Since my husband and I got married in 2009 it seems everything in the world has been against us and trying to rip us apart, finances being the biggest issue of all. Coming into this marriage I already knew that he had financial obligations to his ex wife and would for 10 yrs, but then when he retired from serving 20 years in the Air Force he couldn’t find a job anywhere. While he was out of work his ungrateful greedy ex wife (who was still getting half his retirement every month) threw all of those obligations into the court system and our lives into hell. So now he has enough in arrears that he’ll be paying her another year in addition, maybe more and it’s even harder for me to see that light at the end of the tunnel.
Another problem we have faced is trying to have a blended family, especially when some of the kids are only around a few weeks in the summer and a couple of days during Thanksgiving or Christmas. Because of the distance and time constraints I’ve never been seen as my step kids step mother, only their fathers new wife and honestly, it’s set up boundaries and walls that will probably never be broken down. I would have liked to have been more to them, but it’s just not going to happen and I have accepted that. I would have liked for my own kids to bond with them and have them feel like they inherited 2 more sisters and a brother, but that won’t happen either. I would have liked for my kids to truly see my husband as a dad, and to a extent they do but with the differences in all of us I am seeing that won’t be a possibility either. My husband and his kids are very quiet and introverts whereas my kids and I, well we are very vocal, very passionate and very outspoken extroverts. So it’s kinda like oil and water in our home. My husband doesn’t understand how children can be so loud and question everything and we can’t understand how people can be so quiet follow the crowd so easily with no questions. It’s maddening.
So this last year has been extremely tough on us all, so much so I’ve gotten to the point of almost just packing up and leaving several times and I’m sure my husband has a time or two where he’s thought why freaking bother anymore. It’s not where we want to be and it’s not where we want our lives to be. We do love each other and we are committed to doing every thing we can to make this work.. but sometimes at least for me I find myself asking if love is enough. So when I start thinking like this it never seems to fail that I come across a quote or a story that makes me rethink whats going on in my head. This was the case the other day when I came across the following article.
1. Confess everything.
You’ll only get through this tough season if you move forward with complete and total honesty and transparency. Be willing to humbly admit fault and seek forgiveness for every past and present breach of trust. Hold nothing back.
I have a real problem doing this one, because sometimes the things I should tell him I know will hurt him and I don’t want to hurt him.. now I’m not talking about anything like I’ve cheated because I haven’t. I’m talking about things like, I’m truly not happy. I know this hurts him because he does try so hard to make me happy. I guess according to this I need to work on it. Work on relaying my feelings the correct way, not mean like I have a tendency to do.
2. Recognize the difference between Forgiveness and Trust.
Forgiveness and trust are two different things. If your spouse has broken your trust or you have broken theirs, forgiveness should be given instantly because grace can’t be earned, but trust has to be earned and it can only be earned slowly through consistency of action. Fight the urge to punish each other. For more on this, please watch our free video resource How to build intimacy and trust in marriage.
Ahhh forgiveness… this is something that has escaped me my whole life. There have only been a select few who have received my forgiveness and even those had to wait years to get it. I have worked on being better at this and I still do work at it. I will say I have forgiven my husband on several occasions so he is one of the lucky ones. Now saying that.. I do forgive, but I will never forget.. ever. did I mention ever? My worse problem is I do fight to hurt. I’ve been hurt so much in my life that its instinctual for me to fight this way. I am working on changing that, but it will take time, and I’m willing to be a lot of time.
3. Be VERY careful where you get advice.
When your marriage is in crisis, everyone is going to have opinions about what you should do next. Choose up front to only listen to people who love you, love your spouse and love God. If they’re missing any part of that list, their advice will not be balanced with wisdom.
This is a fantastic piece of advice. I have so many well meaning friends, people who really do love me and only want the best for me but their advice is always.. “You don’t need him.. you need to leave him and move away!”. I can’t remember having 1 person tell me any advice to really try to work it out.. I know none have said “You need to stay and work things out” In today’s world its really become rather easy to just walk away from relationships. There’s always someone else who will be interested and honestly, we have progressed to a point that we don’t have to stay and put up with anything if we don’t want too… but in doing so we are losing so much more… and I’m seeing that now.
4. Get help.
When our car is broken, we don’t have a problem taking it to a mechanic and when our arm is broken, we don’t have a problem going to a doctor, but for some reason, when our marriage is broken, we think we need to figure it out on our own. There are great resources out there, so take advantage of them! Making those investments into your marriage will pay off huge dividends. A great place to start is SaveMyMarriage.com.
I would love to go to therapy with my husband, but sadly right now there is no money for it.. not if we want to have groceries for the kids and heat this winter. 😦
5. Don’t give up!
The road ahead won’t be easy, but your marriage is worth fighting for! Take it one day at a time, lean on each other, and trust God to take care of the rest.
I have divorced twice already, but both of those men were very abusive, mentally/verbally/physically and sexually . For me, those marriages weren’t worth saving as neither of those men had any intention of every changing. I stayed w/ my second husband for 10 yrs, enduring all the abuse he dished out hoping and praying it would change, but it only got worse and after the birth of our second child I saw just how bad it could get so I ran as fast as I could with my kids and did everything in the world to protect them from that abuse. Now with my current husband, there isn’t any abuse like that, the only real problem we seem to have is being able to compromise one things. He is military.. and dead set in his ways about things and when he feels something should be a certain way, you cannot change his mind at all. Its a true battle. We have both finally seen that we both need to learn how to communicate differently, that our old ways aren’t working.
Over all I found these 5 tips were really simple things but really major things that can help any relationship. I hope if you’ve taken the time to read this it has helped you in some way.
Marriage (Photo credit: Lel4nd)