Soul-Care Articles: Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Biblically-based, Clinically-sound, Truth-oriented

SOURCE:  Ron Edmondson

All marriages go through periods where things just aren’t as they should be.

It’s a natural occurrence in any relationship involving people. (I suppose that would include most marriages). The stress and pace of life causes tension in the best marriages. Cheryl and I have had several of those times, usually due to external pressures we did not cause or invite. Those periods have lasted a week, a few weeks, or a month or more. It isn’t that we don’t love each other, or even that we want out of the marriage, but that we just aren’t on the same page as much as we should be.

Have you ever been there? Be honest.

During these times the way a couple responds is critically important. If you’re in one of those seasons, here are 7 suggestions:

Communicate – Keep talking, to each other and to God, even when it’s awkward to do so. Admit where you are in the marriage. Again, this may hurt for a time, but it’s better to be honest than to allow the marriage to fall apart.

Stay close – Keep doing things together, sleep in the same bed, and find times to do special activities.This will protect your heart from wandering.

Discipline yourself – There will be times when you are tempted to say the wrong things or treat your spouse unkindly. It will require discipline to do the right thing, but it will help protect the marriage.

Get help – Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even the best marriages need some at times. This may be counseling, meeting with Christian friends you trust, or doing a Bible study together, but invite someone to speak into your life.

Learn – There are always principles to strengthen your marriage that can be learned during these times. Cheryl and I have learned, for example, that during especially stressful periods/days, that we have to be more intentional with our marriage. You may need to learn how to communicate better, how to handle conflict, or how to dream together again.

Be Patient – You’ll want change immediately, but relationships don’t work that way. Chances are it will take longer than you expect or want it to take to get through this period. Be patient.

Hang on – These seasons won’t last forever if you continue to work on your marriage. Be committed enough to your marriage to stick with it until this season passes.

Keep in mind, I’m not talking about times of abuse, neglect, affairs, or severe marriage issues. I’m speaking of times when the marriage just isn’t fun anymore. This is also when both spouses still want the marriage to work and are willing to work at making the marriage better.

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