If Your Marriage is Broken

It was 8:30 in the morning on a Saturday in January and we were still in bed.

Is there a better way to begin a weekend?

My husband flipped to his side and said, “I’m sorry.”

I stretched and yawned myself awake and that’s when I remembered we’d gone to bed the night before irritated at each other.

It was a stupid little fight. Aren’t they always? It wasn’t really about the price of ski pants (don’t ask). It was simply the result of two thick-headed people who both wanted their way and refused to budge.

We’ve been married 19 years. You’d think we would have moved past this stage–the one where we argue over insignificant things, get mad and pout. And we have in many ways. It happens less often and we get less angry and over it more quickly, but every once in awhile, I want my way more than I want to get along.

“I’m sorry, too,” I whispered.

And then we talked about why we got mad in the first place. It’s always a deeper issue. Most arguments about money are really about fear. Most arguments about parenting boil down to control or the lack of it. But on this particular lazy Saturday morning, the conversation led to a long talk about things we were struggling with personally.

When I reluctantly left the cozy down comforter for a quick shower, I felt like I knew my husband a bit more. I could see the stress and burden he carried more clearly. And I wanted to bless him. He understand why I was on edge and we vowed to love each other better.

That pillow talk wouldn’t have happened without first the struggle. When we can push past our little grievances and irritations and lift the veil of life and circumstances, we can grow together towards God, instead of apart.

Our world used to fix broken things, remember that? Our grandmothers darned socks with holes in them. Our grandfathers rebuilt and repaired damaged things. Our moms superglued little $1 store figurines.

Now we throw things away.

We live in a disposable culture that tosses damaged things because it’s easier. It’s quicker, it doesn’t require hard work or humility.

if your marriage is broken, don't throw it away. Fix it

If your marriage is broken, don’t throw it away.

Fix it.

Take your marriage back and fight for it. Talk. Forgive. Change. Confess. Laugh. Counsel. I understand that not every marriage is repairable. But for those who let little issues become bigger than they should, I urge you to fix what’s broken, instead of starting over.

We don’t do a lot for Valentine’s Day at our house. But we proudly show off our love all year long–there are less repairs that way when the storms of life hit.

While these shirts won’t fix a broken marriage, they are an easy way to get started–new Union28 “My Husband/Wife Rocks” T-shirts!

2014-Valentine-HomePage

[Updated with winner, Rachel, random commenter #34]

One couple will receive a his and her shirt and a pair of *ahem* these or these (winner’s choice).  Leave a comment if you’d like to win.

Discount Code:  Use Code U28LOVE5 at checkout for $5 OFF any Union28.net order of $25 or more.  (Does not include Clearance items or Gift Certificate purchases) OFFER VALID THUR February 14, 2014.

Make every day special, even the broken ones.

Comments

  1. says

    “We live in a disposable culture…” Profound words! Our society fails to be vow keepers and covenant keepers. When the going gets rough, we get out. It infects every aspect of life and especially the most vulnerable, the children. Very, very sad.

  2. Sarah Shay says

    My husband told me 18 years ago when we were dating that each time we argued we were just getting to know each other a little more. At the age of 18 I did not believe it, but today at the age of 35 and married almost 14 years, I believe it totally. I learn what he likes and dislikes, what he is struggling with and he is learning about me. So I try to remember that at the end of each argument and try to be thankful for a marriage that is still growing after all the arguments.

    I would love to win the t-shirts.

  3. Rachel C says

    I do not love arguing, but I’m always so happy by cleared air and closer hearts. It does remind me of the Bible verse: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” (KJ Rom. 6:1) haha! Thanks for sharing. My husband and I have been married 10 years and it’s always nice to hear from couples further along in their marriages, for the insight!

  4. Crystal says

    Very good article. I’m going to pin it. I’ve seen more divorces than I care to count in my family alone, and I know (from the kid’s perspective), personally, how hard it can be to live through a broken family. We vow – a covenant vow – to stay with this one person till death parts us. We should strive to make that happen each and every day. My dad has told me that love is not just a feeling; it’s not even a feeling most importantly. It is a choice. We must choose to continue to love that person. Sometimes that is an incredibly easy thing to do, so easy that we don’t even have to think about it. But sometimes, that is a very conscious decision. One that our heart may not even agree with, but I find that it is a decision that is worth it, every time.

    Thank you, again, for reminder.

    And your new blog design is pretty. :)

  5. says

    Winning a pair of these shirts would be such a blessing as my marriage is currently in the “broke” status, over little things that have built up over time (years) and have caused so much heartache. I want my marriage back and I want my sweet, loving husband back!! These shirts would be amazing!!!!

  6. Danielle Nelson says

    I love your blog. I am from Texas, Mom to nine, and married for over 16 years. You are inspiring. Thanks for sharing your family. I would love to win shirt!

  7. says

    I came over to see the new blog design real quick (great, btw!), and got drawn in to read this great post. Wonderful advice and beautifully written! When my husband and I got married 15 years ago, we said divorce would never be an option – period. Knowing that was off the table has required us to grow together through really tough stuff, and our relationship just gets stronger every time we get through a struggle or irritation together. Thanks for the encouragement!

    ~ Mara

  8. Angela E. says

    Thanks for such great wisdom! I pray that God will be glorified through my marriage and that by his grace we will still be married and even more in love 50 years from now. :) Thanks for the chance to win this giveaway!

  9. Shay Brewer says

    I would love to have the shirts… But I have to say I love your blog. I like the real. I like the understanding too. Thank you for being so honest!

  10. deanna says

    i love that you worked it out in the morning instead of fighting it out at night. Things always seem more clear in the morning, but I hate that going-to-sleep-grumpy feeling.

    I’d love the shirts!

  11. Deb says

    Would love to win the t-shirts. Thanks. This post reminds me of one of my funny little daughter’s favorite sayings, “Don’t let the sun go down upon your wrath………….stay up and fight all night!” ;) Gotta love teens……..

  12. Wendi says

    Great message today, it is definately worth the effort. Love the shirts, a great way to show you think your spouse is worth it all. Would love to proudly wear one.

  13. says

    I have struggling in my marriage for a while. Feeling like we are growing apart. We have been together 19 years and married for 18 and while I consider him my best friend at times he frustrates me.

    I think our major huddle was that I had faith and he didn’t but last September God blessed me greatly he spoke to my husband and convinced him to attend church with me. I couldn’t believe it and on that first visit Jesus entered my husbands heart.

    I cannot tell you how this has blessed my marriage. We are talking about God together about our faults our weaknesses. Next month we are attending a marriage conferences.

    I didn’t give up and God certainly didn’t give up on us.

  14. Julie says

    Love the insight that this post gives. So true. Love my man and would love to proudly wear a shirt. Thanks for the give away and encouraging words!

  15. Mandy S says

    Thank you for the encouragement to work on my marriage. It is so easy to become apathetic and just live through each day rather than thriving. Thanks too for the chance to win.

  16. says

    Truth! I was reading a blog post yesterday where the girl said when she got married she gave them 5 years. And was joking. I have a pretty good sense of humor and I realize (HOPE) she was joking… but this was not funny. It stinks that our real, Christ centered marriages are being laughed at and we’re the ones who are weird. This is kind of a big thing on my heart lately… thanks for sharing!

  17. Denise G says

    We love their shirts! We just got the My marriage still rocks shirts from them- love to see my husband wearing it!!

  18. Bethany says

    I’m getting married in September and love to read your posts about marriage. I would love to win these shirts!

  19. Elaine says

    We are going on 29 years and just had one of those “disagreements” this weekend. It’s a decision that you make, to not give up! Divorce just isn’t an option in this marriage!!

  20. Jessie L. says

    I am always sad when I hear about a couple getting divorced. My husband and I are far from perfect but we both want the same thing (successful marriage) and we are also both willing to work for it. I love these shirts! We would wear them proudly!

  21. Jenn says

    “We live in a disposable culture…” Hubs and I have said that alot over the years. We’ve had our fair share of arguments over the last 15 years, but we made a holy vow and ending our marriage is just not an option. I think, for us, knowing that helps us get through the tough stuff. We both know that no matter what we say to each other, nobody is going anywhere.We pick up the pieces, glue and tape them back together, apologize, and become closer because of it.

    I’ve always wanted one of those t-shirts. It’d be great to win a pair!

  22. Marilyn says

    great advice!! so true we are in a generation that throws things away, so sad! would love to win these shirts, would be a great V-day gift for my hubby!!! :)

  23. Bethany says

    Thanks for the chance to win! I love your “disposable world” analogy, and it is unfortunately so true. My husband and I have been together 6 years, married almost 4, and at our reception we had guests sign a matted picture of us. Looking at it now, half of the signatures we have on that picture have gotten divorced in just these few 4 short years. It actually depresses me to look at that now, to know that marriage is so disposable for so many people I know, I guess until you see it written in black and white you don’t realize how many people give up so easily for selfish reasons. My husband and I made a promise before God, though we don’t always see eye to eye, we never will. However, I’m grateful that God sent him to me, he’s made me a better person, I can’t thank him enough for blessing me with 2 beautiful girls and baby on the way, he’s definitely my better half! I think if more people were willing to put in more sweat and tears and God, marriages would be indestructible!

  24. Anne Kinne says

    Thank you for speaking truth about marriages! My husband and I are in our early 30′s and have been really saddened to see many friends and family members marriages fall apart early on.

  25. JLM says

    My husband and I have been broken for some time. I don’t thin these t-shirts will be the glue we need to repair what’s been lost, but it’s a start :-) thanks

  26. Sarah M. says

    Loving this today. What a great reminder and encouragement. My husband and I have been married almost 10 years, and we are just going through a season of growing pains. Thanks for the advice!

  27. Sandy says

    I have been following your blog for about 6 months…. can’t recall how I stumble into it….but am thankful for it every single day! You make me laugh, you have made tear drops roll down my cheeks, you have held me accountable, you have opened my eyes when I wanted to shut them, and you have inspired me. Thank you! You have a true gift- – you are funny and witty, but most of all…. you tell it like it is and you are REAL!! Thank you for dedicating time to your blog- – - you really make a difference!!! Marriage is tough…and you remind us today that even though there are a million petty things that drive my type A personality crazy, I wouldn’t trade my husband for anything…. and yes, I too am the mom that super glues $1 toys back together…..

  28. Danae H. says

    Thank you for being so open about what makes you that family. Most of the time I find myself thinking, “we are that family too”. :-)

  29. Carrie H says

    I am a fixer of broken things too!! :-) I love this! We rarely celebrate Valentine’s big, but those shirts would be a wonderful Valentine’s surprise!!

  30. Audrey Brown says

    So very true. Marriage is tough stuff and a lot of work. But man the rewards are many! And what an example to our children. 12 years of many valleys and peaks over here.

  31. Ashley says

    God has recently begun fixing my marriage. I’d love for my husband and I to show off our love with those t-shirts!

  32. Jenni Runyan says

    Thank you for this wonderful article. It shone a spotlight on things that we can all use to better our relationships. You mentioned things that I will take to heart and put in to practice. Thank you. Thank you.

  33. Jennie says

    Thanks for the reminder. Our ladies Bible Study is on the topic of marriage, and I am always on the lookout for encouraging things to share with them.

  34. Danielle G says

    “Our world used to fix broken things… Now we throw them away….It’s quicker, it doesn’t require hard work or humility.”

    How true your blog post is. Hard work and humility are hard traits to find in people. But I am certainly overjoyed that my husband has both. It’s actually one of the first things I noticed about him- besides his good looks of course!

    My husband and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day either since our anniversary is in January. We would LOVE to be selected for the t-shirts and the *ahem* other item. I have always admired the Union 28 brand and this would be a nice gift to present to my sweet husband :)

  35. Kim says

    Thank you for the great reminder, and I agree, we try to dispose of everything that is not perfect. My hubby and I been married for 18 years this September and have weathered many big storms, even hurricanes, but know it is all worth it to be together.

  36. says

    Going on 17 years in May. Lots of good times and bad times and inbetween times. My hubby and I have really experienced huge blessings in our marriage recently, so I hope I win!! :)

  37. stacey says

    While I wholeheartedly agree that marriages should be fought for and fixed, I feel that the dynamic described in your story falls far short of capturing the depth of marriage-ending struggle. While I appreciate your candor, I don’t feel this comes from a place of really understanding marital strife. Sure all couples argue, but that is not the stuff Divorce is made of.

    • E says

      Thank you, thank you, thank you. If the biggest arguments my husband and I had were about the cost of ski bibs, then we surely would be together. The implication that all people throw their marriages away with both hands while ignoring the impact it will have on their families and their own hearts is absurd. There are some of us that live or have lived in marriages that are not going to be fixed. We don’t have to stay in those broken, dysfunctional places when it’s so obvious that the only change is going to be the ones we make. Please don’t trivialize those of us with big life issues who have to make devastating choices to protect ourselves and our children.

      • Kristen says

        That’s certainly not the biggest argument we’ve had. We’ve been to hell in our marriage like so many others. And against all odds and some really bad decisions and years of mistakes and sin, we decided to stay and fight. I simply used that story to speak to the people who are tempted to let the LITTLE things spoil their marriage. These small unresolved issues add up and divorce courts are full of “irreconcilable differences.” There are real reasons to end a marriage, like abuse and infidelity. I know that not all marriages can be repaired, which I stated. And I certainly wasn’t trivializing decisions like yours, but not every marriage ends because of your reasons. Many just quit because it’s hard work.

    • Kristen says

      Stacey, I think you misunderstand me. This was a simple argument that masked much deeper issues that I chose not to share. I don’t advocate ever staying in a marriage that is abusive or harmful. Ever. I’m simply trying to encourage those who quit to dig deeper and see if you can fix what is broken.

  38. Emily says

    I’m a newlywed and just beginning to learn these things.
    I appreciate your honesty and encouragement.
    I’m praying that I always work to fix things in my marriage – starting with my own brokenness.

  39. Sandi says

    Two years into my marriage I was miserable and thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life. A nonbeliever of divorce, I found myself in counseling with more to say than the sessions could handle. The most important thing I learned was that I am responsible only for myself. Once my focus shifted off of everything I *thought* I hated about my husband, the more I realized how much I needed to change. We will be married 10 years in March, and I’ve never been happier.

  40. Lili says

    Sigh. It’s true. I am going through a very tough time in my marriage, and sadly, my first instinct in the face of struggle is to tuck tail and run. I’m praying for the strength I need to not only keep going, but also be a better wife.

  41. Beth O'Keefe says

    Love the truth in this post. My husband and I are each on our second marriage together. We both dealt with the pain and anguish of partners that just gave up. Seeing marriage with new eyes now….and recognizing the importance of Jesus and reasonable expectations in our union. I am head over heels in love with this man because of it. Would love to win some gear to show the world just how much our married love rocks :)

  42. Brooke says

    This is a great reminder!! Thank you for being so honest and sharing what most of us struggle with. I think , underneath it all …. All of us are a little bit of ‘that’ family too!!! :)

  43. Rebecca says

    Confession and forgiveness can be so hard sometimes. Best place to start is with your spouse. Thanks for posting this.

  44. Summer says

    Thank you! We are going on 15 years and our 5th child is due the the month after that. We have our hands full and our hearts are fuller. However, sometimes it seems we live in two different worlds. Marriage takes Work! Lets work through it.

  45. says

    Having struggled through the last few years. I am in total agreement. I said for better for worse.. and well I am hoping for better for a few years now. I made a vow when we bandaged up this marriage last year to tell my husband why I was angry/hurt/sad vs. just fuming or retreating from our marriage. It is not always easy to do. And yes I sometimes still go in my closet and call him things that I wouldn’t want him to hear. But then I think and pray about it and calm down and tell him what happened that made me react. Does it always fix it … no… but does it make him understand me a little better (and me understand him better). Our family is worth fixing these things for.

  46. Crystal Olson says

    I’ve got some friends going through a super tough time in their marriage (after 32 years!!) and I think this would be great for them! Thanks for sharing!!

    On another note…my husband, the worship pastor at our church, would look AMAZING on a Sunday morning sporting that gear! ;-)

  47. casey says

    honesty and willingness to adjust to the other person is a big key for my marriage.

    Thanks for a chance to win awesome shirts!

  48. Andrea says

    You are totally right. It’s sad that people think it’s easier to start over than it is to fix things. Marriage is not easy but it’s worth it to work through things. Cool shirts!

  49. Jaime A says

    Those shirts are adorable! And you’re so spot on about our culture being a “throw away when it’s broken” culture. It’s too much work to fix it, clean it, or keep it because it now has a little bit of character. Thanks for the reminder this morning!

  50. Amy says

    I have been struggling with severe depression. I have tried killing myself twice in the past week. My husband has been amazing through it all and he does rock!!! I don’t know what I’d do without him. I’d love to have these shirts to wear proudly as I recover.

  51. says

    I love your encouragement and the truth in your statements. We ARE way too quick to throw things away, and that includes people and relationships. Thanks for the reminder that blessings can be found in the disagreements and that sticking it out only makes us stronger together.

    PS – Fun giveaway, too. ;-)

  52. says

    I’m not exactly sure why, but this has never really occurred to me before–the fact that our grandparents generation fixed things and we throw them away. You’re right that it extends to relationships, too. I’d venture to say all relationships, not just marital relationships. My husband and I are in a rough spot right now and this makes me feel re-committed to fixing us. Not that I was planning to walk away, exactly, but something about stating it’s broken and needs fixing instead of “it’s not good right now” or “we’re distant” or such. I seem to feel less like wallowing in the wish-it-was-different place and just move on and get busy fixing. Thanks for the timely read!

    And the tshirts would be great!

  53. says

    Love this post. You’re speakin’ my language. I think its important to note that while we can choose to stay and fix what is broken that it is a continual process. While we learn more and getting better at things the more we’re together we still are going to have problems along the way and broken things that need fixing. It’s a continual choosing to stay, choosing to fight.

  54. Sara peterson says

    Thanks for being so authentic and open. We’ve been through a year of transition with two huge moves in a completely different area of the country, two job changes, and lots of broken moments. Now we are on the uphill side of our transition- things are going well but honestly not without a lot of small annoyances that turned into pillow talk. It takes a lot of work but so worth it. Your daily encouragement has help me to not feel like I’m the only one going through growing pains in our marriage. Praying I can pay it forward to encourage other women in their marriages. Thanks!

  55. cheryl says

    The world telks us vulnerability is weak and control is strength, but that was never God’s plan for marriage. Being willing to talk and share and not being shot down is a healthy marriage. Love my husband

  56. Jessica Vilardo says

    Great advice! It’s so easy to throw in the towel these days. My husband and I have been married for 8 years and have 5 children. Our whole married life has been spent having babies, it’s easy to loose who we are and just become mom and dad.

  57. Kirsten says

    Thank you for the encouragement, Kristen! I tend to forget that I’m not the only one having these problems, and bigger ones. I am currently trying to fix a broken marriage that my husband would rather throw away.

  58. Rebekah says

    A recent ptsd diagnosis after being disabled from the navy and some major upheavals have been a huge strain, thanks for the reminder today….. not giving up.

  59. Amber H says

    I am so glad my friend posted the link to this. My husband and I were just arguing this weekend. Of course it was over little things much like this post. We are fixable and need to change our priorities to head in the right direction. We are going on 14 years of marriage. These shirts are adorable and would love to win them!

  60. Carol Gross says

    So True!! Loved reading your article and would Love these shirts!! Is there a way to purchase them if I am not chosen? Thanks!!

  61. Christan says

    Agree 100%! We’ll never be perfect & this is always a ‘journey’, but SO very thankful The Lord has healed my marriage & would Love to wear these Ts!! My marriage advice: be each other’s Biggest Fan & Greatest Prayer Warrior!!!

  62. says

    Marriage is hard. Transparency and letting your guard down is even harder. Especially if you’ve been hurt before. Tearing down walls… takes work. Effort. Time. Love. I often say to my husband jokingly, but not… we don’t like each other very much. We LOVE each other… but we need to find the reasons we LIKE each other. Heading to a Family Life marriage retreat soon. Let the work begin!

  63. kathy s says

    Great advice! We (my husband & I) are the same way. We rarely fight but when we do it is usually over something that really isn’t significant only because there is something more stressing one or both of out. Like you I feel like I’ve learned something new about my husband after we talk things out. He is the type to hold things in and usually only shares after a “fight”.

  64. Angie P says

    Love the encouragement to keep persevering & loving through the hard times. We have “I love my husband” and “I love my Wife” shirts that get lots of wear & comments! I like to say that I’m so hot I come with my own firefighter, but in reality, its just that my husband rocks!

    We’re finding our way through the years of having teenagers; sometimes it seems like they are conspiring to lead us to the brink of madness but with God and forgiveness (lots and lots of forgiveness and grace, don’t forget grace) we’re finding our way. When the kids are grown and gone we’ll still be left with the marriage we’ve created over the years.
    **ahem** ;) yes!!! Invest in your marriage, your links are keeping it frisky!! :)

  65. Staci says

    My husband really does Rock!! Love the t-shirt idea. We agree that life is too short to argue unless we are being constructive and talking it through. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  66. Stephanie says

    This is so true. Marriage requires a fresh commitment everyday. And even when we don’t necessarily like our Spouses we must choose to love them. We live in a society that tells us there is always something better it there. Whether it’s a better car, better technology or even a better relationship or person. Sadly many have accepted this lie as truth.

    I would love to win these shirts as a sort of”shout it from the roof top” way of showing my love and appreciation for my husband.

  67. Diana says

    I would love to win these shirts and wear it proudly. Last year was the worst and the best. We almost didnt make it but God redeemed our marriage and we also welcomed child #3 into our family!

  68. Jennifer G says

    Thank you so much for this blog post and for being so honest about issues that we all face at some point in our marriage. And thank you for this giveaway- would love to win!

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