marriage survival


As I think about all the mistakes I’ve made here I want to write some stuff down to help me remember.  We’re moving to a new place and I’m hoping this will give us somewhat of a fresh start.  Our marriage counselor said this was wishful thinking, a noble thought, but probably not realistic.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  I have given up a lot of ideas but one thing I cannot let go of is the hope and belief in a clean slate.

  1.  I am not entitled.
    Entitlement is the opposite of gratitude.  People rant all the time these days about the overwhelming sense of entitlement coming out of the younger generations.  Entitlement is not an attitude I would have ever though I struggled with but it turns out I am tremendously guilty of this.  A great deal of our problems have stemmed from the fact that I expected something.  I could fill in a thousand blanks with all the different things I thought I should be able to ask for.  The brutally honest truth is that I am not entitled to anything.  I do not deserve to be loved.  I do not deserve kindness, respect, or compassion.  These things are a gift from my Heavenly Father bestowed to me by way of Christ’s death and resurrection.  I am a deeply blessed woman to have salvation in Christ, which is far more than I ever deserved, and anything else is just additional blessing, including a husband and the children born from our union.
  2. Marriage is not about romance or friendship.
    This is a hard one for me to admit.  I have held onto this for so long, ignoring all the naysayers that say things like marriage in the olden days likened more to that of a business arrangement.   I have stubbornly rejected the ‘feelings come and go’ speech where love is not a feeling but an action and a choice.  It is not that I disagreed with that, just that I believed it could be, and was meant to be, more than that.  But a cordial Ma and Pa business arrangement is far more bearable and enjoyable than a strained marriage trying to force something that will never be.  Closeness is not the goal.  Familiarity breeds contempt.  The less familiar we are, the less we really know about each other, the more space there is between us, the less I try to know and be known, the closer we actually are.  I would’ve never thought this to be true but it is.
  3.  Be supportive only.
    I think this has been my biggest fail.  There is a saying that says, ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.”  It does not matter if the good is mixed with the bad.  The bad overrides.  It is the fallen human nature both to say and hear the bad.  If I do not have anything positive or supportive or encouraging to say I will not say it.  If I have a lament or complaint or plea I will take it first to God trusting He will be my strength and my shield.  I will stick to my calling of children and family.  I do not need to ask questions or offer opinions on things going on with work.  I am grateful my husband has a job that supports and provides for me and our children and desire to thank him for the roof over my head and the food on our table.  I will do my best to offer sincere words of belief and hope and keep on hoping the impact will be a positive one, that one day they might be believed.

5 thoughts on “marriage survival

  1. Ok Rebekah, I’ve not commented in a long time. Just reading what you’ve said and liking here and there. But this post just got me going.
    #1 you are entitled to be loved. You do deserve respect and compassion. We all do. It’s a gift to find love.
    #2 Marriage is about romance and friendship. Romance implies love. Love is what marriage should be about. Not the past arrangement that used to occur where women became a man’s property. That’s why she took on his name. Your partner in marriage should be your best friend. The friend who you share your hopes and dreams with and the friend who is there when you need them.
    #3 Being only supportive and never negative will only breed resentment. Overly negative just hurts a relationship and is abusive.

    Don’t lie to yourself. I see all the pictures. Your marriage is strong. Keep your head up girl. It will be all right.

    P.s. you can delete this if you want, I just had to say something because it felt so wrong to hear that.

  2. Dear Rebecca,

    God created man and woman equally, sweet sister. You both must be willing to be supportive and care for each other. Heed the words of the two who commented here. Listen to your heart and the Holy Spirit. God is love.

  3. I think there is plenty of truth in what you say here, even if it’s not the whole story. Marriage (like life itself) is complicated and often contradictory. Over time, if your hearts are aligned, you get better at it, but it’s always a journey. I like how you mentioned in another post the idea of becoming “one flesh”- that’s a very real thing but also something that is very difficult at times.

    • Exactly. One-flesh is something that happens when you enter into the marriage covenant and also something that continues to happen throughout your lives together, an ongoing growth.

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