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How do I make my marriage work?

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Sometimes I just have a rough week. I feel like I’m just going through the motions.

I’ve got a whole checklist of things to do, and on top of that – the car breaks down or the boys have trouble at school.

Relationship problems come up.

We all have those moments, when we go through a rough patch. You can choose to be completely down about it, or you can have faith that God will bring you out of it.

Sometimes Jason and I both get into a funk at the same time – and it’s really nice to have each other to lean on. That’s one of the beautiful things about being married for fifteen years. No matter what, I know he’s there for me.

In this day and age, a working marriage is so hard to find. People are impressed when they hear how long we’ve been together. It’s actually an accomplishment to not get divorced!

But the thing is, it is a WORKING marriage. It’s a lot of work.

How do we make it work?

In our minds, there is no other option.

I’m not saying we’re stuck – far from it. We do not have the mentality of “We’re in this even if I start to hate you!”

I’m saying instead that we choose this as our only option because we believe in the sanctity of marriage and we believe in each other.

We both have a history of divorce in our families, and when we fell in love, we decided that we would be different. We would not do that to our kids. We wanted a healthy, wonderful and strong relationship.

Sure, there are times when we are both on separate pages and I think the world is going to end because he’s in a funk and I’m frantically wondering, “Will this be our marriage forever??”

One year was particularly rough and I was miserable. But I continued to pray, even when we were mad at each other. Even when we were fighting, we fought for each other.

No matter what, I’m going to fight for him, in the same way that I know he’s going to fight for me.

We have grown in our separate relationships with Christ and ourselves, and we continue to grow and learn how to be better partners to each other. God has a design and a plan for our marriage and we work hard to make sure it shines through.

I think the most important thing has been learning how to figure each other out. When you live with someone, you get to know their habits, their annoying ticks, what makes them tick, and how to talk to them. How to love them. The more years that go by, I develop an even stronger understanding of who he is, who I am, and who we are together.

We love the book 5 Love Languages. It talks about how people express and react differently to love in their lives. Some people communicate through actions, doing chores for their sweetie and picking up groceries for their mom. Some people need words of encouragement and love.

Go online and take the 5 Love Language Test! It’s super interesting and helps create awareness about we need. It really helps to learn to speak each other’s language.

Jason and I are polar opposites.

Our boys mirror us – Dalton’s like me and Carson is just like Jason.

I freak out, yell at you, have my moment, and then I move on – everything’s good now that I’ve vented and gotten it off my chest. But Jason needs time and he will kind of shut down for two days or longer.

This is where my anxiety sky rockets. Omg what is he thinking? What’s he thinking??! Has he already emptied the bank account????? Is he going to leave me?!?!?! ?

Part of the reason I jump to these thoughts is because of how I grew up. People in my life didn’t always stick around, so I’m convinced my husband will follow suit.

But these thoughts are just NOT TRUE. They are me freaking out and blowing things out of proportion.

He and I worked out a compromise for this. If we get into a disagreement, even if we’re fighting, he can tell me, “I need time to process this, but I’m not going anywhere.” This allows me to move forward and give him his space.

By the same token, I’m the kind of person that needs to get things out of my head, and I don’t necessarily need an answer. He’s always trying to jump in and save the day, so I can say to him, “I don’t need you to fix this, but I just want to talk about it with you.”

We had to get to a place where we understood that about each other – and that takes time. You just continue to learn how to communicate with each other, and the ups and downs are inevitably worth it.

If you’re really having issues and don’t seem to be getting anywhere, it’s okay to ask seek out help.

Several years ago, we found a truly wonderful marriage counselor recommended to us by a friend.

I really see it as a marriage translator – when we met in sessions together, he said the exact same thing as I said, but Jason just heard it in a different way.

Back before we discovered our own love languages, we needed that outside moderator to interpret how we were feeling in a way that made sense to each of us.

Relationships are partnerships –You have to work with your partner to make the relationship work.

So many people focus on having a perfect life and a perfect husband and the perfect marriage, but not everything’s going to be perfect all the time, and that’s okay.

We’re just not the same as we used to be, when we first fell in love. We’re different people now, but we’re growing and changing together – as partners for life.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way!! I love you Jason xo

How do I make my marriage work?
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