An Answer to Marriage Counseling - How you can save your marriage.
Some honest and transparent questions
Is there hope for my marriage? What about marriage counseling? What's an answer to marriage counseling? Is there an alternative to going to a marriage counselor? How do I save my marriage? How do I have a happy marriage?
Through the years I've been asked these questions. They are real, sometimes desperate and always lead to long conversations often times ending with resolution.
Let me attempt to answer these questions in a different way here. These are the results from my own successful marriage. My wife and I have used the following ideas and we live out a successful, happy and healthy marriage. This is our story - read on.
How do I stay happily married?
I woke today, not very rested, after being lovingly kicked
all night by my youngest daughter as
well as sharing the bed with Lizzy our aging 12 year old family dog. They slept
in the middle of Angela and me all night, that’s
the norm in our house.
Angela sent me an “I LOVE YOU!” text and let me know there was a fresh pot of coffee waiting for me downstairs. We said good morning, hugged and kissed each other gently like we normally do. From an external view the morning looked typical and what you would probably see every morning in our house.
What made today special? Well today marked 15 years, 4 months, 25 days since we said our vows, exchanged rings and walked out of the church as husband and wife. It’s been a tremendously adventurous life together so far. Ups, downs and several other directions we’ve traversed together through the years. It’s rarely been easy, but has never been too hard together. It’s been a life of passion, laughter, tears, joy, heartache and the full range of human emotions. Our life is not boring - we are very alive and active together, and most people see that when they are around us. We are incredibly in love and it shows in our daily lives.
Grover discusses Marriage
It's a life time daily commitment!
what’s our secret?
I’ve been asked that many times. Young couples and couples going through hard
times. By friends, family and those who would just like a little tip to help
get them through. There are so many things we’ve learned. So many wonderful
words of advice we’ve received from others that we’ve taken into our lives and try to live them. I thought
about writing them all down in a list, or better yet maybe I'll do a series of Hubs on the subject, but I wanted to give you something a
little different today.
So this is the bottom line – if you asked me to boil it down here it is: neither of us finds our essence in the other. Our union has always been greater than each other; we’ve never looked at each other for “the” source of our happiness. Angela doesn’t look to me for completion and I don’t find my completion in Angela. This might seem a little hard to understand but this idea lives at the core level of our value system in our marriage. So how do we make it work?
Staying in love?
Some practical advice
be real – I regularly blow it, and
sometimes she does too.So what do we do to minimize these mess ups? Here are some practical steps we have incorporated into our relationships:
- We are quick to forgive and continue to love each other but life happens. So we live a life of intentionally forgiving each other. We make a habit of giving each other grace.
- We breath life into each other. We use our words and actions to build each other up. She often times says what I need to hear, and sometimes what I want to hear. I occasionally bring her flowers and I try to consistently encourage her but those traits, although wonderful and needed, are not enough in themselves.
- We also have a priority to grow individually as well as together; we make time for each other and try not to focus on what we don’t have instead we focus on what we do have. Our family is a priority and our children are very important to us. But these priceless attributes to our relationship in themselves would be short-lived.
We don’t let the sun go down on our anger, and put the other first as often
as we can.
- We give each other space and honor the other in our hearts as well
as in front of our children.
- We both take responsibility for the household and in raising our children. It's not a one sided raising. Bringing home the bacon, cleaning, feeding, diaper changing, discipline etc. It takes both people, consistently working at it.
- We are unified in and outside our house. Our children see it, our friends see it and all those who come in contact with us for more than a moment see it. We support, love, and encourage each other in private and in public.
All these amazing learned behaviors, in themselves,
all these principles for a healthy marriage will not last and will crumble eventually if
there isn’t something to really hold it all together. Something beyond the individual or person.
What area do you find in your relationship that needs the most work?
Stay in love regardless the age!
So - what is it?
So you might be asking;
“What is it? What is this that you put all your hope and faith in? What is this
that you find your completion in? The bedrock of who you are and the reason why
you have any success in your marriage, family and life at all? “
I can say, and I can confidently speak for Angela too, it’s our own individual relationship with Jesus Christ. The power of God has enabled us to walk through these 15+ years together. This individual relationship will give us the ability to walk out many more.
Bottom line – I love Jesus more than I love Angela. She shares the same view; she loves Jesus more than she loves me.
This may seem simple or unbelievable to you. But it’s what Angela and I base our whole lives on together. It’s this faith that motivates any relationship we choose to get involved in. And personally - without this value I would not be much of a husband, father, or friend.
So to Angela I say:
I would do it all again Angela, to be by your side today. I would do it all again to have this faith level in my life. I love you dearly – and I always will.
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