Weddings are EXCITING and FUN. The months leading up to them involve bridal showers and registering for gifts (which is like shopping without a giant bill at checkout, who doesn’t love that?!). You are the center of attention in so many areas of your life during that season - everyone asks you a million questions about wedding details and probably a few personal questions you don’t feel like answering. You actually might find yourself getting annoyed by all the attention (lol).
You finally get to pick out the dress. The flowers. The food. Who will stand next to you while you say “I Do.” Your Pinterest boards come to life. The event you have thought about throughout your life changes from a vague idea into a real thing.
And then it happens. The ultimate day of love, beauty, good food, and time with ALL of the people you love in one place! The best day ever. You will think about it obsessively and relive it while you browse through your photos over and over. Five years later you will still get the warm fuzzies when you look at those photos because WHAT A DAY IT WAS!!
But what comes next?
When the excitement and the attention and the amazing tan you had start to fade, what do you have? A marriage.
I know I’m stating the obvious here, marriage is what you signed up for. Duh. But when you made those promises, the problems you promised to work through felt far away. And when the spotlight has faded and the hard stuff starts to make an appearance, things can feel pretty lonely.
This is meant to encourage you, because marriage is about choices. Those choices and patterns start the moment you say “I do.” Those choices can make or break you when hard times hit.
It is easy to choose love and happiness when things are easy. But what about when money is tight or you start feeling like things are less-than? Or when everyone is sharing the highlight reel of their life on social media and you feel like you’re the only one who gets frustrated over little things like no coffee creamer in the fridge or someone forgetting to switch the laundry? (insert whatever the silly disagreement you have found yourself in is). Or when you feel bored with the every day routine of your life - work, cook, clean, try to sleep a little, repeat. This is before kids are added to the mix (HAHA).
Let’s reel this in.
You are not alone if you are in a season of struggle. And if you are in a sweet season, YAY for that!
We have personally experienced seasons of struggle AND sweet seasons where all is well. Both have so many good lessons and growth buried in them. What I have learned is that even in a season of struggle, you can have a peaceful marriage that is unshaken. Your marriage can be your lifeline when everything else is quicksand.
When things are rocky in your marriage, ask yourself where the pressure points are.
Are you having frequent arguments late at night? Decide not to talk about heavy topics when you are tired.
Do you spend a lot of time blaming your spouse or being internally frustrated with them? Take a step back and look at your own words and actions. You have control over how you respond to things, regardless of what they do or say. Apologize for where you have been wrong.
If you feel bored with your life, break the mold with your spouse. When is the last time you tried something new together? A new restaurant or hike, a new activity, a new place overnight. Camp in your backyard! Cook a new meal together. Take a day trip. Buy them their favorite drink and surprise them at work. Take a break from social media and comparison.
Remember what it was like when you were dating and you anticipated each others’ needs? Do that. Look for ways to serve, love, compliment. Think about yourself less, and them more. Write yourself a note on your bathroom mirror that counteracts something you struggle with. These tiny things can make BIG differences.
When you start changing your heart and your thinking patterns, your marriage can be transformed! Things that would have become a big argument can dissolve before they have a chance to blow up. Conflict can be resolved and both of you can win. The changes in you can make your spouse feel so loved and pursued! They may be feeling lonely and your small acts of love can change everything.
Don’t ever give up on your marriage. Remember the promises you made, and stand on them.
It is never too late to start trying. If you feel stuck, start trying today! You have permission to do that, it is not too late.
And if you are great at communicating, serving each other, and lifting each other up, reach out a hand to someone else who maybe isn’t there yet. I promise there is someone that you are close to that is struggling with their marriage and questioning if they’ve made the right choices. Remind them that they HAVE. The deal is sealed. They are married to the right person and things can get so much better.
Lift someone up. Encourage them. Marriage is so much more than the highlight real that is shown on social media. It is real, every-day life up close and what you put into it you will also get out of it.