I pray this post helps you to reflect on your marriage and how you navigate crisis and grief when it hits.
Because as we all know, it’s not a matter of if. It’s only a matter of when.
I soon will write more about what my husband and I have been navigating recently, but for now I just want to pose a few questions. I am guessing as you read over them, you will find yourself falling into one of three camps.
And it’s likely you have already been in these camps because of grief or crisis that has already hit in your life.
Those of you in camp one will instantly breathe a sigh of gratefulness, knowing you have built a marriage where you are drawn to each other for comfort during life’s storms.
Those of you in camp two will feel uncertainty, wondering if grief would close the gap between the two of you or widen it.
And those of you in camp three will have a feeling of regret, because you know the distance between you and your spouse is vast enough that grief would leave you each feeling all the more isolated from each other.
If you are in camp one, I still encourage you to read the below questions, as they may spur even further intimacy (on all levels). We are always in the process of learning how to be married, so even when the marriage is strong, it’s worth it to still pour into it.
If you are in camp two or three, hear my heart. My hope would be that you see the below questions not as confirmation of your relationship distance, but rather as opportunity for growth.
We don’t have to passively wait for crisis and grief to see where we stand. We can instead be intentional and proactive and take baby steps and to dig deep for relationship healing.
I pose the questions as ones you and your spouse can ask each other.
Possibly print this post off and carve out some time to go over the questions and listen to each other. Or suggest to your spouse that you each write your answers to the questions and then either give the answers to each other to read and then discuss—or simply have a conversation where you read your own answers to each other.
At any rate, embrace the questions as a springboard to a deeper connection and more authentic listening.
Here are the questions:
1. What would you say drew us together before we got married?
2. What moments or experiences in our relationship do you look back upon and smile?
3. What do I do now in our relationship that makes you feel like I’m your friend?
4. Have there been difficult or painful situations when you felt like I wasn’t there for you? If so, what are one or two specific things I could have done differently that would have eased your pain?
5. When was a time when you felt like I was genuinely supportive of you?
6. If we were facing a crisis or deep grief right now, how well do you think we would do to help each other?
7. What specific things can we do going forward to strengthen our friendship?
Maybe there is a reason you are reading this post. You’ll notice the thread of friendship running through the questions. That was intentional on my part. I have long believed that of all the things that can make a marriage strong, friendship is at the top of the list.
My hope is that instead of clicking away, you’ll take advantage of answering the questions and nurturing your marriage. And don’t do it just because grief and crisis are coming at some point. Do it for the sheer value of pouring into the covenant relationship you committed to with a person you love.
And I have a 5 video series available on building better sex in your marriage. Great way to invest in your marriage! You can find out all about it at this link: Better Sex in Your Christian Marriage.
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.