Sunday, April 19, 2009

Marriage troubles and little children

Marriage can be incredibly fulfilling and awfully hard. Sometimes all at once, but more often there are seasons. I love my guy, and he loves me... but I have noticed in looking at ourselves, and others around us, that this can be a real struggle-filled stage of relationship... the years when the children are young.

On August 14th, we will celebrate our 10 year anniversary! And we are going into it with 8, 6, 4 and 2 year old boys, no extra money and a year and a half of hellish post-partum depression (hopefully) behind us. We have very little time to ourselves and sometimes it seems we disagree on everything...

I like to be spontaneous and do new things... he is content with routine.
He likes adventure in bed... sometimes its all I can do to get out of bed with a smile.
I like talking and deep conversation... he finds it a struggle.
He resents my computer time almost as often as I resent his tv time.
He likes a clean house, and I hate hearing about the house being messy.
I am sensitive... he can get angry.

I admit we've had times when the stress and pressure, as well as arguing have been a real strain on our marriage. BUT in everything we have been learning, and God has been teaching us. Here are some things we've been slowly realizing:

Its not always worth it to keep the peace. Growth often comes through struggle.
Guilt has no place in the life of a believer... and I condemn myself far too often.
Depression is not a sin... nor is it a sin for my husband not to always know how to respond.

Anger does not produce the righteous life God desires (James 1:20)
Humility is the key to success.
Life with 4 young children is hard. Thats ok. Its also a joy.

The other person's needs are more important than my own.

I used to think marriage was made up of romance and emotional attachment, but now I know, its made up of forgiveness, commitment and the foundation of Jesus Christ. I highly recommend the movie Fireproof if you haven't seen it. Also the book, the Love Dare.. that came from it. Your marriage is worth fighting for, and its the foundation of your family. We may have gone through a lot this past year, but on coming out the other end of a difficult time, we see the fruit of the trial. Keep the faith! Love beyond yourself... and remember that love is a choice. Marriage is a truckload of grace and forgiveness. I'm so glad Jesus chose it in His love for us.

Prayers for you my friends..


Beth E. said...

It is VERY difficult to focus on your marriage when your children are little...ESPECIALLY when they are so close in age. You have a beautiful've also got your hands FULL! :o)

I am very proud of you and your hubby...10 years is a big accomplishment - especially these days!

My hubby and I have been married for 30 yrs. It was very tough for us when our boys were little, and we only have TWO! So, I think you two deserve a pat on the back!

I had to chuckle a little regarding the bed issues. I'm confessing, right now, that I would intentionally rub Vick's Vaporub on myself at night when I wanted to just go to sleep, because I knew hubby couldn't stand the smell of it and would leave me alone! LOL Not something I'm proud of...I had to repent...but, girl I was TIRED back then!!! LOL

One thing that made a big difference in our lives (especially mine) was to SIMPLIFY our home life as much as possible. We found that our boys behaved much better if we kept a routine in our home...School, homework, dinner, bath, bed - all at the same time every night. In the summer, we still kept a routine, but it was more relaxed...It required more discipline on my (and hubby's) part, but it was worth it in the end. We also gave the boys chores and held them accountable to them. We got rid of a lot of stuff...took it to Goodwill...that freed up space and made it easier to keep things out of the middle of the floor! ;o)

We had very little money when the boys were young. So, we developed "Date Night" at home. We'd feed/bathe the boys, get them in bed by 8:00 p.m. Then, hubby and I would eat dinner by candlelight in our dining room. We'd take turns cooking a special dish, just for the two of us (one would be cooking while the other got the boys ready for bed). Then, we'd watch a movie, or set aside time to talk. We always made time to just cuddle. If it led to something else, fine. If not, fine. We placed no pressure on ourselves. Sometimes, what got us through the week was knowing that we were gonna have our time on Friday! Maybe that's something you and your hubby could do.

There are always going to be differences in yours and hubby's personalities. Perhaps there's room for compromise in certain areas.

This part of your post says it all:
"I used to think marriage was made up of romance and emotional attachment, but now I know, its made up of forgiveness, commitment and the foundation of Jesus Christ."You are right, Rachel. That's the key!

Thanks for your prayers...praying for you, too! :o)


Liberty said...

This was a really great entry!