Frustrated. Irritable. Tired.
I blamed it on jet lag and dirty hair. And rightly so.
But still. It’s always’s something. We can always find a reason for an interruption in happiness. Even when we are rested on the best hair day.
We stood at an airport in between time zones on the other side of the globe and in a hot minute, my soulmate was hinging on becoming my arch enemy.
There’s no guarantee we’ll be happy in marriage.
As a matter of fact, most days we can find a hundred reasons not to be.
And I’m not really talking about the big things like financial ruin, pornography, adultery and differences we can’t reconcile.
I understand marriages end every day with good reason. I understand the choice isn’t always ours.
But if we’re keeping track and letting the small things add up –those dirty socks on the floor, that burned dinner, the lack of romance, the mood swings– our marriage could be in danger.
Big or small–we can conquer all of these with God’s help.
I’ve seen marriages overcome the worst. And I’ve witnessed them end over insignificant irritations.
Because maybe the biggest threat of all is when we simply stop trying.
When we give up.
Stop participating. Stop communicating.
When we refuse to forgive the small stuff, bury our feelings, give our spouse the cold shoulder and punish them with the silent treatment–
We always, always lose.
I read an article about a couple who on their 20 year anniversary dinner reminisced about their lives together and then when they got to dessert, they talked about who got the house and who got the kids.
There wasn’t a big reason for the split. They were growing in different directions, didn’t feel connected or happy anymore.
And while it may sound surprising to give up over so little, I think the threat is all too real. Leaving is often easier than staying.
I’ve been there:
We would falter and fail and taste brokenness like we couldn’t imagine. My solid marriage would be unrecognizable, a lot like the pieces scattered around me.- from Chapter 3, the testimony of my marriage in Rhinestone Jesus.
Here’s the thing–no marriage is perfect. Not your neighbors or your pastors. Not mine or yours. How could it be with all that humanity? Some days we don’t feel happy, or loved, or loving.
But we fight. We love. We keep forgiving. We keep working on our marriage.
Because struggling means we are both trying.
And that beats quitting any day.