Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 “Though one may be overpowered by another two can withstand him and a threefold cord is not quickly broken”
Marriage is completely amazing, wonderful, beautiful and portrays every good thing. I remember being so excited for my wedding day. Marrying Scotty for me was like the end of a marvelous fairy tale, I was marrying my best friend and the future looked so bright. I knew there would be so much to live out, explore and learn and I was excited for it all. But sometimes our expectations fall victim to harsh reality.
Scotty and I have had to navigate a marriage that I never expected, we basically started off with a tragedy and had to deal with a whole lot of things right off the bat. Let’s just say this was not what I was excited about when I got married. I was excited for all the good things that were to come; adventures with my best friend, kids, travel, success. But instead I was scared, fearful, and seriously began to wonder how it is all going to work.
Early in our marriage as I was going through the tedious process of caring for Scotty and pouring everything into him, I remember thinking this has to be the “bad times” people talk about in marriage. There were days I did not want to go back to that rehab facility.
Scotty was not in a good place and we were both frustrated at our situation and each other, I would tell him that I would always love him, but I did not like him AT ALL right now. Those moments are stuck in my mind, not as bad reminders, but as a reminder of how far we have come. It was so far from perfect and so far from anything I ever dreamed of but I’m so glad for it.
On our wedding day we made a commitment to love each other unconditionally, for better or worse, and when we started fighting to show that love to each other, despite our circumstances, we discovered we were both much happier. At a very young age and very early in our marriage I had no choice but to step up and live up to my vow, I had to support and help, encourage and build in a way I never thought I would have too! It was always a fine line between standing up and standing down, I wanted him to see all his potential, to believe that he could still be an amazing husband, provider and father; but I also had to step back and let him fall sometimes so he could grow in confidence. I didn’t want to be overly sympathetic and wanted to let him take the lead on certain things, it was tricky and in the beginning I would just hold all my feelings in. I thought I had to, for his and my survival.
Through this we have discovered the power of effective communication. As we have grown, I have learned how to voice my true feelings, how to speak productive words with love, truth in order to LOVE him more and better.
We got really good at getting into that same ol’ rut where I hold everything in and get really passive aggressive and he continues on like he does not understand what is wrong with me (you know the one, I know we aren’t the only couple who does this!). It’s a vicious cycle and I was turning Scotty into the enemy, not my friend.
This way of thinking is a lie and it is worth the struggle to change this mentality. Together we have learned to communicate much more effectively and efficiently, it’s not perfect but it is 100 times better than that rut we were living in.
Now when I feel something I communicate it to him, “Scotty I don’t want to resent you, but I’m beginning to resent you because of xyz, how can we work this out?” It’s about coming together in teamwork, the power of working together vs working against each other. The “against each other” way usually seems easier, but it’s truly not in the end, take the time now to find a counselor, go to a marriage retreat, go on a DATE. Scotty and I re-incorporated dating into our marriage and it is so fun, we also take a trip a year, no work, no kids and have found it is so important.
Commit to working through the immediate hard stuff so you can build the future and marriage God wants for you, it’s not going to perfect or easy, but it’s also going to be so rewarding and so worth it. All hard things are worth pushing through, trust me.