Fighting & Marriage

The world wants us to believe that marriages should all work out as they do in the movies. You meet, fall in love, and you either live happily ever after or you can meet someone new and leave your spouse behind.

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Song of Songs 8:7 – “The fire of love stops at nothing— it sweeps everything before it. Flood waters can’t drown love, torrents of rain can’t put it out. Love can’t be bought, love can’t be sold” (MSG).

I won’t ever forget May 25th of 2013. That’s the day I started forever with the most amazing gift God gave memy husband Richard John. Ever since that day, I can say with confidence that I have absolutely adored our marriage. I know some people believe that because I adore our marriage, we must not have experienced hard times, but that would be totally false. We have had our share of fights, annoyances, gut checks, and hard trials, but I wouldn’t trade any of that because through everything we’ve grown closer together.

We have walked through disappointments, failures, infertility, sleepless nights, newborn baby days, and plenty more. Through each moment, we fight for our marriage. Because, y’all, marriage can be hard. Those nights where I decide I need to get something off of my chest at 11 p.m… which ultimately leads us to go to bed roughly 2 a.m. Those nights are not fun. Those nights are hard. But I wouldn’t trade a minute of fighting for my marriage because that’s exactly what the enemy wants. He wants us to stop the fight, numb our feelings, and keep things to ourselves so we grow apart from our spouse.

I’m not naive to think marriage should be happy all of the time. Would that be great? Well, of course. But guess what? We live in a sin-filled world as flawed people, and that is just not a reality. But I adore my marriage. I adore my husband. Our marriage is fun with lots of unexpected adventure! And if you know me, you know I’m not too much of an adventurer. I’m a planner and rule follower. To some, I may be boring, and that’s okay! But my adventurous and spontaneous hubby brings out the best in me (even if I’m kicking and screaming the whole way, haha)!

Because we are two different people trying to come together as one unit, it can get a little shaky sometimes. Can anyone else relate? I’m sure I’m not alone on that one. I mean, we’ve all seen how some of y’all squeeze the toothpaste, and some of y’all are wrong, haha!

That’s just it though. The world wants us to believe that marriages should all work out as they do in the movies. You meet, fall in love, and you either live happily ever after or you can meet someone new and leave your spouse behind {I’m not touching on divorce here. I’m talking about fighting for our marriage, so let’s stay on topic}. The reality is: life happens. Hard times come, whether that be financial struggle, infertility, the loss of loved ones, miscarriage, exhaustion, job loss, disappointments, health issues, depression, anxiety—I mean the list just goes on. I’m sure you can think of an instance right now that creates a hard environment for you personally. Those hard times…they don’t just affect you; they affect your spouse as well. And those hard times can put a strain on your relationship, but that’s why we need to work through it! Fight for your marriage!

Here are six ways my sweet man and I FIGHT for our marriage. I hope they can help you; whether you’ve been married for 5 years or 30 years, we can always learn something new.

 

1 – Do NOT go to bed in the middle of an argument.

Yup. Even those arguments that start at 11 p.m… stay awake. Talk through it. Cry through it. Get mad through it. But you fight through it. “Do you mean to tell me you want us to fight?” Yes. Yes, I do. Because if you’re fighting through something, at least you’re still putting effort into communicating.

You come to a middle ground or a place of peace before you lay that head down. I’m talking to you, sweet husbandI know you can fall asleep within 10 seconds flat… so you better pick that head up. I’m talking to you, sweet wifewhen he says he’s sorry and he sees your point of view, don’t keep driving it home. Get hold of your emotions, take a breather, and realize the fight doesn’t have to last another hour. (I may or may not be speaking from a lot of experience on this, haha!)

 

2 – COMMUNICATE.

I’m shouting this one from the rooftops! If something hurts your feelings, tell your spouse. Do not hold onto it and bring it up a week later. If you’re not comfortable with something that is being said or an action being takentell them! You are there to keep your spouse accountable and protect them. Do it. If you don’t like the food that is being cooked, get in the kitchen and make it yourself! Haha! Just kidding on the last one.

But seriously, communicate. Your marriage should be a safe place for you to openly talk about things. Will it always be a calm conversation? No. We are human. If I tell Rik he hurt my feelings and he doesn’t respond the way I want him to (because he should read my mind, right?), then it’s not going to be a calm conversation, but at least we are having the conversation.

I have seen too many times wives and husbands not having the conversation because they are too afraid of the reactions of the other. Sweet friend, you are not responsible for their reaction. You’re responsible for yours. And you’re responsible for speaking up and keeping communication going in your marriage, so do it!

 

3 – Do things TOGETHER.

Y’all. Too many of us want alone time. While alone time is nice to have and we all need a little to be able to have quiet moments, we need spouse time, too. Even if it’s just you and your significant other going to the grocery store together, just do something together. Just the two of you. Yup, I see you, friend, with the 5 little ones. Even you.

It can be as simple as folding laundry together (which, I’m just being honest here, is not my cup of tea), but y’all are doing it together. Having things that are just for the two of you keeps the intimacy in the little things of life. If we just wait until date nights or time away, some of us never get to that. So don’t wait; make it happen. Do dishes together, eat popcorn together, take the trash out together, or watch a show together. Whatever the activity is… do it TOGETHER.

 

4 – Go to bed together.

If you have the ability to go to bed together, don’t waste it. Some of y’all work night shifts, and I hear you. But on those off-days, make it a priority. Mama friend, I know there are a thousand and five things to do, but going to bed with your husband is a top priority. Some of y’all think I’m crazy… but start going to bed together and see if it doesn’t bring just a spark of joy to the both of you. Y’all spent too many years as a kid, teenager, and young adult going to bed by yourself. Enjoy having someone to sleep next to.

Ending your day together (again, all about doing things together) can be significant. It’s just one way to put your spouse at the top of your priority list. On some nights, it may not be feasible, but on the nights that are… make it happen. Even if you have to go to bed with your spouse and let them fall asleep and then get back up to do a few things, sacrifice your time and do it. I promise it’ll make a difference.

 

5 – Which brings me to point number fiveSACRIFICE.

I cannot stress this one enough. Marriage is all about sacrifice. I mean the Lord created marriage to be a picture of Jesus and the Church, so what better example are we to our spouse than when we are sacrificing?! Sacrifice your wants and your time. Is your spouse worth it? Well, I would hope you would say yes! Because if we are sacrificing, we aren’t thinking of ourselves; we’re thinking of the other person. And friend, don’t “sacrifice” things and keep a list to use and show your spouse how much you are doing for them.

Sacrifice is out of a humble heart of selflessness. When you start sacrificing your time and wants to serve your husband or wife, it brings joy to you and it also shows your spouse the love of Jesus. When you’re in an argument and it is not benefitting either of you, sacrifice your want to be right and apologize. When your house is a mess and you could use the help but your husband is working full time to provide financially, sacrifice your time to want to relax and pick up the mess. When your spouse has been up all night with the kiddo because he or she is not feeling well, sacrifice your time to want to sleep a little more and give that to your spouse. When you start doing things out of sacrifice for your spouse, they will eventually notice and they will be grateful.

 

6 – LastlyLOVE.

Choose to love your spouse. During the hard times. During the times of sickness. During the times of excitement and joy. During the times of financial struggles. During those family vacations. During the times in the hospital. During those sleepless nights. Love your husband. Love your wife. Serve your spouse. Sacrifice for your spouse.

Fight for your marriage. I promise it’s worth it.

-Bethani

 

Featured Imagae by Gianni Scognamiglio

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The views and opinions expressed by Kingdom Winds Collective Members, authors, and contributors are their own and do not represent the views of Kingdom Winds LLC.

About the Author

A daughter of the King, a wife to my sweet man who is better than my dreams & a mama to the most precious miracle baby boy. I love people, coffee, and all things sweet!