Monday, January 27, 2014

~Messy Marriage~

Jeff & I a couple of years ago...still in love!


" And in a world of celebrities constantly splitting up, having a good, solid marriage is something that can make others believe that God does make a difference, and that lifetime love is possible."
Exert from 'To Love, Honor and Vacuum, People are Watching Your Marriage'


I still remember the day of our wedding...feeling so hungry, yet hardly able to eat due to the flurry of butterflies in my belly. I was so excited at the anticipation of our first special evening together...day dreaming of endless days of cuddles, kisses & skipping joyfully as we walked through life together.

Yes, those were the days!

In case you're visiting and are NOT married yet, I bet you're wondering, well what on earth happened to change your presumptions, Rachael?! What on earth could have broken through that perfect glass bubble of expectation...well, life happened. But it's actually a good thing & I'm going to explain why. (for the marrieds, you already know what I'm talking about so be encouraged you are NOT alone)

"The desire for a happy marriage is present, strong and unquenchable. The work it takes to make a happy marriage is what most people standing at the altar do not understand."
Exert from 'Between The Sheets', Surprising Survey Finds Marriage is a Priority Among College Students

For some of you, marriage may be like taking your dream vacation. You plan, you dream...you ideally have a great destination picked out & you begin to educate yourself on what you're going to do on the trip. You read books. Pamphlets. The Internet searching out only the BEST sites of great reputation. You interview others who've already been there. You look at the road map you will need to take to get there. You save, you scrimp...all the while preparing for this long-awaited voyage. You hear about others who got lost along the way, or having a horrible time...but you just know, that's not going to be you!

You begin to get excitement jitters as the big day approaches. You can't seem to think of much else these days. It's what you've been waiting for all this time...

The day is here: you head off & away you go! You arrive & make the best time as you drive towards your special destination...

The elation continues to mount as you arrive at your check in. Wonderful helpers are awaiting your arrival to help you bring in your luggage....what could be better than this!!!

You take the first week lounging by the pool. Scuba diving. Animal sight seeing. Everything is fun & a breeze as you enjoy a full array of tantalizing entertainment & of course the finest food. 

The weekend comes & you're ready to get back home now. Back to real life. 

Unfortunately you hear at the front desk that there is a storm watch...all flights have been suspended until further notice. You start to panic, but all's okay they assure you. You just need to hang tight until tomorrow...

The next day arrives & you're still unsure of what's going on. Work has begun to buzz on your cell phone (you finally DID have to turn it back on..people are counting on you) and you heard from your sister that your Dad had some angina pain & is in the hospital. Another day passes and the storm warning continues...

The following day you're not sure what's going on & why the airport can't just take it's chance. You're missing your comfortable apartment & can hardly take another buffet meal. You feel a bit let down & confused. As you look outside at the thick dark, black skies you are all of a sudden wondering where the beautiful landscape ventured off to!

& that my friends is what marriage can feel like after the honeymoon period ends...

For us, the "honeymoon" period ended after 8 months...I can still remember our first 'real' fight. Honestly, I couldn't tell you WHAT our fight was all about, just that it happened and all of a sudden I felt that my precious & kind hubby had a dark shadow hanging over his head. He felt the same way about me I'm sure.

Years have passed and life has hit us...sometimes quite hard.

Deaths in the family...

Sickness....

Losses....

Disappointments...

Stress...

Financial setbacks....

Unexpected surprises....

and of course many, many joyful moments as well.

However, if you're not prepared for the reality of life that will settle in any normal marriage (when you realize you married a person who WILL let you down) you may feel as if you've been sold a bill of goods on your long-awaited dream vacation....you may even go through so much change and so many trials that you even think about bailing! 

This had been a season we experienced ourselves...thinking something was wrong with the other person....thinking that secretly everyone ELSE had the perfect marriage...and well, ours is, well at best...MESSY!

Thinking that disagreements mean we're horrible, horrible people...and on those REALLY tough days when we had a hard time picturing ourselves together for the rest of our lives...well, we'd rather it just end.

Misunderstandings.
Silence.
Lack of intimacy.

All of these things can contribute to a culmination of a war brewing on the inside of either, or even both spouses.

I am writing today to encourage you! There is hope...

"You don’t have to agree with him over everything. Just value him, listen to him and take him into consideration when there are choices to be made. And, please, never disgrace him publicly."
Exert from 'The Generous Wife, Worth and Value'

"Your love for each other doesn’t have to be overwhelmed by your differences."
Exert from 'The Simple Mom, Will We Ever See Eye to Eye?'

~Even if everything is falling apart in your marriage...I can guarantee you, there is HOPE~

For those of you who are going through a difficult season in your marriage, my number one advice would be to HANG IN THERE! For us, to have worked through seasons of extreme pressure & difficulty we had to get some outside encouragement (trusted friends & even our leaders at church) and seek help from the One who is always willing to help...Jesus (i.e. prayer, simply talking to Him, crying out to Him).

For those of you who literally may be on the verge of divorce, my advice to you would be to consider going in for some intense marriage counselling. Even if you're the only one who will go at this point...talk to your spiritual leaders, again trusted friends. Find every book out there that speaks positively to this topic. (one that was recommended to me for another friend is "Love Must Be Tough", By Dr. James Dobson) 

The only two situations I would hesitate to stay is if: your spouse is abusive or if he/she is  being unfaithful. I have never been through these two situations, but witnessed others who have. The marriage can sometimes still be salvaged, but you may need to have a season of separation if the abuser won't stop, or if the cheating continues...

For those who are newly married, thinking of getting married, or just simply still in their honeymoon period, then don't be fearful. Just be prepared that if a 'dry', 'difficult' or really intense season hits (should I just say when?!) you CAN work through it & get through to the other side... if you both stay COMMITTED to one another.

The best part is that for my 'messy' marriage story...we did come through it stronger than before. We understand one another better than we ever did.... I feel a deeper love for him than I ever did.... I appreciate our differences and am continuing to learn to value them. I see his weak points, and he can see mine, and we still CHOOSE to remain partners at this thing called marriage.

It may be messy.

It may not always be the way YOU thought it would turn out...

BUT, your marriage is a vital part of your life. Don't neglect it. Don't give up!

"Marriage is hard work and can be a bumpy road at times. But if I hang on tight to the hem of Jesus and the hand of my husband – I’ll have the best ride of my life!"
Exert from 'Women Living Well, 14 Things I’ve Learned in 14 Years of Marriage'

***All quotes found at http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2012/01/the-50-best-marriage-quotes-of-2011/

Please feel free to share your best marriage thoughts below! I love comments :)

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21 comments:

  1. Great post. After 33 years of marriage I certainly know the ups and downs of a marriage and how much work is involved in making it work, especially when you seldom see eye-to-eye. But staying together, through thick and thin, no matter what, brings the most amazing rewards.

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    1. Thanks Dayle for the encouragement. Wow, 33 years :) I look forward to be able to say that one day!

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  2. Life does happen, and it can happen soon after the ceremony. I was a silly 18 year old and offended my sweet hubby after about a month of married life, and I thought divorce might happen, but he forgave me. Throught the years, there have been times we each had to walk in forgiveness, Many years later, we still do not agree on everything, but we do respect one another and the LOVE is still there too. Thank you for sharing from your heart with us here at "Tell Me a Story."

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    1. Thanks Hazel for stopping by! Wow, married at 18...I'm always inspired when I hear couples that are together through thick & thin for many, many year..even while sometimes disagreeing, but pushing through :) Thanks for sharing this :)

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  3. This was exACTly what I needed to hear this morning! My husband and I have been walking through a rough time lately, and we're only a year and a half in. It's not supposed to be this hard yet, is it? But yes, and growth and love comes from it! I know this, and I know we both love each other, and nothing is hard forever. Thanks for the encouraging words!

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    1. Hi Katherine :) Oh, I'd say it certainly can be! (smile) But I'm glad to hear you are pushing through!! As I mentioned in the blog, I can remember those first 'big' fights...was eye opening for sure, but as we worked through it such a deeper love, so much deeper. Thanks for stopping by & your honesty :)

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  4. "Your love for each other doesn't have to be overwhelmed by your differences." Love this!! Even after 34 1/2 years of marriage we still have differences :) but we do not have to let them overwhelm us. Thank you for this gentle reminder! And thank you for stopping by Hope in the Healing so I could discover your lovely blog! Blessings to you, I am your newest follower ♥

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by & the follow back! I really enjoyed your blog as well :) Yes, many differences between all couples, but makes us a stronger team right? :)

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  5. This was a wonderful post! So happy you left a comment on our fertility testimony, so I could find you today! I am so thankful God has brought you and your husband to this place....now you are a shining light to validate that fact that marriage absolutely takes three. Your testimony and life experiences will be a blessing to many. God is so faithful to turn our mess into our message....our test into our testimony! So happy to meet you today. God bless you and your husband with many more happy years together! Love, Cheryl

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    1. Thanks Cheryl! I really, really was encouraged by your testimony...God is able to do SO much more than we could ever think, isn't He? Thanks for stopping by & sharing your love in Christ :)

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  6. This was a great post! Thanks for sharing about life after the honeymoon! I've been married to my honey for 30 years and counting! We've had our share of trials and disappointments, but I love how we grow closer to God and to each other in the midst of them!! Thanks for linking up for Marriage Monday!!

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    1. Wow, 30 years!!! Always inspired by that :) Thanks so much for hosting the Link Up & stopping by.

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  7. This is such a great post reminding us that marriage is something we live through. We vowed to be with our spouses until the day we die, and that means we are going to have to endure everything life hands us too. I love all the quotes you used in this post too.

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  8. Good advice because every marriage has it's difficult times. It is good to know that many go through them and are stronger for doing it. Thanks for posting on the Four Seasons Blog Hop! Sandra from Scrumptilicious 4 You!

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  9. What an inspiring post. Marriage is something that we have to work on everyday. It is tough but very rewarding in the end.

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  10. Terrific post. There are far too many couples who just give up. (I have been one) It is a lot of work to stick it out and make it work, but if you are with your soul mate, it's worth it.

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  11. "Your love for each other doesn’t have to be overwhelmed by your differences." I totally agree with this! I love this post :)

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  12. What a wonderful post! We liked it so much you will be featured on this week's Four Seasons Blog Hop!

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  13. What wonderful encouragement you have to share! Marriage is definitely hard work but so worth it. My husband and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage this year. The time just flies by, doesn't it?

    Thanks for sharing at Family Fun Friday!

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  14. Wonderful post. Pinned and am featuring at Family Fun Friday.
    http://www.happyandblessedhome.com/2014/02/family-fun-friday-week-55.html ‎
    Monica

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  15. Love this post. 5.5 years in and I feel like I am hitting this patch.

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