I was 25 when I got married and it didn’t take long to realize that I was in no way prepared for it. The divorce threat was thrown out every time an argument occurred (which was on a daily basis) and I started to have bitterness toward my wife. I knew marriage wasn’t going to be easy, but I had no idea it was going to be that hard. I did not like my personal life in the least bit and I tried to avoid it as much as possible.
Does this story sound familiar to you? Some married couples are fortunate enough to have never gone through the issues that my wife and I had gone through. However, some have had those issues or are currently going through them.
Although I have not been married a long time, I was forced to learn how to fix our marriage or else it was going to end and soon the threats of divorce would be fulfilled. I will list, in no particular order, the actions (don’t overlook that word) that were taken to turn my marriage from near divorce to working toward a healthy marriage
- Love- if marriage’s most important quality had to be summed up in one word, it would have to be love. A huge characteristic of love is grace and without grace, a marriage stands no chance at all. What does this look like? Ephesians 4:26 says, “Do not let the sun go down while you’re still angry.” Many married couples automatically assume that you must talk until 4 am until you are both satisfied and the problem is resolved. What this verse really means is just forgive the other person and their fault and get to bed at a decent time! In your next argument, just think, “Is this argument going to better our marriage or is it one of those arguments that we will forget about in a couple of days?” If it is the latter, swallow your pride and drop the argument; it really isn’t worth the valuable time that you spent discussing it.
- Pursue Jesus- I have been told that you can’t truly love someone unless you love yourself. It’s hard to love yourself just knowing all the sins that you commit on a daily basis but once you start truly pursuing Jesus, you can begin loving yourself. There will come a point when you realize that a perfect being truly loves you and if that being can love you despite your imperfections, who are you to say that you aren’t worthy of your own love? The best thing that you can do for your marriage is to love yourself.
- Counseling- for some reason, some people are embarrassed to seek help. Every person on this earth is broken and should always seek wisdom from others to strengthen their weaknesses. My wife and I saw a counselor and we told him everything. My wife unloaded all her frustrations in some meetings and I would sit there in shock because I was finally hearing how screwed up I was. I am in no way perfect now, but because of those meetings, I now know the areas that I need to work on.
- The desire to grow- You obviously fall into this category because you read a marriage blog. By doing this, you are shutting up the voices in your head, called pride, that say growth isn’t necessary. Keep growing in your faith and accept criticism and your marriage will benefit from it.
If it wasn’t for the above 4 steps, I would be a divorced broken man. But because I have done all of those steps, I am happily married. There are, of course, still times that I become aggravated but I always remember that I made a promise and I will have to do whatever it takes to make sure I keep it.