Our kids are in that stage where they have so many places to be, and no way to get there other than me.
I could cut back on their activities, I suppose, but there are certain things I want the kids to know how to do that we can’t facilitate at home. Homeschooling has its advantages, but one of them is not a soccer team and a debate team in the backyard. So I plow straight ahead and know that in a few years I will miss it all so much. (And I found a piano teacher who will come to our HOUSE, which made me feel like I struck GOLD.)
I say all this to frame this post. I’m in the busiest time of my life. But how do I maintain a good marriage in the middle of the busyness?
Sometimes I start to freak out—and by freak out, I mean tell my husband I am certain we are becoming strangers and suggest we have a deep talk right then—while the kids are knocking on our door asking for food, and rides, and math help. Add to all the chaos, my husband travels for work, which I occasionally accuse him of secretly enjoying.
There are many little disconnections, and they all equal a vast chasm from my viewpoint. You know what they say, death by a thousand cuts. And that is what I fear may happen if we are not proactive about our marriage.
So is this post about connecting more? Cutting back on business? Taking time for dates?
No, I just want to talk with you, wife to wife, just in case you feel frantic too. If things feel out of control, it might just mean that life is pretty much not able to be controlled. You know, like nailing jello to the wall. Changing your marital status, career, hair color, or anything else, won’t make that out of control feeling go away. So what then?
Don’t brush issues under the rug, but don’t let your current issues dictate the big picture.
Things change, and circumstances ebb and flow. Life is chaotic and marriage is hard. Throwing in the towel might feel easier for the time being, but in the long run, you will find yourself discontent if you don’t place your identity, and the identity of your marriage, in Christ.
By all means, be creative. Talk, go have fun, read books, attend retreats and share your journey with a few close friends who will listen and pray for you. But keep the Big Picture in mind. Keep your eye on the prize. The long-run is the goal, not the next three hours.
I am no expert and will never claim to be.
I am just stumbling my way through and holding on like everyone else. Recently, I looked at how chaotic things were in our lives and decided we must be doing things terribly wrong. We didn’t resemble The Notebook AT ALL. I fall into the trap of making comparisons, which we all know never ends well. And I tend to compare all of the great things, and none of the bad—mostly based on the amazing pictures and status updates on Facebook.
“Shouldn’t we have it figured out by now?!”
I asked my husband this a couple of days ago. I felt so defeated over the fact that we aren’t experiencing marital bliss more often. Sure, there are moments of bliss, but there are moments of frustration too.
My husband told me that things are not as bad as I think, and that we are in a busy season of our lives. But my husband seemed pretty confident we would see change when we were less busy. I pointed out our past three arguments, but he said it’s all part of growing. He’s possibly in denial, but his outlook seemed better than mine.
Maybe, part of the process is the struggle. It’s kind of beautiful to walk through a lot of hard stuff together.
Now, I am convinced some people do naturally get along better than others. It’s like they won the “Love Language Lottery,” or something.
They give and receive love to each other with little strife. They rarely fight, and consider their marriage to be a union of best friends. They seem surprised when you confess you want to throat-punch your spouse. (Courtesy of my friend, Nicole.) If that is you, whisper a prayer of thanks. It’s a wonderful thing.
If you and your spouse are like fire and gasoline, stick around here for a while. Not only does misery love company (joking), we can encourage each other along the way! Sanctification. It’s miraculous. Change is slow, painfully slow at times, but God doesn’t let us stay the same, and He will be faithful to your marriage.
Looking back I see God’s faithfulness. Looking in the present, I feel like a failure. Looking forward, I feel hopeful. See how that works? If I am not wise, I will allow my current feelings ruin tomorrow.
Things might seem beyond repair, you might be arguing nonstop, you might think marriage is a cruel joke. But I am telling you, once you get to the other side, you will be so proud of sticking with it. You won’t regret it. If you do, I will send you five dollars. But not until you’ve tried for at least two decades. It might take that long, but all amazing things take time a hard work. Your marriage is not an exception.
“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” —Romans 8:25
About the Author: Michelle Lindsey is a Jesus-loving wife of more than two decades and a homeschooling mom of four who blogs about what happens when romance meets reality (with her adult daughter!) at Nitty Gritty Love. You can find more Nitty Gritty Love on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.