I’m not talking about abusive marriages.
If you are in an abusive marriage, in no way am I encouraging you to endure now what you couldn’t have seen back then at the altar.
If your marriage is abusive, I humbly plead with you to find a safe mature Christian confidante with whom to share your concerns—someone who will help you take even baby steps toward removing yourself (and children, if you have them) from the abuse.
Women should have female confidantes and men should have male confidantes.
What I want to give voice to in this post is something I think many of us realize, but never really discuss out loud. There’s no way at the onset of a marriage that you can anticipate all that your marriage will encounter.
Some marriages stride consistently well, even growing stronger and more intimate as the years roll by. Sure, there are those couples that seem to master this without a tremendous amount of effort, but more likely is a husband and wife intentionally pouring into their relationship in good times and in bad.
Most great marriages are built. They are not magically pulled from thin air or pages in a fairytale. Or pages in a bridal magazine.
That is not everyone’s story, though. A husband and wife building a genuine relationship is not everyone’s story.
Some marriages encounter difficulty and heartache where you—or you and your spouse together—do not navigate life as well as you had hoped or believed when you first got married.
You’re not landing on your feet as much as you thought you would. You’re not quite the team you thought you would be.
I just want to say it’s okay you couldn’t see this at the beginning. Give yourself some grace that your marriage isn’t what you envisioned it would be. How could you have known? You couldn’t have.
And as discouraging and lonely as that may feel, you still have to figure out how to get up each day and breathe and put one foot in front of the other.
You maybe would readily concede that the two of you are still committed. Still in it, no matter what. But the marriage lacks the life and the intimacy you thought it would have. And by intimacy, I’m not just talking about sex. Although, sometimes that oneness and passion is missing as well.
Give yourself some grace.
I know that in some of these relationships, one or both spouses have tried. Maybe you would say you have tried to strengthen your marriage. Tried to build or rebuild intimacy. Tried to get at the heart of the disconnect. Many have tried, to no avail.
There’s grace for that, too. It’s admirable to want to make something better and more authentic, even if our efforts bear little fruit.
Regardless of what has brought you to this place where you are now…this place where marriage isn’t what you envisioned…know that there is grace. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t get stuck in a regret whirlwind of should haves, could haves and would haves.
Instead, lean into God. Lean into self care. Lean into best understanding how you honor your relationship, but not be undone by it.
Lean in. And give yourself some grace.
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.