Monday, February 22, 2016

Managing Marriage Slumps

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I recently posed a question on the Chronicles Facebook page asking people how they manage those marriage slumps. Having children to take care of, nurture, and raise can take a lot out of you. You can find it hard to stay awake much past bedtime, giving you and your spouse little time together. You can find it hard to think of things to talk about other than the children. You can get extremely impatient because you feel like you are doing it all alone. I asked how people find more patience and how they improve their relationship.

These marriage slumps are real life. Real life is hard. In real life, you disagree sometimes. In real life, your spouse disappoints you sometimes. In real life, your feelings get hurt sometimes. In real life, you get tired. In real life, you get lazy. In real life, things get "blah." That doesn't mean marriage turns into all of those negative things at all times, but there are moments when we feel these things. 

Last year, I asked questions on how to survive certain situations. This is a situation we want to do more than survive. We want to be the master of these situations and manage them.

Make a List
Roesmary said: I write a list of all the things my husband does well. It helps me tremendously to focus on the things that he's great about rather than the little things that might drive me nuts.

Prayer
Sheena said: PRAY..Christ in me will do it because He promises to manifest HIS PATIENCE LOVE AND KINDNESS thru me and those who believe...anything born og my self effort might work 4 a day but not long lol

Kina said: I remind myself that my expectation should be in God, not my husband. I put the responsibilty on Him!  Saidah Washington from A Proverbs Wife has a YouTube video on her "hubby journal" and she says it really helped her marriage. Check it out!

Alyssa said:  I pray to see him through God's eyes. It really works. I've done this consistently over different time in our marriage and it's amazing how easily we work through the hardest things when I see him and his potential with unconditional love. When I'm not working on seeing him that way life can get really rough.

Golden Rule
Megan said: I was just telling one of my girls- "would you treat your best friend like that? well your sister is your best freind so please think about that before you respond to her in an inapproriate way". It got me thinking about family and marriage and how I respond to my husband- decided to take my own advice and remember he is my best friend. Parenting myself!

Love More
Alyssa said: I've also trained myself to see these rough patches as opportunities to pour out excessive love in his love languages. I make it my goal to smother him with all the love in all the ways I can think of and we both are much closer in a day or two. 

Allow No Other Options
Betsy said: I think on the very roughest days or in the lows, what brings me the absolute most comfort is that there is no plan b for us. we will never give up on each other (no "D" word) and I know that there will be valleys and peaks. we're in the funnel right now...5 months, 2, and a newly turned 5 year old. curious to see what types of responses you get 
wink emoticon

Just Carry On
Susan said: Sometimes I lose it and start slamming pots and pans around and really cleaning the crap out of the house lol. But usually you just carry on, you're bound to have days that aren't stellar. Like a lot of days I think. We talk and try to keep our sense of humor when things get bumpy. I also mentally go through the list of things my husband does that I could never do. I've actually imagined what would happen if he died, how would I cope? He's invaluable to our family:)

Kristen said: I just...manage. I take it as it comes and deal with it when it needs to be dealt with. I don't have any sage advice on the matter unfortunately. Lol. It's just part of life. Part of married life. Part of raising a family. It's hard stuff and you just stick your feet in and ride the waves. 

The best you can do is take time to think, breathe, talk it through when you need to, work it out if it needs to be worked out, and then start again the next day when it will inevitably happen again...at least in my experience.. 

Choose Words Carefully
Traci said: When I know that I want to spew venom, I keep my mouth shut! I only say what's completely necessary. I take a deep breath and try to speak those necessary words in a fairly gentle way. If I'm still troubled after a good night's sleep or the chance to decompress, then I can address the issue with much more kindness.

Take Time to Think
Ashley said: I usually retreat into myself and wait it out. I understand that I'm not being ignored on purpose, but that work, parenthood, and other stressors are creating the rifts. After several days, I usually share my struggles and things work out. It is critical to resort to fun things we have in common (for us it is watching Top Gear UK), and know that it is only temporary.

Dawn said: Sometimes I just wait until the next day. For whatever reason we aren't clicking and I know it will be better tomorrow.

Date Each Other
Katrina said: Try to always have a date night or some other fun activity to do together planned so when things feel mundane and frustrating, some fun and relaxation is around the corner!

Jessica said: Find time to spend alone together. Pray. And communicate

Alyson said: It's hard, but I try to "date" my husband as much as possible. We also have date night once a week and go on kid free vacations. I find that couples get into a vicious tit-for-tat cycle. I take the initiative to look nice, cook dinner, make compliments, etc. when my husband feels appreciated, he returns it.

Show Affection
Skye said:  I try to stay affectionate. I pair requests for help with a kiss and hug! Also, making a point to unplug and connect via date night or something to look forward to.

Forgive
Janneke said: Pray for God's help to be gracious to my husband. Just as God is more gracious to me

Allison said: I remember that love keeps no record of wrongs.

Understand Cause
Alexia said: I feel it is almost always a communication problem, especially where I felt he acted unloving, so I in turn treat him disrespectfully. This happens in reverse too.

Have Someone to Talk To
Jess said: Sometimes (depending on the issue) I talk to one of our "safe" friends. When we got married, we established two friends (two girls for me, two guys for him) that we could talk to if we were mad at each other. These were friends we trusted and knew wouldn't let us get away with just griping 
smile emoticon I'm a verbal processor so sometimes just talking it out makes me feel better.

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