By Ashley Roe, Contributing Writer
My husband and I are coming up on five years of marriage this July. As I look back on where we have been in five years, I am grateful for the time we have had to grow together but it has been a tough five years. We struggled with ups and downs of employment, sickness and loss of family members. It is through these struggles, that I have learned a few things about marriage through the storms that I would like to pass along to you.
4 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong Through the Storms
When times get tough, the first thing we should do is pray. I know it seems trite to say but prayer really is more powerful then many people realize. I will admit though praying is not always my first response when things go awry. I often want to turn to my husband, a family member or friend to vent about it.
When my husband was laid off for the second time, my initial reaction was to completely freak out. I mean like hysterical, you probably thought someone died, freak out. After this initial reaction however, I had a deep sense inside me that I needed to pray about it and when I did, I felt peace about the situation.
After taking my fear about my husbands’s job loss to the Lord, I was able to handle the situation much better than if I had been reluctant to pray about it. I often think about that day and those that followed to remember how God took care of our situation even though it hasn’t always been easy or turned out how we planned.
Talk to Each Other
Talking to each other about our concerns has been one of the best things my husband and I have done. It wasn’t always easy for me because I tend to hold things in and pretend that it doesn’t bother me. However, I realize that my husband cannot know if something is bothering me if I don’t tell him.
This is not to say that you should blurt out every little thing that drives you crazy to your husband but if you are genuinely struggling with something, he needs to know. I struggled with anxiety and depression for far longer than I ever let my husband know. It wasn’t until recently when I opened up more about this that I discovered he truly cares about my struggles but wasn’t sure how to handle my mood swings.
Now, I try my best to be open with him about how I am doing. If I am feeling anxiety pressing in, I tell him. If I feel a bit off one day, I let him know. I am also quick to make sure he knows that my mood is not usually a result of anything he has done. I feel much more supported by my husband and we are closer as a result.
Support Each Other
When you are going through a difficult struggle, you need the support of your spouse more than ever. Support is more than just being willing to talk to your spouse like I mentioned above, though that is an important part of showing your support. Support is letting him know that you are on his side and that you believe in him. These times are hard on a marriage but is especially difficult if you don’t allow your struggles to bring you closer together.
One of the things I have been most grateful about in my husband is his willingness to be supportive of my dreams. I wouldn’t have a blog, still be writing or working toward building my own little business if it weren’t for the support of my husband.
Even though my husband and I have had plenty of struggles in our marriage, one thing I always try to do is make sure that he knows I support him no matter what. I firmly believe that this is why our marriage has been able to continue to grow through our struggles. In fact, I think many of these struggles have strengthened our marriage more than if we had never experienced them.
Seek Wise Counsel
Sometimes you just need a little help in the form of wise biblical counsel. This doesn’t only mean seeing a counselor if your marriage is in trouble. I do think a situation like that warrants the need to see a counselor but there are many other ways you can seek wise counsel.
My husband and I have done this a number of ways. One was to take a financial class at our church early in our marriage to gain some wise advice about how to handle money. We were experiencing a lot of financial strain so it was imperative that we work through this. I have always said that this was one of the best things we could have done for our marriage and I really believe that. The things we learned not only helped us through when money was tight but we continue to rely on those principles today.
Other ways you can seek wise counsel are to ask advice of a trusted Christian mentor or friend in a situation where you need another opinion such as matters dealing with extended family. You may also need to seek biblical counseling either for personal or marital issues.
Counseling is not a bad thing. In fact, I think it could be the best thing for you if you are really struggling to get past something. I struggled for years with the decision to see a biblical counselor because I didn’t feel like my issues were big enough. It took a downward spiral of depression and anxiety to finally get me to take that step.
I knew that I needed to talk to someone. As much as I love my husband and desire to talk to him about these things, I have realized that he isn’t a counselor and can’t give me the same type of support that I need. Now that I have been seeing a counselor however, I am able to be more open with my husband and discuss things with him that I would not have been able to express before.
Seeking wise counsel from biblical sources should not be a last resort but something that you continually do to grow in your marriage.
What’s one thing that has helped your marriage when times get tough?
Join Me For a Challenge!
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