It’s Friday and that means my friend Shawn Snyder, from The Odd Couple Blog, and I are teaming up on our weekly marriage blog. Shawn will share her thoughts (in green) on the topic through the eyes of a woman/wife, and I’ll share mine (in blue) through the eyes of a man/husband. This week’s topic is Your Biggest Marriage Obstacle and How To Deal With It. Enjoy!
Money problems are the number one reason marriages end in divorce. Everyone knows this, and many have witnessed it. The finances in your marriage have the potential to be your biggest obstacle to having an awesome marriage. I’m convinced every marriage has dealt with this obstacle regardless how much money they have.
My marriage is no different. I can truly say money has been our biggest obstacle to date. However, it has not been an obstacle we have let come between us.
Money Problems Can Bring You Closer
True story. The year 2004 was one of the most challenging years for our family. At the time our family was made up of us, and our three year-old daughter (she turned four in August that year). That year alone we moved 6 times in a period of 7 months. We were basically homeless, and living in the homes of family and friends. In most of those places our family shared one bedroom.
We went from two regular incomes with some pretty good benefits and financial perks to two very inconsistent incomes with no benefits and zero financial perks. And we had no idea when it would end. Yes, it was a huge obstacle and one that has destroyed many marriages. But we came out stronger.
What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
It could have been easy for either of us to point fingers and lay blame (probably easier for my wife). I don’t remember that happening one time. I also do not remember ever discussing divorce. We rallied around some of the very principles we established early in our marriage and stood by them. Together, we fought poverty, homelessness, depression and any and everything that came against our marriage.
How We Did It
When your entire family shares one room, you have no choice other than spending time together. Not only that, the places we lived were far from our normal work, church, and social activities. Most trips were a 50-60 minute drive in one direction. Gas money, or lack of, was a major issue, so we typically drove one car. Every day was like a road trip. Some days we spent well more than half our day together, in a car.
We came together in a car. We came together each day and night in our one bedroom. We typically came together each evening at the dinner table. Most importantly, we came together in prayer, and we trusted God.
Obstacles Aren’t Meant to Break Your Marriage…but to Build Your Marriage.
What we went through in 2004 has shaped our family today. We typically eat dinner each night together. Perhaps that developed from our previous situations. We’ve chosen to homeschool our children which means spending practically all day together, while many parents cannot imagine the thought of not getting a “break” from their kids. We’ve done it by necessity in the past, and now the choice is easy.
Ironically, as I write this we are in a very difficult time financially. Our income has drastically dropped. The home we are renting will soon not be available for us, as it is being sold. And if it wasn’t I’m not sure we could afford to stay. Many areas of our future are uncertain. We have been here before, and we know we can make it through together. Our past experiences, although tough at the time, have been a good thing.
Your Marriage Challenges Can Be Good!
I don’t know what obstacles your marriage is facing today, but I do know you can overcome them together. Remember what you are facing is intended to strengthen you and your marriage, not destroy. If you have never been there before, be encouraged by our story, and get ready to tell your story of overcoming marriage obstacles. It may be the story that saves another marriage similar to ours and yours.
Question: What is the biggest obstacle you have faced in your marriage? Please share in the comment section below.
Check back later for Shawn’s perspective on this topic.