Being married is an incredible thing. It pushes me, and makes me grow more than i could have ever imagined, and it's only been two years so far! From the day we got married, some things completely changed. I viewed my relationship differently. Every time in past relationships when i'd get angry, i'd hide it, i wouldn't want to "nag" or get in an uncomfortable conversation, or make him feel bad. I realized quickly that if i didn't bring it up, i'd eventually get so hurt and my heart wouldn't be in the relationship because i was unhappy, and it would ultimately hurt our relationship. I also saw it's not necessarily nagging. A lot of it is learning how to live together, learning why they do what they do, and maybe little things we could do to serve each other every day.
Recently we have hit a bump in the road. It's not an overnight fix, and it's taking more work. I've found first talking about this problem with your spouse is step one. Figuring out small goals is step two. Right now for us that looks like, reading a book that is about marriage, praying together, and doing more little things to serve each other. One thing that i need is encouragement, compliments. I've also been trying to ask Brandon what i can do each week to help him. We've decided in a couple months if things haven't changed for the better, we'll see a counselor. I also stated that even if things DO change, i want to eventually see one for a refresher. I'm a huge believer in counseling of some sort even if things are great.
The next thing i did was talk to my mom about it. I told her exactly what was going on, and what we were doing to help both now and in a couple months. She was so proud that we were working on it, figured out the issues, and could only tell me what we were doing to fix it was exactly what we should be doing. This is one of our first bumps in the road. I guess the real first one was right after we were married. Going from not living in the same state, to the same house was interesting to say the least. There were lots of arguments, but that was an easy bump to get through.
You you might be in your first struggle or twentieth, but these little reminders still apply.
1- what you're feeling is common, That "lovey-dovey" feeling comes and goes, so don't depend on that. Instead put your trust in pursuing a love that is is deep, honest and true. This can only start to develop over time and seeing those hard times, and pushing through.
2- Hard times... is this your first bump in the road? How you handle these will determine what happens next. Get books, read together, get counseling, figure out how to change and better that situation together by communicating... even when it's tough to talk about.
3- Learn to compromise, pick your battles. If you're not willing to budge on certain situations, you're being selfish. so determine if your decision is based on selfishness or actually means something. Then you're going to have to give up on some things.
4- Don't take someone else's side over your spouse
5- i mentioned communication already, but really, you need to listen to each other's needs. Not only listen but make a change, an effort to meet some of those needs. Also understand it doesn't necessarily even need to be understood to be legitimate. Then figure out the root meaning to those needs.
6- never mention divorce again. EVER. It's not an option, instead figure out how to make life enjoyable when you consider it impossible to get a divorce. It'll make you work harder together and for your marriage.
7- Pray. Pray all the time, for your marriage, wisdom, protection and for one another. This is how you'll gain strength and I'm sure a better appreciation for one another.
I've suggested some helpful tools before but some books i recommend are here. And some DVDs to watch together are here. Right now Brandon and i are reading love and war, and so far it's a great read for encouragement! If you're interested in one of those books, or DVDs, but maybe need some more insight, email me, i'd be glad to point you in the right direction and help you out.
I believe in marriage, that it can make you stronger, love deeper, help you shine bright, and i believe that you can work out those struggles that we all face and aren't sure how to get through and come out on the other side having even more love for your spouse.