Marriage is hard. Marriages go through dry spells…some feel like the Sahara. Marriage challenges us. It’s ok. It’s not easy or an excuse to give up…but its ok.
My husband and I are in the weeds. We can admit this…we laugh about it and sometimes cry about it. We have four children – 7, 5, 3 and 4 months. We don’t get enough sleep, we are hardly ever alone and we’re potty training a strong willed child that should have been potty trained a year ago! I can barely hold a thought let alone have an adult conversation. Our bedroom looks like a daycare…romantic right? We’re afraid we’re ruining our kids and we’re tired…did I already mention that?
So how do you get through a desert without losing all hope, feeling alone or discouraged?
Well it takes work, but it can be done. Here are a few ways to navigate the Sahara:
- Acknowledge that you’re going through a hard time. Sometimes we just don’t want to admit that our marriage is limping…it’s not that something is wrong or we aren’t in love anymore, it’s just a tough time. If you acknowledge this you can defeat it. Don’t ignore it or be embarrassed face it. Talk to your spouse, seek advice from a trusted friend or mentor or go to counseling. Marriage is hard and complicated…sometimes we need help. Burying your head in the sand…or a pile of laundry won’t work.
- Do what you can when you can. If you’re waiting for a 2 week getaway to an all inclusive resort in Hawaii, you’re probably gonna be waiting a while…or maybe forever. So when you can go on a date (even if you have to pay a babysitter), bribe the kids with a movie and McDonald’s to not cry like crazy people when you leave and take the baby with you! Trust me, something is better than nothing!
- Pray together and ask others to pray for you. There is something special about going to God with your spouse and asking for strength and encouragement. Also knowing that others are covering your marriage in prayer can lift your spirits and bring you peace.
- Remember it won’t last forever. Your babies won’t be fussy, soggy, drooling, clingy, gassy, needy little bundles of joy forever! Your toddlers will be potty trained. Your preschooler will go to bed without tantrums. And when all the dust settles, you’ll look over and there will be your spouse. The only one who went through it all by your side. And I can’t forget…yes you will sleep again! I’ve been told that someday we’ll actually have to wake them up…I know, I know it seems like an urban legend but I’ve heard it from reliable sources.
Hang in there friends! It’s so worth it! What will you do today to encourage your spouse or yourself during this dry spell?