"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

When all you want to do is run away (from your marriage)

I knew I was supposed to marry Logan. We started dating in high school, so we knew each other really well and had plenty of time to discern correctly – including a long period in college that we weren't together. By the time we got back together, we knew it was with the intention of getting married, so Logan proposed less than 7 months later.

Even though I know that Logan and I were meant to be together, I was not prepared to feel the complete opposite. You don't really plan to get married and then at some point wonder why you even got married in the first place.

I know some people – a lot of people, even – don't experience this. Some couples just always have a great relationship and never once doubt whether they made the right decision in marrying their spouse.

But for those of us who have doubted, let me tell you that you are not alone.

Logan and I have been married for almost 6 ½ years, and this past year we've finally gotten to a point where I can honestly say we are happily married. It might sound harsh, but for most of our marriage, it felt like a constant battle. With very different temperaments and very different love languages, Logan and I both felt unloved. He loves being around other people and thrives on physical touch and words of affirmation. I desperately need alone time and feel loved most by acts of service.

Add to that the trials of pregnancy loss, sub-fertility, high-risk pregnancies, and everything else. Needless to say, it's been quite a learning curve. But now we are (mostly) thriving! (Full disclosure: we still our have bad days. Lots of them, actually. That's what happens when 2 stubborn people get married. But overall, we are happy!)

So what do you do when you're stuck in a rut in your marriage? Maybe your husband never pulls his weight around the house and expects you to do everything – even when you already have too much on your plate. Maybe you realize that you're nagging at your husband too much but feel like it's the only way to get through to him. Maybe you feel like you're never on the same page as your spouse but can't figure out how to remedy it. Maybe you're just too dang tired to put any more effort into your marriage because it all feels useless anyway.
So what do you do?

The obvious answer is to pray. That should always be our first reaction – go to God with our troubles and trust that He will take care of them.

But that's not all. Yes, God wants us to have a great marriage, but we also have to work for it. God will give us the graces to do that if we just ask.

The main thing I've realized, when Logan and I are in a cycle of hurting each other (either intentionally or unintentionally) is that someone has to break the cycle. Logan and I can make sarcastic remarks to each other all day, every day, until one of us decides to cut the crap, apologize, and be willing to make things better.

But what if you always feel like you're being the “better person”? What then?

I hate to be blunt, but...sometimes we think we're being the better person when we're really not. And this is coming from personal experience...

I thought that Logan was always the one causing problems. He always procrastinated and never did what I (politely) asked him to do. I thought that “if only” he would help out around the house more, was more motivated about getting things done, etc. that things would be much better.

What's that verse about seeing the splinter in someone else's eye and not seeing the beam in your own eye? (Just looked it up. Matthew 7:3-5.) Yeah. That was me, alright. It was much easier to blame Logan for everything than it was to actually work on my shortcomings. To think about how I wasn't giving Logan the love and attention he deserves. To admit that I didn't have my crap together when it came to my prayer life and housework.

I know I'm not an expert so I'm not going to “offer advice.” But these next 3 things are what I remind myself of often! Maybe it will help someone else who is struggling in their marriage.
  1. Focus on fixing yourself. You can't change anybody else. (We can try, but it won't work!)
  2. Instead of thinking about everything you wish was different about your spouse, think of the good things. And don't tell me there isn't anything! You did get married for a reason. (Logan may not be able to renovate our kitchen but MAN he sure is creative, fun, has a great sense of humor, and likes to surprise me by cleaning the house sometimes.)
  3. It will get better. It might get worse first, but there's always hope. Keep praying, keep making yourself better, and keeping loving your spouse no matter what.
"Only by returning to the God who is love can men and women learn to love one another rightly." - Christopher West

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave us some love!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...