Why is it so hard to admit that? Maybe because we already had our rough year, long ago and I conquered it, baby. We’ve been there, done that, and I was so wise and knowing of how to be a great wife that I didn’t even worry about what I would do if we ever ended up in ThisSucks Land again. But, alas, we did end up there, and I’ll be darned if I didn’t find myself acting just like my impatient, insecure, selfish 22 year old self all over again.
The scary part, was this time, 13 years later, we weren’t having the big, passionate, knock-down, drag out fights of our first year of marriage. We were just kind of bickering. A lot. And it’s not like we didn’t still have lots of good times. But where was the passion, the fight to fix this that ended up in tearful professions of love and fervent making-up? It’s almost like we had just accepted that this was the way it was going to be. Just some good days, some bad days. Some days when we felt like what’s the point?
Until I woke up and decided, no. No, this isn’t the way it’s going to be. We will not have a lukewarm marriage. We will not end up like the sitcom couple, making little digs at each other in company, making everyone laugh and cringe at the same time. No, we’re not going to lead our family down the path of destruction, and if you think I’m being dramatic, trust me. An unhappy marriage, no matter how mild, wreaks havoc on the family.
Kids know, and are hurt, no matter how we try to hide it. And in my case, I wasn’t trying too hard to hide it. Unfortunately, my disrespectful remarks were often made in front of my girls, and I am still paying the consequences for that. Oh, and yes, I am a 35 year old Christian woman that writes about marriage and knows better. It happens. And yes, the hypocrite in me considered removing this paragraph, oh, only about 4 times.
Like any time there’s issues in a relationship, there were many factors at work in what was wrong. But it boils down to: my husband is going through some stuff and instead of helping him through it, I’ve been reacting to it.
There was no dramatic event that made us hit rock bottom and vow to change. Nope, for me, it was just a simple morning, reading my Bible and praying. The night before I had spent roughly ninety minutes complaining to a friend, and didn’t think twice about it. But as I wrapped up my quiet time and started to get ready for the day, something just clicked.
This isn’t me, I thought. I don’t talk crap about my husband! I don’t justify my bad behavior based on his actions. I don’t look for reasons to Get. Out. Of. This. I certainly don’t fantasize about having an apartment with my girls and living the simple life without my husband.
Except that it is who I am. I’ve been here before, I remembered. And yeah, our problems were bigger then and our fights were louder, but this was the same Angela that showed up then. Totally insecure, totally self absorbed, and totally able to justify everything I did because my husband was being a jerk.
In that instant, God reminded me of the mission He had given me back then.
I knew that, years had passed and we had grown in God and maturity, but I knew that my mission then was the same as my mission now.
To love my husband. Period. And by doing so, I could be Jesus to him.
That is it. It’s not my job to fix him, or leave him, or make sure that I am taken care of and all my needs are met.
Why is that so hard? For me, it was hard because I was trying to do it in my own strength. This is why I love life with God. He showed me what I need to do, and I know that He will give me the strength to do it. It won’t always be easy, and I’m sure I’ll fall short more than once.
But God has worked in our marriage before and I know without a doubt that He will again.
And so it is with faith that I tell you, I am going to share here as I work on this. I’m going to keep the focus on my issues and my part in all this. So if you catch me pointing a finger at my husband, then by all means, call me out!
Tomorrow, I’ll share how my heart went from being super aggravated with my husband to overflowing with love for him in a matter of minutes, and why I decided to share all this here.
And more to come on this later, but I really want to create a space here to support marriage. It is hard to stay married these days. It’s easier and sometimes we are even more encouraged to give up than to stay.
So this is officially my first post in the 365 Reasons to Stay Married series. I have no idea how long it’ll take me to come up with 365 reasons. Years, maybe. I’ll still be blogging about other stuff, too, and I’m not sure how often I’ll do these posts.
Will you join me? If you have a good reason to stay married, everything from the serious to the light-hearted, send it me! You can tweet it, using the hashtag #365reasons or you can email me (try to keep it under 500 words so I can read them all) at angela @ homegrownmom.com (No spaces). Or share it on my Facebook page… however you want to get it out there.
I’ll be sharing as many as I can here, and before we know it, we’ll have a great resource for struggling marriages. If you want to me to link to your blog or Twitter, be sure to include a link for me, okay?
A quick disclaimer: I believe this is a God-given assignment and it is high on my priority list. However, my family is my top priority so it might be days or even weeks in between these 365 reasons posts. Eventually, we will get there! I’ll work on it as I have time, and it’ll happen. But not as quickly as if a full-time blogger was doing it. Thanks for understanding!