Married Life Takes Work

One thing that bothers me is broken relationships. I can’t tell you why, but I suspect it was because I grew up surrounded by broken and dysfunctional relationships. It left a mark on me.

Before Casey and I were even engaged, we made the decision that divorce wasn’t going to be an option. The money that would pay for our lawyers would go to a therapist instead. We’re committed to making this marriage work. That’s the priority.

Often we’re told we are so cute together. Watching us is apparently a form of entertainment. At least it’s not in a Jerry Springer Show sort of way. We’re fortunate, but our relationship isn’t easy.

Before Marriage

Since divorce wasn’t going to be an option, we had to make sure it was going to work. Our church won’t marry anyone until they’ve gone through premarital counseling. Which helps since when you’re in love all your good sense goes out the window and you don’t consider the hard times.

Jaime taught us how to fight during the counseling. A lot of arguments are pointless. The key is deciding together what the priorities of the marriage are and fight for those. Everything else isn’t worth it.

Money is usually a trigger in any relationship. We had to make a budget together before we were married. That took the legs out from under many an argument before they even got started good. At the most, it’s a discussion.

A Few Of The Hard Times

We haven’t even got to my attitude yet. Back then I was a narcissist with anger issues. She lacked boundaries and I had to play second fiddle. People were trying to break us up.

At one point we hit a breaking point. I think it was around Spring of 2014. We called into work, and went back to the beginning, retracing the steps of our first date. With one addition, since it was a Wednesday, we went to church.

Ever perceptive, Jaime held an emergency counseling session. We worked it out. How?

Because we were willing to get help.

One of the most impactful moments was a personal realization. It was right after our godson died, and before the breaking point. We were numb from shock so I was able to pick up on something.

She was telling me about something she knew I wouldn’t like. She knew it because when I heard things I didn’t like, I would lash out in a verbal explosion. That day I didn’t.

Instead, I watched her take a breath and brace herself for the angry explosion after she finished. My heart broke as I realized she was afraid of me. Even worse, it happened enough that the bracing had become a habit. This should not be.

It’s something I still have to watch out for. The anger is still there, only contained by the fruit of the Spirit at work.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

Holy Spirit is my Helper there and if I slack in my time with God, that anger is the first thing to make an appearance.

Marriage Isn’t Easy

We work hard on our marriage, having faced trials that end relationships. This past weekend we were at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember marriage conference. Since I write these posts weeks in advance, the posts covering that wont hit until May 2nd and last a few weeks.

We are in a good place, much better than before, but we can always improve. Storms are always over the horizon.

The key is to be willing to get help. Also, remember that even good marriages can get better.


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