It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but new circumstances and change are often the perfect conditions for a marriage to be tested. A move, new position at work, or welcoming a new baby are some of the more common scenarios for this to happen, but a global pandemic is certainly on that list as well!
Fear, financial issues, job stability, and being home together for an extended period can create extra stress and tension within a marriage. Even though things are opening up in many parts of the country, there is still a lot of uncertainty about the future. We all process in different ways, which can also test our marriage.
Years ago, I heard author and speaker Michael Hyatt say, “Intimacy is on the other side of conflict.” That statement has stuck with me and helps me to reframe moments of conflict with my spouse. When we have the goal of growing through conflict and trial, our marriage can come out better on the other side.
Here are five things we can remember as we experience trials in our marriage, whether it’s from a global pandemic or another life-changing circumstance:
1. Remember That You’re a Team
It’s easy to get into a “It’s you versus me” mentality in times of trial and stress. Remembering that you’re on the same team can help you work toward resolution and intimacy.
2. Be Generous in Your Assumptions
Believe the best about your spouse. If you aren’t sure about the intentions behind their actions or words, ask them. We can spend a lot of time making up stories in our heads and getting worked up about something we made incorrect assumptions about.
3. Live in the Present
Sometimes we focus so much on the past or the future that we miss out on the present. It’s true, we don’t know what tomorrow holds and we’re all trying to make plans, financial and otherwise. We’re wondering what normal will like in the days and years to come and our fears and anxiety can skyrocket if we’re not careful. Let’s remember to enjoy today. Spend time with your spouse and enjoy this season, whatever it looks like for you. Sometimes that means coming up with new routines or creative solutions to make things work for your marriage. Enjoy the process and remember that limits don’t always have to be frustrating, they can be fun.
4. Focus on the Positive
When we focus on the negative, the positive things about our spouse fall to the wayside. Instead of making a list of your spouse’s shortcomings and things that annoy you, make a list of their positive traits. Focus on those and let your spouse know that you appreciate those qualities.
5. Trust the Lord
In times that are better and in times that are worse, trusting in the Lord will see us through. Jeremiah 17:7-8 reminds us of what our marriage can look like when we trust Him: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Another great option in times of marital trial is to make an appointment with The Rock Your Marriage team. We’re always here to help. You can make an appointment at (719) 362-0796.