Let’s be completely honest here. Is your marriage all that you thought it would be? When you sought out THE perfect dress and walked down the aisle all covered in white lace, is this the “happily ever after” that you thought you’d have? I’m not just referring to the fairy tale wedding. I’m referring to your marriage; your life together as husband and wife.
I’ll go first – and then feel free to examine your heart on the issues in your own marriage.
My husband and I have been married for going on 13 years. This is my second marriage and his first. I admit that I am not as tolerant as I once was in my first marriage. I thought that was my “forever” but soon learned he did not feel the same (he cheated on me) so we divorced after seven years. With all that I went through in my first marriage, I wanted my second marriage to have a fairy tale ending “… and they lived happily ever after” riding off into the sunset holding hands and looking at each other sooooo in love. I admit that I wanted my “forever” with my second husband. While I understand the whole marriage concept was new to my second husband, after 13 years you do expect things to be better than ever before.
To continue with the honesty, we’ve had our share of struggles – some we have discussed here on this blog. A lot of couples throw in the towel when the going gets tough. But, that is the time you need to realize that you’re on the same team with the same goals in mind. That is the time that you need to whip out all of the tools in your handy little toolbox and get to work – both of you – to improve and save the marriage. I will add that if your spouse is willing to make a lasting change and shows that every day, then you have a future together. If your spouse is unwilling to change, though, you have a rough road ahead of you. Remember the saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result? That’s where you’re at in your marriage if your spouse is unwilling to change!
As for me, I’m at the stage in my life where I will no longer be tossed around in someone else’s drama, even if the drama is coming straight from my spouse and issues from his past that he’s failed to deal with completely. I want, deserve, and need to find happiness. I am not getting any younger, and as I reach my mid-forties, this is not how I want to live the rest of my life; in turmoil. As a counselor pointed out, I have accepted this for way too long. He’s gotten away with it, but no more. I’m holding him accountable and no longer tolerating what I put up with in the past.
Despite the troubles we’ve had, am I ready to give up? Am I ready to throw in the towel? Ah, NO!! Instead, I’m ready to try harder than ever before. Why? Because we are worth it! Our marriage is worth saving! We deserve to be happy!
I went away this past weekend to Indiana with my daughter. On this trip, I had a lot of time to think. Upon my return, I told my husband that if he cannot commit to me and not have anything else placed before me (other than God), then obviously I am not his happiness. I intend to have happiness in life, though, and while I’d rather have that happiness with him by my side, if he isn’t in this for the long haul, committed to me and making this work, then I wish him well on finding his happiness. He said he wants his happiness with me, and so we’re working together now not to have what we had before trouble entered the picture. No, we don’t want to go back to that life. We want so much MORE, and so we’re striving for a new, better way of loving each other as we travel down this road in life hand in hand, heart to heart.
There is a little book called “7 Secrets To An Awesome Marriage” by Kim Kimberling, PHD. Dr. Kimberling will help equip you with tools for your toolbox. One main thing is that the couples HAVE to put God first. There is no other way. If you put any one or any thing before God, it will be doomed. God has to be number one, followed by your spouse. That is one area that I know we struggled with but are working on.
Another is issues from the past or “baggage” that is brought into the marriage whether it’s the way you grew up, an addiction that was hidden for too long, etc. It requires that you take a good, hard look in the mirror at yourself and decide if you want to work through those issues to be a better spouse. They deserve all of your love, not holding on to things that will destroy your marriage — and believe me, if you have a hidden sin, you are slowly chipping away at your marriage foundation. Soon it will collapse. If you don’t want that, admit where you have sinned, ask God and your spouse for forgiveness and mean it with your whole heart, and then turn from that sin and never ever go back to it!
My husband will share his words tomorrow on the blog and insight he gained from reading the book. Bravo to my husband for reading the book cover to cover and not just picking things out that interest him (like sex … yes that is mentioned in the book, too …).
To sum up my part of the review of the book, I’ll say …
Buy the book. Utilize the tools given. Watch your marriage improve as God works wonders for you and your spouse!
Watch for more from my husband on this book tomorrow on the blog!