I re-started reading a book that was given to Daniel and I when we got married. It’s called “Starting Your Marriage Right” by Dennis & Barbara Rainey. This is a book that tells you “what you need to know and do in the early years to make it last a lifetime.” I decided that I would read maybe a couple chapters a week and try to implement what they say into Daniel and my marriage. I also thought that I would share our journey through this book for you, who read this.
So, here it goes.
This chapter had me at the title, “The Honeymoon’s Over?” As I was reading this chapter I was able to relate a lot of things that happened early in our marriage to what they were portraying in the passages.
Back before Daniel and I got married, I thought that Daniel and I had a lot of things going for us that would sustain us throughout our marriage. I thought that these things would make marriage easier for us.
For example, we had the same middle name, different spellings. How could we not be made for each other right? lol. 21 year old logic there.
We both came from a Church of Christ background, which was and is VERY important.
He was a man that treated me like I was on top of his world.
Every time that I would see him, I would get all giddy and excited.
We truly loved and cared for each other and couldn’t ever imagine us being upset with each other. I think I even remember telling him that I couldn’t ever imagine us being mad at each other.
He was the peaceful, patient, positive partner I needed.
I was the procrastinating, ponderous, photo-taking partner that he couldn’t live without.
We lived miles apart.
He lived in Delaware and I lived in Kentucky.
We didn’t get to know a lot about each other, other than over the phone.
When he came home from leave, our heads were on cloud 15, they weren’t on Earth.
Anything that each other did was pure gold. There was nothing that the other one could do to upset the other, because we were happy just being together.
This was great. All fine and dandy.
Then our worlds went through the spin cycle. He got out of the military, I got out of college (by graduating). We went from being single, to being married. I moved out of my parents’ house, we moved in with his parents. Daniel had to get used to not being in the military and being busy and I had to get used to being proactive looking for a job. We had to get used to living with each other. We were learning each other’s quirks, that we had no clue about.
It wasn’t easy.
It was stressful, for sure!
We were drifting apart (not together) during this time in our lives.
It seemed like this was all in our control.
That we could magically stop the spinning earth with our two hands.
Boy, were we wrong.
We were trying to solve our problems/changes individually and not together. We definitely weren’t calling on God to help us with our problems. I thought it was just a phase of marriage.
There was something missing in our equation.
What could it have been?
What we needed was God in our marriage. He needed to be at the center of it all, and He wasn’t.
Without God in our marriage, I started letting Satan pick apart our marriage, piece-by-piece.
He started putting little seeds of doubt in my brain…
How are you going to pay for your bills?
How you going to get a job? You don’t know anyone!
Your husband can’t be trusted, because of your past experiences.
You and your husband are NOTHING alike!!
I was listening to all these seeds of doubt and they were starting to grow.
Daniel and I were arguing over small, little, things and they weren’t getting solved.
There were nights, where we’d get done fighting, and I would lie in the bed facing the window. I would be looking at the street light through the window as tears would stream down my face. I would be as quiet as I could be, not saying a word. I was afraid that anything that was said would make it worse, so I stayed quiet.
I didn’t know how to fix our problems. I was trying to hold the weight of our relationship on my shoulders, but there was someone there the whole time that was ready to take the weight of our problems on his shoulders.
As a matter of fact, he had already taken the weight of our sin and problems on his shoulders, going up a hill called Calvary.
I remember one night, in particular, I had enough fighting and sat up in the bed and started praying through sobs. Daniel asked, “What’s wrong?” I kept praying. I prayed for God to hold this marriage in His hands. I asked for Him to help us to stop fighting. I told Daniel, when I was done praying, that I just prayed. He asked me why I was praying. I told him that I was tired of us fighting and I was asking Him for help. I don’t remember what was said after that, but I remember the burden being a little easier to bare, knowing that God was there with me.
From that moment on, I knew that God was the answer to our problems. I also knew that if God created marriage, He would help draw us closer to one another.
We had to know how to merge fantasy and reality together.
I had these thoughts about what marriage was going to be like. I thought that we wouldn’t fight. I thought that we’d be finishing each other’s sentences. I thought that the romance would continue. I thought that we’d have the exact same interests. I thought we’d both have great jobs and be made in the shade.
This was my fantasy.
We fought about silly things. We didn’t communicate the best. We liked to do different things. We argued about those things. We didn’t have jobs.
This was my reality.
But what I had to do was fuse the two.
Yes, we fought about small things, but we needed to communicate better. So, there wouldn’t be small things to fight about.
Yes, we didn’t always want to do the same things, but we could find the things that we both liked to do.
Yes, we didn’t have jobs, but we could take this time to get to know each other and enjoy each other’s company.
It’s all about the fusion of the two that makes the difference. It’s all about meeting in the middle.
Here’s a quote from the book that I want to share: “Yes, for every couple, the honeymoon ends and the hard work of building a lasting marriage begins (…) God stands nearby to complete the good work He began on the day you promised to love each other forever.” (Page 5)
Question: What is the hardest thing that you have had to go through with your spouse and how did you survive it?