Sunday, August 17, 2008

Staying married vs. A Great marriage

I want to do more than simply "stay married".  My husband and I just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary in March and I was really proud, that we are still married after five years, AND that we have so far experienced (and worked hard to achieve) a great marriage.  And this is because of the grace of God.

I was thinking today about some of the daily choices I make that determine whether I simply stay married or actually have a great marriage.  I can feel the pull during conflict - the urge to pull away and say "whatever" and pretend things are fine.  But then (thankfully) the other nagging pull comes, the one that sounds much like the Holy Spirit.  I feel Him urging me to do more than avoid conflict but to instead work through it to the other side.  And with obedience to do what is right according to the Lord, marriages go from fine to amazing.

I don't always do my part to make our marriage great, but that is what I want to strive for.  I want more than to simply stay married, I want a great marriage.  And the choices I make daily affect how our marriage will be in the long run.

So, if I were to give a newlywed couple advice according to I have learned in my five years of marriage, I would say this - 
When you feel the urge for to distance yourself from your spouse, resist that urge, pray, and fight for unity and greatness.  

What have you learned and what advice would you give?


Glamorous Life of a House Wife said...

My advice is to laugh. Sometimes, I will catch my husband and me in a silly argument and then I realize just how ridiculous it is and I burst into laughter. Laughing is something my husband and I have done together from the very start of our relationship, so it is definitely something that lightens our mood and keeps us having fun together.

Jenne said...

What great advice you gave, Megan. And I would echo it. Walk TOWARD your spouse, especially when it is the hardest. The evil one wants to create separation. Christ desires unity for us.

And the other thing I would say is LEARN HOW TO RESOLVE CONFLICT. That means getting into conflict in the first place, and then learning how to do things like disarm your spouse - study ways you can say things or tones you can take that will take your spouse off the defensive, or ways you can DE-escalate an argument. (Arguments that only escalate rarely get resolved.)

Patty said...

When you feel the urge for to distance yourself from your spouse, resist that urge, pray, and fight for unity and greatness.
Excellent advice! For me, the key to moving toward instead of away is to assume love: try to explain your spouse's behavior as if there were no question of his character or his love for you. It reminds you of all the things you know but too easily forget during conflict. It brings you peace and often a deeper love.

Shellee said...

Something I have done since we were dating in highschool......swallowing your pride. Oh how I wanted to stand firm and argue until we were both blue in the face, but we BOTH know when to swallow our pride and work through the problem.

ps. this weekend, my husband gave me a little reminder of how awesome he is, I really do love that guy..... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Building off Patty's comment, choosing to believe the best about my husband...that is part of actively loving him! A lot of times I think I know "why" and then find out, when I'm willing to listen that--gasp!--I was wrong! Thanks for the encouragement not to settle for less than real unity in our marriages!

Jon and Erin said...

I would a servant and put your needs aside. When I do that it seems that my needs DO get met. I know that doesn't always work but more often than not, for me it does. Thanks for the great advice ladies. Megan, thanks also for letting me spend time with Jenne as well as for chatting with me. I had a really great time. I hope you made LOTs of money at the sale!

keely steger said...

Two pieces of advice, both of which have made a great difference in our marriage (and both coming from our RUF pastor and his wife): 1. Remember that you're on the same team. 2. Learn to TRULY repent and TRULY forgive. It doesn't fly to say, "Sorry." and "It's okay." Ask for forgiveness and then truly forgive. Not always easy, but always effective.