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. 151

    says

    I agree! My husband and I believe in fixing any problems we have, not giving up on each other or ourselves. Divorce has not, is not, and never will be an option for us. We are truly committed ’til death do us part’! And talking openly, honestly, and calmly (not in the heat of a disagreement) really helps us too.

  2. 152

    Amber says

    Thank you for writing so honestly about marriage. Marriage is hard, but there is so much beauty in the mess of everyday life together.

  3. 154

    Julianne says

    Marriage isn’t always easy – but it’s always good. My husband and I have just come through a (brief) bumpy patch. Thank you for the reminder this morning about the importance of sticking it out and working together to fix the broken areas. :)

  4. 160

    Andrea Acosta says

    I’m a newlywed, and being around couple who’ve been married for longer than we’ve been alive brings me so much joy. Their resolve to love each other well blesses me and reminds me that my husband isn’t going anywhere, and neither am I.

  5. 161

    Mary says

    Yes, I agree. You have to work on a marriage to make it work. And you will be happier in the long run if you do. Thanks for sharing.

  6. 164

    Kristy K says

    I love this post! You’re so right…. after resolving an argument, we get to understand our spouses a little better! It’s so worth it to work through the issues!

  7. 170

    Anna says

    So honestly written… Thank you! It’s so easy to get caught up with the idea that your marriage is the only one that’s hard and everyone has a perfectly loving and always thoughtful spouse! It should NEVER be thrown away.

  8. 172

    Kimberly says

    This is so true! Thanks for a beautifully written reminder of what marriage is truly about. This is something I really needed see thank you!

  9. 175

    nicole says

    My husband and I had a little argument last night about how he put away the dishes….we apologized as we were laying down to go to bed and what a blessing it was. through that little tiff, we gew closer and shared that we both want the best for each other.
    God is so good to us. I pray that I can be a better blessing to my husband.

  10. 176

    Brenda T says

    I love this company. And I love my marriage. We almost didn’t survive year 8, but now we’re going on year 11, stronger than ever BECAUSE we have learned to fight, but only for what is important — our relationship.

  11. 177

    Rachel M. says

    Great post! My husband and I are part of a small group and going through the Waffles & Spaghetti book and ironically we’re on the chapter that deals with conflict. Hadn’t hit me that we’re in a “throw away” world but it’s so true. Can’t wait to share this when we meet Friday. thanks!

  12. 178

    says

    I agree; marriage is hard. More importantly, marriage is worth it. We, like you, do not make a big deal about Valentine’s Day. This is simply for the fact that why should we only highlight/showcase our love one day a year? Why not every. single. day? Our children see us (several times daily) embrace, kiss, cuddle and showing affection. That is love. They see us sit down at the table and resolve a problem, sometimes working hard to find a winning solution. (And by winning I mean one spouse doesn’t “win” while the other “loses.”) That is marriage.

    Marriage isn’t a 50/50 scenario; it is truly 100/100. It requires a full 100% from each spouse.

  13. 181

    says

    Spot on! Although repaired things are never the same, the joint where the repair was made is often stronger than it was before the break.

    I would also add that it is equally important to protect your marriage. We protect our hair to make sure it doesn’t get messed up. We protect our children from damaging television or movies. We protect our cars by parking them in the garage. When something is important to us, we work hard to make sure no harm comes to it. The same needs to be true of our marriages. When we work to protect each other and our marriages, we don’t need to do as much damage repair.

    Thanks for a good article!

  14. 182

    Kimmer says

    I’d love to win the t-shirts for my son and daughter-in-love! Thanks for the post to encourage married couples. We need this influence on marriages today. It is a blessing.

  15. 184

    kristin stratos says

    Thanks for this, even in the roughest of times, fix it… I meant my vows, my marriage is something worth fighting for!

  16. 187

    Alicia D says

    Thanks for the reminder. All too often, I do throw away what could be fixed. I don’t want to do that in my marriage.

  17. 191

    Sharon D says

    Marriage IS hard work! We’ve been married 31 years and have had plenty of ups and downs. But one thing we’ve never done is given up. One piece of advice I share with couples is to never use the word divorce in your home, even in jest. Divorce is not an option. So it shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. Pray for your spouse every day. You will see a difference! Thanks for sharing this. And yes, at 53, I’d wear that T-shirt. :)

  18. 194

    Carla says

    Such a great reminder! I often think that when our marriage is going smoothly, the bumps in the road come along and you get caught off guard. Defending your marriage with communication and acts of love and respect are so vital.

  19. 195

    Diana Short says

    After 27 years, six kids, and many times of better, worse, richer, poorer, sickness, and health, vows which leave no wiggle room for divorce, we are still going strong. Fixing what breaks has become a way of life. We also find that we are more cautious about breakage to begin with. Life is happier when we build each other up than when we tear each other down!

  20. 197

    Betsy says

    Such a great post Kristen and a great reminder to us that even on the hard days, our families are worth fixing!

  21. 200

    Kelly says

    While less than a year into marriage, I discovered that my husband had several other inappropriate relationships….relationships that began even before we said “I do.” Too young and too afraid of hearing “I told you so” from others, I chose to stick it out. After many years of tears, difficult fights, and LOTS of prayers, I can truly say I am thankful I stayed married. After 11 years of marriage, we now have a beautiful baby girl (4 months old)…proof that God is in the business of redemption!

  22. 202

    Angela says

    My parents divorced when I was a teen and my mother admitted later to me that she regretted walking away. My father was stubborn and so hurt that he refUsed to take her back after she realized divorce wasn’t what she wanted. I think about that every time my Husband makes me so angry that I want to throw my hands up. My husband and I bOth have come to recognize we are both impulsive creatures…learning to control that has been a blessing to our marriage.

  23. 204

    Liz K says

    I love my husband! We’re working through some things (who isn’t?) but I can tell his dedication to the purpose he serves. What he does may not be romantic, but it is all out of love. He rocks! :)

  24. 205

    says

    Awesome prize pack! I’d love to win!

    We’ve had a rough couple of weeks, and finally had a really good talk about everything last night. I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders! So thankful for God’s model of grace and forgiveness.

  25. 206

    Amber says

    My husband and I are a testimony of a restored marriage. We have used our struggles to help other couples. Marriage is worth fighting for. I needed this today because one of my greatest friends told me yesterday they are separated. My prayer for them is restoration.

  26. 207

    says

    This was VERY inspiring. My husband and I will celebrate our 4th year of marriage in March, we are a blended family with 8 children. Sometimes we get so caught up in the daily whirlwind that makes up our lives that we forget to take time and truly listen to one another in minor issues which then turns it into a major issue!
    We’ve learned a lot about relationships in our 4 years and also in those early morning talks. ;)

  27. 208

    Mindy says

    What a great article! Also I LOVE those shirts! We are right in the thick of a rough patch, but you are completely right, just stupid insignificant things. We just need to try a little harder to be a little nicer to each other. I resolve to do this. Thanks for touching my heart today.

  28. 211

    says

    God is in the business of restoring marriage. He can work total miracles, I’ve seen it in my own life. I wish it had never been broken, but watching it heal has been breathtaking.

  29. 214

    Tina says

    Love your story! We all need that reminder from time to time. I’m in my second marriage and am trying harder than ever to make it work! So…I will use superglue ALOT!!!!

  30. 215

    Gabi says

    Great words! Needed this so badly today… I would appreciate prayers as we work to mend what’s broken!

    I too would like to win ;)

  31. 216

    Kelly says

    Once again it’s like you know our marriage as well!!! We have also been married 19 yrs…going on 20 this year!! As HIGH STRUNG as I am my hubby is calm..which in hind site should be GREAT…but makes me angrier sometimes..which is a downfall of mine…& one I’m working on..long story short I would LOVE to win those T-shirts because we too don’t do much for V-day…as hubby says why “commercialize” something that is meant for only “us” to share with each other. But sometimes I just want the world to know THIS MAN (who pretty much ALWAYS stays calm) is who I believe God picked for me & I want to it shout out BIG TIME!

  32. 219

    Brittany says

    I so needed to read this post today! So often my husband and I get caught up in work or the kids and it takes time to rebuild and reconnect. But I married him because I love him not because I wanted a pretty white dress and throw a big party. I wouldn’t ever want to toss my marriage away like I toss that sock with the hole in it! It baffles me how so many people go into marriage lightly nowadays. Anyway, thank you for the read this morning. I’ve followed your blog for a few years now and still find it empowering, entertaining and enlightening! Cheers!

  33. 220

    Erin says

    This post really hit home for me this morning! Thanks for being so transparent. We are in this fight for our marriages together! And I love the shirts :)

  34. 221

    Amanda W-B says

    Marriage isn’t easy. I was in a marriage before that turned dangeous. That always reminds me to love my current husband that much more. I really need to let the little things go and us talk through things.

  35. 222

    says

    Wonderful post! I am proud, yet sad, that I’ve been married for almost 15 years when most of my friends are on their 2nd or 3rd marriage or are divorced & trying to date. People just don’t understand that marriage is not about YOU. It’s about your spouse & your family. If more people understood that then more marriages might make it.

  36. 227

    says

    I adore your blog. And this post is special. There are so many people that give up when there is really no reason to. I have been married 4 years. We have been through more than most, just in these 4 short years. We have been extremely challenged and put through things I would never wish on my worst enemy. Through it all, we were together. I am so thankful for my husband. I truly believe God brought us together to make each of us better people. I believe the hard times we are going through now are grooming us for something wonderful we are going to do for Him in the future. God bless marriage and show people it’s a true commitment for life, through the good and the hard times.

  37. 228

    Annette says

    Thank you so much for this! My husband and I agreed from the beginning that divorce is not an option. It’s just not. Not even in our vocabulary

  38. 231

    Jessica C says

    My husband and I have our good days and bad – but we work to understand each other and help each other. And pray for each other!

  39. 232

    Tonia says

    My husband and I have been married for almost 20 years. We have been through a lot and are currently working through some struggles. It isn’t easy, but We aren’t giving up! I would love to have these shirts to wear.

  40. 233

    Jeanette A says

    Our kids sport shirts that say how great mom or dad is so I say it’s time me and the hubby sport shirts saying how great we are, too!

  41. 238

    Georgia says

    My now husband and I were dating 5 months when my two oldest children and their younger half brother were killed in a plane crash in September of 2012. My world stopped. My children were my life. I’ve made many mistakes, but always could say I had been a great Mom. My fiancé stuck by me, night and day. He really is the only reason I am still here, and able to move forward in taking care of my surviving 11 year old. We went ahead with our wedding this past June. Since we got married, everything has fallen apart. Our relationship is hanging on by a thread. Financial problems are at the root of our discourse as are “half truths.” After my children died, I realized nothing in this life, nothing you love, lasts forever. I fear my grief and mistrust of life in general, plus his “half truths” will end our marriage. I’m trying. My hardest. I know I love him, even after all the things I don’t like are listed. I pray each day for the right words, the right actions for ANYTHING that will help each of us be a better spouse. I hope God hears my prayers. And my kids can help our marriage and my broken heart from Heaven.

  42. 239

    Jennifer O says

    This post is so so good and a much needed reminder. Our marriages are so important and yet often allow little things to come inbetween us. We have also been married 19 years and so much of what you said is a picture of our marriage as well.

  43. 244

    Kamakfam says

    <3 your blog! Read it faithfully! Just like many others fans of your posts, I too love your honesty! "Marriage is broken", is so relateable to us this year as we have experienced some medical issues with both of us over the last 2 years at a very young age. This sent us up into a tornado of stress and self doubt. My husband and I are celebrating 20 years this year and we thank God daily we had our friendship to fall back on. We dated on and off, for close to 6 years before we said "I do". We are working on new issues with aging and health issues, aging parents, child rearing, and finances. It's a lot to keep balanced and, more often than not, our scale is tilted. It can be very scary and our instinct sometimes is to fly solo for some reason to avoid talking about things. We love each other and our family so much, but the pressures of life can be overwhelming! Sometimes it does seem that life is working against couples and pulling them in different directions. We are both so thankful for the foundation our parents help lay for us with our faith. Without it, we are certain we would have been lost each other long ago!! Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and life experiences.

  44. 247

    Stacey E says

    Love this! We definitely live in a throw away society. Too often I let other things – kids, school, house, etc. – put my marriage in the backseat and take it for granted. My husband totally rocks and I am so lucky to have a Godly man who loves me. Thank you for the reminder of how important marriage is!

  45. 248

    Vanessa Gooch says

    Love this post! We are in Ministry and there seems to be an epidemic of divorce going on in the church right now. It is so sad and disheartening. While there are certainly some that definitely have biblical grounds, there are so many that don’t. I have looked at my marriage and we have fought, really fought and I often tell my husband that he is stuck with me til I die. :o) I have also really been thinking about relationships in general lately and more specifically about my relationship with Jesus. I could not imagine if Jesus decided to give up on me, if He decided that I was too difficult, too moody, too stubborn (and He knows that I am), or you know that we just grew apart, didn’t like each other anymore, had nothing in common. Where would I be? He never gives up on me (or us) and if we are to aspire to be like Jesus, why aren’t we like Him when it comes to our marriages?

  46. 249

    Laura says

    Couldn’t agree more! I appreciate you sharing the details of your life so we can learn from your experiences.
    * Love the give away items!

  47. 251

    Amy says

    We were blissfully married for 21 years and then several HUGE things happened and I wasn’t sure we would get through it. After 2 years of counseling and lots of work on both our parts, I feel we are back on track. It’s still hard, but there has been so much progress and healing! Thanks for your encouraging post (actually your blog has been a blessing many times) and for the chance to win, I love the shirts and they would be so fun to wear!

  48. 254

    Jamie Stovall says

    There are some days that I wear my “I love my husband” shirt to remind myself when we irritate each other!

  49. 255

    Eleisha says

    Hello! Thank you for your great reminder of what love (especially in marriages!) should be “Love is patient…..always hopes, LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES!” I Cor. 13:7
    When I first married, I heard a similar illustration how many in today’s world treat their marriage and spouse as they would their car. If (or when) the car is damaged,broken or not “fixable” you must trade it in for a new one. However if you were hurt and lost your finger(or limb) you would do anything to save that finger and have it repaired (if possible). It would never be the same, with scars and requiring healing but it would still be your finger and eventually restored! I heard this and determined to treat my marriage, my husband as my own (like a body part attached to me!) not like a car (disposable). I am so thankful for God’s love, grace and faithfulness. We have been through many hardships in our young marriage many which seemed impossible to overcome (loss of babies, jobs, infidelity, brief separation,9 moves 5 states & 2 countries etc.) However with love for God and each other we are “falling” committing more in love each day and truly are excited for our future, praying we can encourage others in their marriages also. We will celebrate 10 years of marriage this year! My husband proposed on Valentines day (10 years ago)so it’s always meaningful and these cute T-shirts remind me of when I first met my husband he surprised me by writing all over windows “Eleisha you and your smile Rock my world!”
    Thanks for your example and encouragement! We will continue fighting and loving each day for each other, our marriage and God’s best for US!

  50. 256

    Summer says

    Marriage is hard, y’all. That’s what I tell everyone who is getting married. But oh so worth it. Thank you for this post :).

  51. 259

    Laura Malinowski says

    What a beautiful legacy to leave to our children. Relationships take work, like all good things. When children see you value people (our husband’s) over possessions or our pride they see the love of Christ first hand. Those of us that have found love and are married have been blessed with a partner to share life with. We need to be thankful for this blessing. There are many women that only dream of finding love and long for the struggles we face that are really blessings in disguise. I love you your messages. You are blessed with the wisdom and heart to share the truth in a practical and real way that always points us towards Jesus. Thank you

  52. 260

    Kelley H. says

    I realized the other day, that come June, we will have been married 15 years!! Wow! And in that time, we’ve gad our ups & downs. But I’m so glad we’ve worked on things & God has continued to mature us & grow us together. I love my husband so very much!! Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom that marriage is definitely worth fighting for & protecting! If we win the shirts, we’ll wear them to the “Love Worth Fighting For” conference by Kirk Cameron that’s coming to our town! :)

  53. 261

    Tara White says

    Thank you for allowing your family to be real as an encouragement to us all! I love these shirts and we would wear them proudly!! Husband & wife of 25 years 7/23/2013

  54. 265

    Melanie S. says

    Thanks so much for this blog post. It’s sad to know that we have become a throw away society (including marriage). It’s worth taking the time to fix things. And it makes it all the more sweeter. <3

  55. 267

    says

    Wow ! I think you are completely right. I’ve been married 30 years. All of them WORK ! I am married to an abuser and have constantly worked on making the marriage the best it can be under these circumstances. I’m still here and I talk to God EVERY day about it..If I may add my advice too…talk, talk, talk…Give it ALL to God. He is the one under control and he will help you. Is our marriage perfect ? Nope. Is it broken ? Yep. Do we keep our vows ? Yes. Is God with us ? Yes. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31. Love your post…it’s me !!!

  56. 268

    Melissa Porter says

    I will be married 5 years this April. I have so many times had those petty arguments you speak of and then realized later that was a gateway to us communicating even if it took an argument to get there. I have learned more recently just as you said in your post above not to blow things up bigger than need be. That is one of my biggest problems. I spent so much time pointing my finger that it had never dawned on me, it should be pointing my direction first. I have proudly made a vow this year after the first few years of tough marriage to keep forever in my mind as quitting shouldn’t be an option unless the marriage is life threatening or just flat out completely unhealthy. I had to remind myself that “MY HUSBAND ROCKS”! SO instead of looking at the bad and downing him, I should praise him for the more important positives! :D

  57. 269

    Monica says

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart so many times. Our marriage has struggled through some issues that you have shared on your blog. It has been a tough 16 years but we are committed to the covenant we made with God. I am thankful that the scales from my eyes drop eventually and I see that my husband truly does rock!!!
    We will keep running in such a way as to win the Prize!

  58. 270

    says

    Great post! Your writing on marriage always hits home. We struggled in our first few years and we always try to remember how far God has brought us and what a gift it is to communicate and fight for our marriage. What a great giveaway!

  59. 271

    says

    i agree wholeheartedly — about marriage and things in general. so much that we throw away (myself, included) is worth fixing. would love to win the t-shirts. thanks!

  60. 277

    Ginger White says

    My husband and I got married when we were 20 years old after only knowing each other for a few months. No one thought we would make it. We were young and thought we knew everything about the world. It has had it’s ups and downs, but marriage is a choice and love is a choice. We chose to stay together through think and thin. We recently celebrated our 20 year anniversary and I can honestly say that I am married to my very best friend! I hope our testimony can be a encouragement to other young married couples.

  61. 278

    Angela says

    Love this! My husband and I have been “fixing” things for almost 16 years now and would love these shirts! Thank you for all the wonderful things you share with your readers!

  62. 279

    Summer N. says

    Love is not a fight, but it’s something worth fighting for! Our grandparents’ generation knew that truth, but it seems like it’s been lost along the way with us… praying many marriages would be repaired, renewed, or reconciled because of your blog post! Thank you for sharing so honestly & vulnerably!

  63. 280

    Rebekah J says

    Thank you for this reminder! We all need to slow down sometimes and get to the root of the issues that trouble our marriage.

    I love the shirts too!

  64. 281

    Kat says

    Thanks for sharing! Saying “I’m sorry” is so difficult (at times), yet so healing (always). This article is a great reminder to communicate and collaborate.

  65. 283

    Gloria Lynn says

    Great article!! Yes, I can so relate. We have been married for 25 years and we work thru our problems and love each other more deeply every day! Wouldn’t have made it w/o God, forgiveness and prayer!

  66. 284

    Kathy says

    Thanks for the inspiring message of this post! My husband and I have been married for 19 years, too. It’s a precious place to be, but we’re only here by God’s kindness to us that He enables us to extend to each other. I appreciate the honesty and encouragement of your words.

  67. 285

    Dana says

    These are awesome! My husband and I are hosting an Art of Marriage Event Valentine’s weekend at our church, and we help show God’s way to ‘do’ marriage by leading a community group at our church on Wednesdays! It is a great way for us to connect, and to connect with other couples who have asked God to be in their marriage!

  68. 286

    Kathryn says

    Thank you for pointing readers to Christ in each post and helping us navigate this life with wisdom and encouragement. Praying for you and your family! And thanks for the giveaway! Marraige is a daily choice to make it work…just like the daily choice to live a Godly life.

  69. 287

    Rosemarie says

    Thank you for this nice article. My husband is always trying to get me to talk about why I am mad at him. I hate to talk about my feeling. It’s the fear of opening up new feelings and angers I have buried deep inside.

  70. 291

    Nancy jo says

    Marriage is worth fighting for and fixing. Like anything, as it ages, change comes. Some good, some not so good. But loved and cherished it becomes more valuable day by day.

  71. 292

    lindsey says

    you have a TON of comments, and that’s awesome! I appreciate your posts, and if I win that would be good too…. but keep your messages coming!! I love the t-shirts!

  72. 295

    Tracie says

    Marriage is a work in progress. We say around here that there is no way out so we have to work it out. In the past our marriage has been rocky but not now….we still fuss and fight (although not very often) but we are closer now than in the past. Thank you for being “real” in what you post!!!

  73. 298

    kim says

    First congratulations on 19years of marriage, we are going on 10years and it is a great happiness to me to be married and share my life with my husband. It’s True marriage is a struggle and we all have ups and downs but in the end every struggle you get through together makes the marriage stronger

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