Ah yes, marriage. One of my favourite topics and one that takes a lot of work!

Whether you are home all day together, working from home, furloughed, laid off, handling job loss, with kids or no kids and the list goes on for how the narrative of our stories is impacting our marriages.  I am hearing alarming statistics that divorce lawyers are getting 50% more phone calls then they usually do, while counsellors and therapists are getting requests from their clients to be seen more frequently.  This pandemic is not only affecting the world’s health and causing illnesses and deaths, but it is making marriage relationships “sick” and in some cases even “die”.

Please don’t let that happen to you.  Let’s work together

to change the statistics as they are predicted!!

 Ken and I are approaching our 26th wedding anniversary in May.  This pandemic definitely makes the cut for “what challenges have you faced as a couple”? The boat is rockin’ y’all.  I am learning so much more about him /us each day…that’s good, for the most part, but when it doesn’t line up with “how I do life”, then the challenges ensue!!  Yes, feel free to giggle or raise your hand in agreement!! 😊

Add to that, house prep to sell (hopefully in June) with no friends allowed to come over to help with the countless renovation tasks on the list and there is enough stress here to fill the calendar for 2 years.  Our boundaries are challenged, time management is different, priorities are out of whack…

Sorry, this is supposed to be an encouraging post for you, not me adding more stress to your plate.

Ok, here’s the encouragement.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

We don’t have a perfect marriage, but we have a marriage that is right for us. As my husband reminded me (during a passionate discussion) just this morning that “this is just a season babe!”.

Even though I don’t like the word perfect, I used it in this context because many of you are looking for the perfect marriage…and plain and simple…there isn’t one!! Can I get an ‘amen’?

So, what are we doing to survive…and thrive?

While we fall back on our commitment to each other and calling to be married to each other, we continue to practice things from the list below.  Not all at once but these are things we have learned over the years and have them as habits.  Don’t stress if you aren’t doing them.  Start somewhere, anywhere and watch your marriage grow forward. I hope you are encouraged by them.

We are in our boat and we are rowing like crazy in this storm.

I see you in your boat and you look like you want to give up…please don’t!!!  Keep on rowing!

ROW, ROW, ROW your boat (don’t worry about doing it gently, just do it!!!)

  1. Do your personal work
  2. Speak the truth to yourself about yourself (and to your spouse)
  3. Keep lines of communication open.
  4. Learn to out-grace and out-serve your spouse.
  5. Live your story – not the marriage of your friends.
  6. Stay true to your vows…online and off-line.
  7. Don’t compete. (unless you are playing a game…then crush it!!)
  8. Be a student of your spouse – Love Languages, Enneagram, Strengths
  9. Fall Forward – do things that improve unity and connection.
  10. Pursue the marriage you both want and not the ones your parents had.

If things are unusually difficult for you at this time, you might need these reinforcements:

  1. Find and mind your boundaries.
  2. Remember that ALL emotions are jacked up. In times of stress, most negative traits are exacerbated.
  3. Manage your own self-care. (which might need to be modified during this pandemic).
  4. Get with another married couple and form a partnership for encouragement and accountability. You will discover that you are not alone.

My heart goes out to those who are in abusive relationships that aren’t allowed to experience freedom to be safe in their homes.  You are in my prayers!!

Fighting FOR your marriage sometimes requires every ounce of your being and all the strength you can muster…. don’t wait till this storm blows over, do it now.

You have the time.  You have each other!!

Here’s to gROWing forward together in our marriages!!