For today’s “Wifey Wednesday” the lovely Sheila over at “To Love, Honor, and Vaccum” is asking how we deal with marital frustrations. I felt like this post really applied to my husband and I. Being a military wife, there are a lot of things that can sometimes go “unspoken.” Especially in the Coast Guard…smaller branch of service, meaning more than likely someone knows someone who knows you. So problems in marriage tend to go unnoticed and undiscussed. Same way with church. People who are actively involved in their churches tend to let marital problems go unnoticed and undiscussed because it is “embarrassing” and there is something of a reputation to uphold.
We don’t like to let folks know that we are lacking control in our marriage. That our sex life has gone to pot, that we can’t get any sort of communication out of our husbands, that we haven’t been on a date with one another [without the kids or any one else tagging along] in MONTHS. People don’t like to admit that they don’t have the fairy tale marriages that they once dreamed of. Especially us women.
For me, I find comfort in relinquishing my frustration with fellow wives. Close friends that I trust well enough to know that they understand and genuinely care about my problems, worries and concerns in my marriage. I also make sure that those I confide in, are people that can relate to what I’m dealing with. For instance, my two confidantes are my friends Amie & Tiffany. They are both close to my age, have young children, and have been married for less than 5 years…still what some would qualify as “newleyweds.” We connect in a lot of ways and they usually understand where I am coming from and have either dealt with, or are currently dealing with what I am battling within my own marriage.
I don’t turn very often to older woman. Mainly because there aren’t any with successful marriages to vouch for. My parents haven’t always had the best marriage…even though they are still married after 25 years, there are a lot of things from their relationship that I don’t want to bring to my own. Likewise, Josh’s mom hasn’t had the best marital luck either. The only older woman that I would rely on to give me sound, successful marital advice would be Pam, our preachers wife. She would be able to do it with Godly insight and wisdom.
I also do a lot of reading. Online and books if I have them. I don’t invest a lot of money in books because I can usually find what I want online. But..yea. Books. Those are good too.
I try to be pretty honest about my marriage. Mainly because, no matter what anyone says or who they try to fool, no ones marriage is perfect. And I’m not going to walk around and lie that I have this wonderful Fairy Tale marriage where my husband and I spend countless nights wrapped up in one anothers arms and blah blah blah. Yea. Right. I have a toddler, who requires lots of attention. A toddler who, after spending all day every day tending to him, usually leaves me exhausted. My husband has a job that leaves him exhausted after 8, 10 and 12 hours of work. We don’t have perfect candle-lit nights together very often. In fact, I don’t know when the last time we lit a candle in our bedroom was.
But, as I said in my last “Wifey Wednesday” post, marriage is work. Just like parenting. It’s not something you just “do” successfully. It takes effort. Lots and lots of effort. Sometimes tears, and frustration, and misunderstandings, and miscommunication…but you get through it. I think the best thing Josh and I did before we said the “I Do’s” was to lay it all out there on the table, talk about our parents marriages and what we didn’t want to bring to ours, and decide once and for all that WE didn’t want to end up another statistical divorce. Just another number to add to the pile.
And that mentality has helped us alot. Rather than throwing in the towel when things get hard, we work it out. We talk through it. Or we sit and think on it. We do whatever we have to do to make. it. work. And that in itself gives me the reassurance that we will make it.
Courtney Kirkland is a Southeast Alabama Writer & Designer. Since 2008, Courtney has passionately provided beautiful, intentional design to small businesses & bloggers and encouraged thousands to walk in a rich faith in any situation.