My Prayer to God during the most heartbreaking moments in my marriage has always been "Lord, teach me how to love him (my husband) like You (God) do."
There are moments in a relationship when your love is tested on levels that will hit you like a blow in the gut. It will knock the wind (love) out of you due to the surmountable pain you feel. Every person has a breaking point, the "I've had enough", or "I can't take it any more and I won't take it any more" moments. That's when you have reached the capacity to love someone that dishonors you with all of their being. But the worse pain of it all is that you still love them and desire to be in fellowship with them and do not want to abort the relationship because of a temporary emotion.
How do you overcome moments that deem to be the toughest season of your marriage?
Couple's Counseling: I know, he/she doesn't think that it's necessary. However, it is, no matter what stage your marriage is in, you could be married 3 years or 20 years, counseling is always needed to keep the marriage maintaining at its highest level. Counseling is not to point the blame but instead to point your relationship in the direction that can render a healthy and loving environment in the home.
Individual therapy: What I've found in my own marriage is that it cannot be healthy if we as individuals are not healthy. When I decided to attend therapy, I realized how my brokenness was far greater than the issues in our relationship. As a matter of fact, it was because of our broken areas that we were not as successful as we wanted to be. Our arguments were from a much deeper place that needed to be healed. That is why going to therapy in your singleness is A MUST! Don't skip on this. You can be the most spiritual person, grew up in the church, and came from a good home and still have areas where you need healing and could affect your marriage in the long term. You may not need extensive therapy but just a little tweaking in areas such as how to communicate, fears, anxious thoughts, insecurities, boundaries, etc.
Connect with a circle of married couples: During the toughest times of marriage, it helps to surround yourselves with other couples that are thriving and will offer spiritual support. Find couples that will guard your dignity, tell you the truth, not judge your relationship and will encourage and pray with you when needed. Hanging out with like-minded couples (or married individuals) helps to keep things in the right perspective during the down times of your relationship.
Understand it's NORMAL: Yes it is normal for any marriage to take a turn for the worse. It is the evolution of people growing with each other and as individuals. What's not normal is a pattern of abuse and toxic behavior (refer to #1 if you are experiencing this). However, times of disagreement, growing stale, becoming distant and even questioning if you made the right decision....is real! But if you ask any couple that has been together a while, they will probably tell you that these are all of the feelings that they have experienced in the marriage. All is not lost, you can overcome ruts in your marriage, so be encouraged.
During times of difficulties in your marriage, it is important to not allow your heart to grow cold. This happens when resentment and bitterness has set in. It happens when prayer is no longer being demonstrated in your daily walk to change you in the process. Allow your marriage to develop your character. As hard as this time is for you, God is using it to pursue your heart and cultivate your deepest desire for Him.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 - We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
Acts 20:35 - In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
I Peter 4:8 - Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Ephesians 5:29 - For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
Ephesians 4:2-3 - With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Remember God is your Defender!
Colossians 3:18-19 - Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
I Peter 3:7 - Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
Father I pray for the person that is reading this and may be in a difficult point in their marriage and it is taking all that is within them to stay encouraged and not walk away. I pray that your peace will be upon them and your divine love will captivate their heart to believe what your word says, that love covers a multitude of sins. They do not have the capacity to love in their nature, I ask that they take on the nature of who you are God and love their spouse as you love them. Please help their hearts to soften in the situation and if it gets too much to bear that you will open their heart to seek for help. Strengthen them and give them courage and understanding. Grant them the grace to endure this tough time, knowing that You, the God of peace, will bring all things in its proper order. In Jesus Name! Amen
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