Enjoy this excerpt from the March issue of The Family Forum newsletter.
Crisis is a part of life, and a part of marriage. Sadness, strife, or stress can enter our days and leave us winded for a long time. Unexpected and unwelcome events can occur and leave us scrambling to survive minute by minute. I’m sure we can all relate somehow to crisis in our lives and in our marriages.
Josh and I experienced out fair share of crisis in our years together, but we also know others who experienced much more than we have. No one life and no one marriage will look exactly like another. We are all unique and our marriages are unique.
We lived through job loss, stillbirth, serious illness in our children, many moves, deaths in the family and much confusion. Your crisis situations may look similar to ours, but you will have your own unique experiences.
Only the two of you have your unique set of circumstances. No other marriage can have the same set. You know each other’s loss, hardship, grief, sadness and stress in a special way because you share experiences, because you share a life, because you are one.
Pull together through the hard times instead of drifting apart. Find your strength in each other instead of carrying the weight alone. Communicate with the person who may just know you better than you know yourself. Seek counselling if you need it.
During our times of crisis, Josh and I handled our situations differently. Sometimes I needed to be alone, but I made sure to reconnect after that time, even if it meant lots of tears as we got the hurt out. Josh is great at making me laugh and sometimes I needed that laughter during the hard times. Sometimes it was a hug or a prayer.
Expressing our needs to one another and accepting each other for who we are is key in dealing with crisis. Even though we don’t always understand each other’s emotions, we try to validate them.
Though we may never understand the reasons behind the crisis in our lives, we can trust God to be with us through the crisis. He waits for you to turn to Him, and He can handle yelling as well as praise. Lean on Him the most – as individuals and as a couple – as you deal with crisis in your life and in your marriage.
Take an inventory of your years together. Have you experienced crisis that you never fully dealt with? Is there any lingering sadness, strife or stress in your relationships that you haven’t talked through with your spouse? Open the lines of communication and share the burden of crisis. If you need much help, counsellors are available at your church, in your community or even online to walk you through the healing and restoration needed.
Lord, You know our hurts. You know every second of every day of every year of our lives and our marriage. Help us to communicate openly with one another without causing more hurt, but rather to bring healing. If the hurt is too much or if we need help to deal with our crisis, please show us who You have for us to walk us through this time. May we draw always closer to You and each other in the hard times that come.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.