My email inbox, as well as my Facebook messages box, gets filled from time to time with messages from people asking for help in their marriage. I’m always willing to help, as I believe God has equipped me to do just that. But sometimes there isn’t much I can do to help.
It’s not that the problem is too big to fix, it’s the perception of the problem. Many times the spouse reaching out for help is not really reaching out for help. They’re reaching out to vent about what they believe to be the source of all their problems — their spouse!
If your marriage is like mine, sometimes your wife could use some encouragement. If you are like me, it is not always easy for your wife to be married to you. I admit I can be tough to deal with sometimes. You can probably say the same. But sometimes we do get it right, and sometimes we say exactly what our wives need to hear from us at that time.
I’ve learned that when we come into marriage we all have our own expectations and ideas about how the ideal marriage should work. We all want the same thing—a good marriage, a happy marriage, a lasting and fulfilling marriage—but we have different ideas on what gets us there.
My wife Stephana and I didn’t really talk about this before we got married, and it was years into our marriage before we began to do so. We got married and just went on expecting things to end up “happily ever after” because that’s what we both wanted, even though we didn’t discuss it. Nope, didn’t happen.
My marriage wouldn’t be where it is today, without counsel and support of other married couples. We’ve been through counseling. We’ve had friends “camp out” at our house in the midst of a trial until we worked it out. Too many couples to name have covered us in prayer and helped us in many other areas. Each has been very valuable.
I woke up this morning, extremely excited, extremely happy, and extremely energetic! That may be the way you wake up every morning, but I have to admit that hasn’t been my mornings as of late. I’ve not been looking forward to each day, some mornings I’ve been down, and most mornings I’ve been lacking energy.
Have you been there before? Have you gotten into this rut of “blah?” Been in a season of being stuck, uninspired, frustrated with your life, your marriage, or your circumstances? If so, you may be struggling with the same thing that landed me there. The good news is the “fix” is simple. And today, there is no shortage of it around you. You just need to embrace it and practice it yourself.
Stephana and I were on Moody Radio for the third time on the Equipped with Chris Brooks show! We discussed our life before marriage, the confusion and struggle that came from it all plus my book, The 7 Rings of Marriage.
All of us who are married hope to have a marriage that lasts. Not only do we want it to last, but we want it to be fulfilling, and successful in every way. But after we say “I do,” we begin to wonder how we can actually accomplish this. It’s no secret that a successful marriage takes work, just like success at anything in life.
We come into marriage with high hopes and Hollywood-inspired visions of what marriage is going to be like. Then we hit hard patches and we discover things about our spouses (and ourselves) that aren’t as appealing. This leads to a first-hand understanding of why people say “marriage is hard work,” and why the divorce rate is so high.
For a while, I’ve held onto some things which I knew at some point I’d have to open up and share. These things are from my past, but my not too distant past and it still hurts me to this day. I’ve opened up a lot lately and began to write about them.
They are some of my biggest failures and setbacks in marriage. I knew I couldn’t keep these experiences to myself forever, but sharing your failures isn’t something you rush to do. But I finally shared. I shared because I believed it would help you and others in some crucial areas you must master in marriage.
Last Friday I did the final read-thru and spot-check of my new book, The 7 Rings of Marriage, before it was sent off to the printers. I have to say I have the most amazing and patient team working with me at B&H Publishing. This is my first print book and I checked and checked, and made edits and updates on top of edits and updates. I even updated one of the updates!
This is a guest post from Bryan Stoudt, a pastor and blogger who helps people learn to follow Jesus even when life is busy, broken and full of distractions. (And isn’t it always?) You can read more from Bryan on his blog, bryanstoudt.com
, and connect with him on Facebook
. If you want to guest post on my blog, check out my guest post guidelines
and submit your post.
‘Good night,’ I said, trying to smile and drum up some enthusiasm. I’m not really sure what my wife said in return, but it was probably something similar. In reality, I had already moved on.
On the inside, I was hurting. Frustrated that my wife seemed disengaged. But I didn’t want to admit it. And neither one of us was brave enough to move beyond the status quo.