When you first get married, all seems blissful! You are marrying the person of your dreams and you can’t imagine ever feeling anything but love for that soulmate of yours, right? Then a few months in, or a few years in, or even 20 (plus) years in, and your like…um…this is way harder than I imagined! Yup! That’s marriage for ya! Sometimes it is crazy hard!!! I mean after all, it’s 2 imperfect humans raised 2 totally different ways, with 2 totally different numbers on the Enneagram (Eek!) trying to figure out how to do life in agreement and unity...as one. Hmmm. Oh yeah! There’s gonna be conflict! There’s gonna be trials. There’s gonna be major hurdles to overcome, major personality challenges and for sure a lot of emotions and tears. But there can also be major learning, major growing, major joy, major making-up ;) (hee-hee), and so much love and unity! That can totally be the reality of your marriage!
Something we have learned (and are still learning) is that after the conflict, there is growth (if done right), and after the growth is such sweetness, such unity, such love that can’t be possible without the conflict and the growth. Yes, the conflict, the growth, the emotions of trying to understand each other and work together as one is challenging and yes, some days we are tired and don’t want to wrestle thru the hard stuff. Because let’s be honest here. Some days it would be easier to just roll our eyes at each other and then just move on from it all. To chalk it up to “He/she doesn’t understand me. Moving on. It’s not a big deal”. It’s not easy to find time to sit down together and discuss our latest conflict and the whys and hows of it all and then humble ourselves to get to the other side of it (and of course figure out how to do the conflict better next time...cuz there will inevitably be a next time). That is the growing part though! It’s hard yall! It’s hard to make time for it and do the hard work of it. But it’s sooo worth it! NOTHING GREAT COMES EASY!
When we first got married, we never went into it thinking of a way out, or thinking that “if this doesn’t work out, there’s always plan B”. NOPE!! No Highway Option!!! We never considered it! (We don’t say the “D” word in our marriage..not an option!) It was (and still is) “til death do us part”. We never just “hoped” it would work out. We went into it without another option. As I was on the phone with my sister the other day, we were discussing how we will always be growing in our marriages. We may have a few lulls here and there and a few moments where we will be coasting and just simply enjoying one another’s company. That may last a few hours, a few weeks, a few months or even a year or more, but eventually, yall….eventually there’s gonna be some conflict again that you have to work through again. That’s just the reality of any marriage. It’s not going to be easy. THE GOOD STUFF IS ALWAYS THE HARD STUFF!
We have been in the “growing” season for a little while around here. Thus the reason we haven’t been posting for Marriage Mondays. We have taken a little time off to focus on the growing (and the occassional coasting ;-) and give our relationship the energy and focus and time we needed to dig deep and give it all we’ve got to become more deeply in love with each other. In future marriage mondays posts, we’ll talk more about what has worked and what hasn’t in our growing season and the beauty that has come from the hard work of pressing on and not giving up.
For now, we just wanted to encourage all of you married couples…Don’t give up! Hang in there! If you’re in a tough season, remember what drew you to each other in the first place and remember it won’t always be this hard. You WILL get on the other side of it if you stick it out and when you do…OH THE BEAUTY!!! You will be so glad you did! We sure are!
The Prize is worth the Price!!!
Allen & Carol