It is no secret that married couples including Christian couples face some challenging times. My husband and I was not except from these challenges. Coping with job loss, a toddler and two different personalities left our family living in an intense and at times unhappy setting which led to questions of separation and divorce. Before making a final decision to leave my husband, I met with two older, wiser and more experienced women. What each woman said, changed my outlook on marriage and what is needed to maintain a successful marriage.
One of the women said, “I wish we sought counseling years ago, it would have made our lives easier.” The other woman stated, “Counseling helped me be honest.”
Since I have read studies that show over and over again that couples who seek counseling usually end up getting a divorce (“MarriageGuardian,” 2014) I was still unsure. After praying and fasting, counseling was the best option. I must admit that my husband was not too happy about going to counseling but it made our marriage stronger and we appreciate each other more than ever before.
During those grueling 1 hour sessions, I learned many things but three (3) main things were revealed about myself and our marriage that may help your marriage.
1. I was selfish: Everything I did was about me (my dreams, my feelings, my money). I was not living a biblical life but allowed the worldly view to change my Christian perception on marriage.
In Philippians 2:3-4, it states, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.
What I do to combat Selfishness:
Now, I try to do something daily to make my husband feel special. If it means spending extra time cooking his favorite dinner or just calling to say hello during the day
2. I did not really know my husband: I spent so much time focusing on myself that I failed to learn more about my husband. During counseling, I realized that he really thinks highly of me, loves me unconditionally, and loves having sex to show how much he cares for me.
What I do to remind myself my husband cares:
I read between the lines. If my husband says, “I really liked when we watched NCIS together the other day.” This means, he wants me to start watching it with him weekly. I have started taking the time to watch the series with him, and I can tell that he loves that time with me.
3. Things are NOT that bad:
I never thought I would ever say that things are NOT that bad but they are NOT. The counselor discussed that we all have “deal breakers” in a marriage. Meaning cheating, lying, fathering another child while married, physical or mental abuse. My husband does annoy me, but he did not do anything that we could not work out.
How I remind myself things are NOT that bad:
If my husband forgets to take out the trash but cleans the bathroom, at least he completed one task for the day (do you agree ladies)?
If you are having a challenging time in your marriage, reflect on your reasons for falling in love and pray about what to do next. Is counseling an option? If it is, I don’t think you will regret having the opinion of an objective source.