it’s too late. We see people on social and think most marriages are glorious and picture perfect, then the comparison game kicks in. Stop it, focus on you and your marriage and work on getting it back to where it once was before life happened (bills, kids, whining toddlers, teenage attitudes, sports, homework, sibling rivalry, the divide and conquer) you get it. Adjustments need to be made friends, factors have changed along your journey, so do some maintenance. Of course things have changed, take steps to get back in alignment. Reconnect and refocus.
Maybe this applies to you, or someone you love that’s close to you and you don’t know how to help them get to the point of restoring their marriage. When I hear about marriages ending, I think and wonder what could they have done to work on it before it got to that point. Was he keeping it in, bottling up feelings of disrespect, was he frustrated at the lack of his needs being met, tired of not being wanted? Or was she spiraling with feelings of desperation, wondering just how long she could handle feeling like he still doesn’t ‘get’ her after all this time? She had told him hundreds of times over the years she just wants to talk and converse with him. If only he would listen to her, communicate and hear her out, or maybe she yearned for him to plan a date once a month, forget that, even once a year would have kept her holding on and given her hope that he still loved her. Each marriage has its own story, beauty and trials, but when we make it a priority to schedule a tune up and do maintenance checks along the way, we strengthen ourselves and our marriage.
Often with the busyness of life, our marriage gets the short end of the stick and we slowly grow apart. Growth can’t happen when it’s not being watered and tended to. Yes, you can restore it, don’t give up! You were once head over heels in love with each other, giddy, and anxiously waiting for the next date. What do you need to do right now to spark that once lit fire? Do you need to have conversation, like uninterrupted carved out time for you and your man to talk, or laugh, or just go have some fun? Let’s face it ladies, we are the party planners and the coordinators of most of what goes on, so call that babysitter, call your sweet friend who will watch or kids, or swap you for a date she can take next week when you watch her kids, and plan it. Friends, at one point you both were being intentional about you two and making your love grow. The time you spent together looked different then, yes, but you can get back there. Don’t give up hope, rewind to 25, maybe even 45, chapters ago and remember what you two used to do when you spent time together. Write some of the things down, I’m sure it will bring a smile to your face, and your man’s too. Ask him to help you make that list, not to rub it in his face about how it’s not, but to remember and rekindle what was, and work on getting back to that place. What brought you two together and made you each feel loved? Share, discuss, then listen, truly listen to learn and apply, don’t just listen to reply. Try to remember where your heart was back when you were dating. Start somewhere, write him a note, give him a compliment, give it a try. ~Make it grow.