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. 304

    Melissa says

    Marriage is hard work with a great reward. I love my husband and I am grateful he loves me back, even when we are mad. I choose him and he chooses me every time. He is my best friend.

  2. 307

    Laura says

    Thanks for this! My husband & I had our first baby before we were married, and were married on our year and a half anniversary of when we’d started dating. We lived with my in-laws for the first 5 months of our marriage. It is hard, and if it weren’t for God’s grace in every detail, our lives would be very different. My husband does rock! I’m so thankful for his commitment & his love!!

  3. 309

    Amanda E says

    We’ve been married almost 15 years, and there have been a few trials by fire. Thankful it has been God’s refining fire moving us forward instead of leaving us stuck. These shirts are great, and whether we wear them or not, despite everything we’ve been throug, are going through, and will go through, what they say is still true. :)

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. 310

    Kelly S says

    I love reading about the “realness” of your marriage. When it gets tough in our own lives it is easy to forget that we aren’t alone. Thanks for sharing!

  5. 313

    Lucy D. says

    Oh, those shirts are so cool! Thanks for standing up for marriage. REALLY TIRED of seeing so many people divorce and push others towards doing the same!

  6. 315

    Jen P says

    Thank you for a great post! I also love that the apparel is focused on marriage strengtheners. “They” say marriage is hard work, but you don’t realize the continual effort that goes into anything fully until you do it. And it is so worth it.

  7. 316

    Haley says

    Thank you for being so willing to share what you go through in your marriage so others can grow from it. My husband and I learn the most about each other in those quiet moments we spend just the two of us before we drift off to sleep or before the alarm clock takes us back into the real world. It’s my favorite place to be!

  8. 321

    Andrea T says

    I completely agree with this post. My husband and I have been together since we were 16, married at 18 & started our family at 19. When you literally “grow up” with your spouse you are bound to hit rock walls, have peaks & valleys through out your marriage. Here we are 18 years later, and still promising to work on our marriage thru the hardest of times. I’ve found that forgiveness is key, forgive move forward and don’t live in the past. ;)

  9. 323

    Lorena says

    We are military. And you see a lot of throw away marriages. I think it is very sad. I agree with you. My 15 year marriage is worth way more than the trash can. Thank you for you heart felt words.

  10. 324

    Amy A says

    I love this post. Thanks for sharing, especially after I just had to have a “discussion” last night – very tough for my VERY non-confrontational personality.

    PS – My high school friend started Union 28 with her hubby! Absolutely LOVE their clothing line! Would love to win!

  11. 325

    Rachael says

    My husband and I have been married for 6 years, and friends since my freshmen year in highschool. while our marriage has had alot of ups and downs, we both find comfort in the willingness of the other to continue to work things out. It makes me sad that so many people give up on a relationship that just needed a little tweaking and of course God in the center

  12. 326

    says

    Um, my husband would get such a kick out of the *ahem* item! We had our first child 8 weeks ago and it has been so hard for me to remember that I was my husband’s before I was our son’s mommy. It has been hard trying to remember to make enough time for my hubby after being so drained from caring for a newborn all day, not showering, or sleeping for that matter. And my husband does rock, he has been amazing through all these changes. Thank you Lord for good Godly men, and help us to love them better!

  13. 329

    Donna H. says

    So true, marriage is not always easy, but it is great to have a partner in life. Open and honest communication is key to a successful marriage. Respect, gratitude, and forgiveness from both parties is also a reasonable expectation and the most sensible way to live together.

  14. 333

    Veronica M. says

    My hubby and I also don’t do much on Valentines Day because we choose to celebrate our love year round!

  15. 336

    says

    Thanks for sharing and hosting the giveaway! We do tend to celebrate valentines day, at least a little, since we started dating 2 days before valentines day 15 years ago :)

  16. 337

    Jayme Jeane says

    I would absolutely LOVE to win these shirts and *ahem*! Marriage is hard work and too many people give up way too easily. Thank you for writing this!

  17. 339

    Heather says

    Amen! We had a broken marriage that had to be fixed. And almost 10 years later we are still working at it but it is stronger, better and more beautiful than ever. So glad we didn’t give up, and that HE didn’t give up on us!

  18. 341

    Shawna says

    Marriage is definitely something to fight for. Although my husband and I love each other dearly, our marriage hasn’t been an easy one. But our marriage is definitely something we want. We constantly look for ways to “fix” our marriage instead of tearing it apart.

  19. 342

    april says

    I loved what you said about living in a disposable culture…so true and I’m so guilty! Thanks for the encouragement. I needed this today!

  20. 343

    says

    Thank you for the honesty. 19 years of marriage is a long time, I am there myself. It seems like a lifetime and it is not easy but I said One time for me and that’s it and I do my best to work out problems so we can stay married.

  21. 345

    Brittany P says

    Discussing *why* you think this or that way is best is very important—but even more than that is being willing to listen to your spouse’s side, and consider their needs/point of view. Communication *is* so important.

    At the root, though, so many of the struggles we face in relationships do (as you mentioned) have their root in fear. As my husband and I learn more about each other, and learn what it means to love each other, and be married to each other, we’ve seen over and over how much it helps when we trust the Lord. The struggles we have had, at their root, seem to so often be when one or the other (or both of us) are not fully trusting the Lord in some area.

    Thanks for your honest sharing, Kristen.

  22. 353

    Sarah says

    We’ve only been married for 9 years but have definitely had our moments….or years of struggle. God has brought us through thus far and we are learning how to move towards each other and fix our broken. Thanks for your heart and willingness to share it with us all here. Would love to have a chance to celebrate our marriage throughout the year with your giveaway.

  23. 361

    Christine says

    Thank you for your transparency. I’m a recent subscriber and have received such encouragement and strength from your words. Yours is a blog that I actually TAKE THE TIME to read. :)

    Oh, I’d also love the t-shirts! :) tee hee!

  24. 364

    Elsa says

    I’m a huge fan of your blog! Your words speak right to my heart. Thank you for posting your story.
    My husband rocks!

  25. 365

    Beth says

    This would be so fun to win!! I’d love to surprise my husband! Thanks for this giveaway and for your awesome blog!!!

  26. 367

    Julie says

    I’d love to win! We’ve only been married for 3 1/2 years, but that’s a big issue, for us, too. I’m the worse one of the two when it comes to admitting I’m wrong and apologizing, but I love to show my husband love at all times, too. I just need to work on humility. :)

  27. 368

    Casey says

    Thank you for sharing so openly! I’m getting married in September (woohoo!) & this is practical even before Fiancé gets changed into Husband. Love the wisdom found in your writing. thank you!

  28. 369

    Mary Johnson says

    Thanks we are struggling right now…I needed to hear this from an older wiser mom. Sometimes I do want to give up.

  29. 371

    Diane S. says

    Oh how I love your open, honest thoughts on marriage! My husband and I had some truly rough times, including a separation for about a year, and when he came back I had been accepted to 5 of6 Psychology programs for my doctorate. A month or so later, we were shocked I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My husband stayed with me through it all, and when I was done, I had docs blessing to get pregnant. (First baby, Angelica, is waiting for us in heaven!). 10 months later I was pregnant. 7 or 8 weeks later, I was diagnosed with AML, an aggressive type of leukemia, and docs told me I had to abort my baby. I said God gave me this life and He will take it when he wants! My husband said “Even if it has 3 heads we will love it.” That is one of the last things I remember my husband saying. I lapsed into a coma for 3-4 weeks. My husband says when he told me that our baby died, I frowned. When I woke up, I had to learn to walk and write my name. BUT, my husband stayed by my side. Fast forward almost 11 years! We adopted a beautiful inside and out Vietnamese daughter that is now 7 and the joy of our lives! People tell me I should write a book, but I guess everybody’s story of cancer is an amazing journey. I am just so blessed my husband is here and with me, still compliments me even though I have thin hair from all of the chemo and steroids,…I have 37percent lung capacity from the bone marrow transplants is effect. But I am happy and here, still dancing and praising The Lord Jesus Christ!

  30. 372

    Elizabeth says

    Thank you for your openness! I appreciate the honesty that you always share with us, your readers! You’ve encouraged me many times!

  31. 374

    Joy Wolfe says

    Thank you. The article you wrote about ‘my husband rocks… even when do doesn’t’ has been slowly changing my view!! Total change takes time – but it’s coming!

  32. 377

    Stacy says

    My husband rocks! 16 months after we said “in sickness and in health,” I became very ill and spent the next 3 years+ housebound, and my husband became more of a roommate nurse than best friend lover. Now, PRAISE the Lord, I am improving and it feels like we are just starting out – but in the best way! This is going to be a great year for us. I’m so thankful the Lord blessed me with the husband he did.

  33. 380

    Kristie Sullivan says

    I love this post so so much! It really hit home! <3 it, thank you for putting it into writing to help others!

  34. 381

    Stephanie says

    Loved your post & the beautiful words & truth! Also, ps. I just subscribed to your blog by email & would love to receive e book That a Works a For Me for free! So excited to read! Thank you!

  35. 382

    Vicki says

    Thank you for keeping it real. I love to read your blog, but my most favorite thing is the way you share from your heart and don’t sugar coat things.
    Thanks!

  36. 385

    Charmaine says

    Somehow whenever I log on with a question or frustration that i’m harboring or pondering (depending on my attitude at the time) there is always something you’ve written that pops up that I need to read, that speaks to me, and that helps so very much, Thank you x

  37. 387

    Cindy says

    My husband rocks! When I’m out of control, he is patient. Christ is our center;xwe work daily on this, it’s worth it.

  38. 388

    Malie says

    My husband rocks! We have grown each in Christ and therefore, grown closer on many levels. It’s hard work. It’s humbling. It breaks my heart to see another marriage ‘bit the dust’. I don’t want to be a statistic, I want to be a success in God’s kingdom.
    Thank you for your encouraging words and your perseverance.

  39. 389

    Amy says

    Thanks again for the reminder. I needed this today! I’d love to win this shirt, not sure if my husband would wear his, though:)

  40. 392

    MommyHood says

    Thank you so much for your open honesty and transparency into your marriage. My husband and I are celebrating one year from being five days away from divorce. My husband, in a desperate attempt to choose life, fell to his knees and spoke to God from his heart. And God redeemed him the way that he promises. Our marriage is stronger than ever, and I am so thankful for the promise of eternal life and redemption… No matter where we are in our life.

  41. 393

    Melissa says

    I’d love to win! My hubby is training for his first Ironman & there have been many fights just like yours. Thanks for sharing!

  42. 394

    Kathy Miller says

    Thank you for sharing! We will be together 10 years in April (married almost 8). Our struggles are definitely the small stuff. My husband is so good to us, I am just going through a period of needing some extra, spontaneous romance and the poor guy has no idea how to do that, lol. I’ve been so hard on him lately. I choose repair!!

  43. 396

    says

    Being a wife is a hard job and I find it difficult to show him love if he’s cold. But I realise there are issues that need to be resolved in order for that to happen. I’m grateful for your advice and I get what you meant. Showing love all through the year is better than just one day a year.

  44. 399

    Melissa Lynn Benham says

    I would love to win. We’ve certainly had our hard times – even a time when I thought for sure that was it, I would never see him again. But we fought hard and we’re back together stronger than ever.

  45. 400

    says

    I’d love to win a shirt from Union 28! My husband and I each have one, but they’re getting pretty old and he asked for a new one recently- a colored shirt, specifically. I checked out their page earlier in the month and they only had one colored tee for men. So happy to see this new red one.

  46. 401

    Allison Elkins says

    I love these! My husband and I are marriage mentors at our church and we firmly believe that marriage is worth fighting for. Thanks for sharing
    !

  47. 403

    EmiLee Stephens says

    Thanks for this reminder. My husband and I were married 15 years ago this July. However, we were actually divorced for about 9 months of that, due to hardness of heart and unteachable spirits. We didn’t fight for our marriage…..but praise The Lord, He did! He showed us our foolishness, our sin, and our need for Him! And, it is SO worth the time to make it work and work it out! Marriage is hard, but it is supposed to be a beautiful picture of Christ and Church, and through divorce and reconciliation, we understand this picture a little more clearly! Even brokenness can be repaired by the Designer of marriage! Isn’t that the over arching theme of the Bible anyway?! Grace and restoration from Christ alone for Christ alone! Thanks again for your post!

  48. 406

    Nancy says

    Thanks for this post! I agree whole-heartedly! My husband and I are in the process of rebuilding a marriage that most would have deemed not repairable. It has been a gigantic struggle, but it is worth it!

  49. 408

    Connie says

    Thanks for the great post. Everyone needs to be reminded that we need to forgive and keep loving each other! My husband definately rocks and we would LOVE to sport these cool shirts!

  50. 410

    Heather says

    Thank you for being so honest. That’s the type of inspiration and encouragement I need to keep working harder to make my marriage one that endures. I come from a broken home, so I’m totally learning as I go and your blog is a great resource to me. I appreciate you and your openness in so many areas. Thank you for doing what you do!

  51. 411

    Maria says

    My Fiancee and I are getting married the first weekend in April. Things are pretty tight, and I’d love to win those tshirts! However, as much as I’d like to win, I will tell you that I am so encouraged by these posts you make about marriage. They encourage me because they prod me to remember that the struggles we have now or will have in the future are not impossible, but can be totally overwhelmed by God’s love and learning more about grace, and overcoming fear. Thank you for your words and the heart that leads you to share them with others!

  52. 412

    Jenny says

    While I agree with your article, I must add that there are exceptions to all situations. Case in point…I have been happily married for 13 years and I am as blessed to be my husbands spouse as he is mine BUT there are those situations where a marriage is unrepairable as it takes two to fix and or work at problems and issues that arise.

  53. 413

    Jennifer Baker says

    I would love those t-shirts! My husband and I have been married for a year and 8 months, and we’ve been talking about getting t-shirts like this for a long time. PS I love your blog!

  54. 414

    Linda says

    I saw your post on one of my friend’s facebook page. As I read I was reminded of how far my husband and I have come. At the verge of divorce a few years back, we decided to go to counseling. That decision turned our marriage completely around. We are coming up on our 35th wedding anniversary in a couple of months and are very thankful to God for all He has done in us. Our love has grown and we are continuing to grow in relationship. Thank you for sharing so openly. I look forward to reading your future posts!

  55. 420

    Karen says

    A message that not only do “we” (our generation) need to be reminded of…but also, that we need to teach our children. They are growing up learning that if things are difficult or don’t go your way, just quit. My kids and I joke that our family motto is “When things get tough, we quit!” When we see someone tempted to give up, we say our motto – laugh – and try again. It’s just a little humor that reminds us of the opposite – when things get tough we need to dig in our heels, strategize and try again! And apologies and forgiveness are HUGE! Glad you and your hubby are quick to forgive! Thanks for your authenticity!

  56. 422

    Angela Adlich says

    Thank you for the reminder to fix and not throw away marriages!! I’d love the chance to win a free shirt for my husband!! Thank you!

  57. 425

    Stephanie says

    I love your articles. Thank you for the constant inspiration to stay true to our beliefs and way of life than to conform to society.

  58. 426

    Melissa R says

    Thank you so much for writing this post. My husband and I went through a period of unfaithfulness and infidelity five years ago and thankfully we stuck by each other after that and our marriage came out stronger. It would have been so easy for my husband to divorce me instead of forgive me, but he forgave and we are closer and stronger because of it. I love how you say our culture these days throws things away instead of fixing them. We could have thrown our marriage away but chose instead to fix it and I am so glad now!
    I love these t-shirts and think they are a great way to show your husband a little love :)

  59. 427

    says

    Yeah, your marriage is worth fighting for. And its so encouraging to hear someone else’s story of how they fought for their marriage and made it stronger, deeper. That’s why I enjoy this blog so much!

  60. 428

    Stephanie S says

    This article rings so true. Last year I had 3 friends divorce believing that there was nothing worth fixing. It is really sad that that is the culture we live in. Thank you for your blog.

  61. 429

    Kindra Crandell says

    Love this!! Couldn’t agree more. Marriage takes work, hard work. So often couples, especially Christian couples who know who the Great Physician is, throw in the towel. A marriage & a family is worth fighting for!!!!

  62. 430

    Sylvia says

    Thanks for always being so real! We appreciate your openness. It’s encouraging to those of us who don’t live in a perfect world!

  63. 436

    Kelly says

    I love how real & honest your writing is…makes me feel like we have ALOT of the same issues..& I’m not alone! Thank You!! I would love to win ANYTHING!!

  64. 438

    Tess says

    I get it. Our marriage has many, many cracks. We’re both stubborn and bull-headed. Learning to trust again is the hardest part.

  65. 439

    Lisa D. says

    If more people thought like this the divorce rate would be much much lower! Thank you for the reminder. I am so thankful for my husband. He rocks!

  66. 440

    Maurine says

    I would like to get these for my sister and her husband. A newly wed couple struggling to learn how to live as married instead of single.

  67. 441

    says

    This is such Truth!!
    I think of my grand parents too — together for over 60 years!! Now, my grandfather could be a tough, stubborn old meanie every now and then, and I have heard since he past some family mutter “why did she every stay with him for so long”…..and I shake my head.
    Yes indeed – what this world throws away.
    I know why my grandma stayed.
    Following that example is the best legacy they could ever have given me.

  68. 443

    says

    What a great reminder!! My husband and I still love each other dearly (and still fight) after 10 years!! And we would proudly wear these cutie shirts!

  69. 446

    Allison Wilson says

    My husband and I just celebrated 20 years. Those “little” struggles can add up to either BIG benefits or bigger problems. We have watched too many marriages allow those little things to fester. Good stuff!

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