Marriage is Hard – Here are 10 Things to Do When You Feel Stuck
Hi friends. We’re hopping into your feed today to let you know that we see you. We understand. We get it. Whether you’re on your honeymoon, knee-deep in the 7-year itch, or passing 20 years of bliss: marriage is hard.
I can honestly say that from mid-2018 to the beginning of 2019 has been the best, most fulfilling year of marriage for us yet. This July, we will celebrate our 15th anniversary, so I promise we’ve been through a few rough years, too. In fact the two or three years previous to 2018 were probably our toughest.
Without boring you with the details, just know that we were getting hit from what seemed like every direction. We were constantly missing each other, and rarely felt like we were on the same page. When you live together, work together, and parent together, it can become overwhelming real quick. And you would think that with all that together-ness, it would be easy to actually connect and be on the same page. But we felt more like roommates or coworkers most of the time.
So, we want to encourage you today. Please know that wherever you are and whatever you’re in the middle of, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Here are some things we did to scrape our way out, and a few that we didn’t do, but think are great ideas, too.
10 Things to Do When Marriage is Hard
- Take a time-out together. Sometimes you’re just caught in the whirlwind of life and everything seems so heavy. Taking a weekend to get away, choosing to put responsibilities aside for a bit, can be so healing and a definite breath of fresh air.
- Take a time-out separately. Maybe taking a weekend for yourself is what you need, too. I’m not talking about a wild party weekend to do whatever you want and then going back to your difficult life. But taking an intentional breather to get your own stuff together could put you in a place that is easier to get along with back in “normal” life.
- Forgive. Guys. This one is so hard. And so necessary. Forgiveness doesn’t have to be preceded by an apology or some big act of reconciliation. Lack of forgiveness toward anyone in your life (not just your spouse) can affect your marriage, even if it doesn’t seem to have a direct correlation with it. Make the choice to forgive, ever single day.
- Play together. Sometimes life is a drag and it can get you down. Taking time out to play together is medicine for the soul.
- Learn something new together. A couple that we’ve admired for a long time once told us that they try to learn something new together each year. There is such wisdom in this! We haven’t been faithful in this, but I will say we did try to learn something new together last year and it helped unite us in ways we didn’t know we needed.
- Be vulnerable. Say something you’ve never said before. Tell your spouse something about you they may not know. It doesn’t have to be deep, but it may be.
- Join a community. If you are isolated, you will feel alone. Seems pretty obvious, but it’s easy to forget. When you are isolated, you start to believe that everyone else’s lives actually look like their Instagram reel. Joining a community grounds you in the reality that you’re not alone.
- Ask for help. This is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. We can’t do life on our own. Asking for help, and admitting you don’t have it all together, is a sign that you’re willing to fight to not become a statistic.
- Work on your own junk. It’s reeeealll easy to point the finger when marriage is hard. But the best direction to point that finger is back at yourself. When you realize you’re not perfect, it becomes a lot easier to give grace to others.
- Compromise. Yeah, I know this sounds cliche, but compromise is crucial in any partnership. You will not always get your way. Sometimes no one will get their way. But when you vowed for better or for worse, that’s what you signed up for.
I hope this helped you know that you are not alone. Marriage is hard and it will always have seasons of difficulty and seasons of peace. Our prayer for you is that you press on through the seasons of difficulty and prepare for them during seasons of peace.
PLESE KNOW THIS:: If you are in a marriage that is unsafe, emotionally demeaning, or outright abusive, we do not believe you should just “work it out.” Please seek out counsel to get help on taking the next step toward safety and peace.