Where to Look for a Strong Marriage

We have water issues in our basement.

Heavy rain + House Built in 1927 = Water Issues. Need I say more?

You can pretty much fill in the visuals for yourself. Stressed and tired couple. Up till 3 a.m. Cleaning up water.  On Memorial Day Weekend.  If that doesn’t have delicious written all over it, I’m not sure what does (said no one ever).

I’m guessing your life is as messy as mine (sure, you may not have water issues, but you have issues.)  Maybe your life is messier than mine.   No one is really spared, right?

One of my deepest internal battles has been my longing for life to look neater… colliding with my reality of way too many frayed edges.  Yes, we do have moments of clarity and calm. But they seem to pop up less frequently than we would prefer in the muck of misunderstanding… miscues….mess.

You’ve patiently waited for me to get around to talking about sex, so here goes. What could all of my jibberish about messy life and wet basements have to do with sex, one might ask.

I just want to encourage you. That’s all.  I just want to speak hope into whatever you’re walking right now.

You’re trying to do life and all that goes with it, including sex, amidst pa-lenty of chaos.

You want it all to look neater. Crisper. Healthier. Easier.

Not unlike how you want cleaner kitchen floors. And fewer stacks of paperwork. And not so many painful interactions with people you love.

You want a marriage that resembles at least some of the fairytale, right?  Even though you know — you really know — that the sex scene in the romantic movie is indeed not real…you still kind of long for it, don’t you?

I get it.

I understand.

My kitchen floor is a mess too.  And I have water in my basement every time it rains heavy. And sex is not always what I envisioned it would be. When we do connect, it’s incredible. I’m not gonna lie.  But every connection isn’t that way, and sometimes the opportunities to connect don’t even happen, much to our disappointment.

I want to encourage you to not lose sight of what it means to grab hold of a long-term perspective amidst short-term heaviness.   Don’t lose sight of pressing into the heart of God and erring on the side of love.

Lean into coming along side your spouse, because my guess is the weight of the chaos and messiness is taking its toll on them as well.

How can you help each other know — really know — that you are not in it alone?

What would it mean to actually take a breath? To stop?  To hug and touch and reassure each other, even if its not your nature to do that, and even if your marriage hasn’t been characterized by that kind of support?

I believe it’s worth a shot.   Love does (just ask Bob Goff, who wrote a book by that title). Profound book, by the way.

Oh how I wish marriage was just about amazing sex. And clean kitchen floors. And dry basements. And plenty of money. And plenty of time. And no paperwork.  And consistently obedient children. And no misunderstandings.

Oh. How. I. Wish… that marriage was all those things, all the time.

The fact, though, that it is not all those things all the time may ironically be its greatest blessing.

Whatever is strong about your marriage…whatever is endearing and worth it…whatever is safe haven was revealed because you intentionally chose it, looked for it, and leaned into it.

While I’m not too thrilled about water issues in my basement at 3 a.m., I am grateful for what good things I learn there about my marriage.

Copyright 2013, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage.

2 thoughts on “Where to Look for a Strong Marriage

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Julie, please keep me anon thank you
    Julie I have spoken to you a number of times and posted once about my marriage and intimacy or lack of it and how unhappy I was a lot of that had to do with my wife’s disability and very bad health problems etc your post today for me has some much weight behind it as I was so unhappy 6 – 8 months ago but since her surgery things are so different we have re-connected on so many different levels stuff we used to fight and argue about we don’t anymore yes things are not always great I sometimes feel we don’t have enough intimacy as I would love but we are coming up to 18 years of marriage this year I am so much in love with my wife I feel more so than when we married I think about her all the time this post is how I see my marriage now but like I said 8 months ago I promise you I did not I was very unhappy and each day was a struggle as sad as it sounds back then one of the big things that kept me going was my job I love my work and what I do.
    for those that are really struggling with their marriage and intimacy or lack of it please keep fighting for it keep fighting for your marriage I know I have been that low I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel but I am proof it can work out
    thank you.

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