Marriage Is Hard!
Marriage is hard. If anyone tells you it isn’t, they are lying. Through their teeth. Marriage is hard, and it doesn’t get any easier either.
My husband and I dated for nearly 7 years before getting married. We were pretty confident that we knew each other well and would easily adjust to being married. We were going to be that lovey-dovey married couple who were perfectly happy and had it all together.
But then he threw his bath towels on the floor. Didn’t even hang them up. He had the nerve to get a new towel every time he showered!
Can you imagine my horror?
Then he wouldn’t eat anything—and I mean anything—that wasn’t his mother’s recipe. I made my mom’s sloppy joes. Nope, wouldn’t eat it. I made lasagna the way I knew how. Wouldn’t even touch it.
We got into marriage for exactly 2.2 weeks before discovering that this thing called marriage, well, it’s not easy!
This February we’ll have been together for 20 years. Two decades! And guess what? Although it’s gotten more wonderful, marriage hasn’t gotten any easier. In fact, we deal with the same issues that we dealt with in our first year of marriage.
Here they are …
- Men and women communicate differently.
- Men see one teeny-tiny box at a time; women see 500 boxes all at the same time—and they are all interconnected.
- Men and women have totally different views and needs on sex.
- Men need respect; women need love.
That’s it! Every single marriage issue, every argument, fight, discussion, problem … I believe it all boils down to one of these four issues. Or maybe even a combination of two of them—or all of them!
Let’s say hubby makes a comment that offends and hurts wifey. One little sentence was spoken, but it sends the marriage into a war of words. Hubby doesn’t understand because his one statement was just that—one literal statement, not implying anything but the actual words he said. Wifey takes offense because the 500 boxes of information in her head are all interlinking, like some gigantic circuit board, and she assumes his comment has to do with her lack of taking care of the kids, house, bills, dishes, laundry—and every other thought that is active at every moment of the day. Wifey feels unloved; hubby feels disrespected. Hubby wants an intimate night to resolve issues; wifey vows to never be intimate again until he apologizes, brings flowers, and begs her forgiveness.
Ever happen at your house?
Yeah, mine, too.
But you can see how one example launches into those four points above. Most marriage issues can be traced back to those four basic things.
I’ve discovered that most of the time, I can resolve these issues by focusing on my faults instead of my husband’s. But I can bite back so quickly and harshly that I damage our relationship instead of mending it. Instead, I should ask myself these questions:
- Am I communicating my thoughts, feelings, and needs effectively and kindly to my husband so that he can clearly understand me?
- Am I remembering that he doesn’t know the 500 things I am thinking about and that he doesn’t think the same way I do?
- Am I loving him in an intimate way the way that I should, as God has adorned the wife to do, and in the way that he needs me to?
- Am I showing him respect, as my husband, as the father of my kids, and as the head of the household?
Sounds easy, but I assure you—for me, at least—it isn’t. And it doesn’t get any easier the longer you’ve been married. I look back at our first year of marriage and laugh, hysterically, at getting mad at a few wet towels left to mildew on the bathroom floor. Several years and a couple kids later, our issues are a bit bigger. There’s more to managing a household together now. There’s more financial concerns to determine together. There’s double the schedules and people to manage together. There’s a lot more to marriage now … a lot more that can either help or hurt our marriage.
Unfortunately, I can still behave like I did 12 years ago by pointing the finger at my partner instead of at myself. Fortunately, God’s Word can help guide, direct, and humble us when we need it. These verses are some of the verses that I lean on for marriage and for life:
- “Be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’ ” (1 Peter 1:13-16)
- “Be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:4)
- “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19)
- “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22)
- “Live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11)
Marriage is not easy, but it’s worth it!
Do you find the things that come between you and your spouse can be traced back to the four basic points above? How do you and your spouse resolve marital issues? What lessons has God taught you in your marriage?
Copyright 2012, Christi McGuire. All rights reserved.