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I hurled the suitcase down the stairs and screamed, “THERE’S YOUR STUPID SUITCASE!!! JUST GO AHEAD AND LEAVE ME!”
My husband picked up his busted luggage, stared at me in disbelief, and said an apologetic goodbye.
Running upstairs tothrow myself on the bed and have a good cry, I agonized over why our marriage wasn’t turning out at all like I expected.
The day I walked that white, rose petal-covered aisle in our little country church to say “I do”, I was the happiest girl in the world.
But it didn’t take long for discontent to creep in as we settled down to regular life.
Fast forward twenty-eight years.
Last weekend, Jim whisked me away to a resort where we spent a lovely evening eating scrumptious food, chatting for hours, admiring the beautiful scenery, and enjoying each other’s company. That man makes my heart race!
How did the suit-case tossing young wife transform into a
meek mild submissive gentle joyfully-content middle-aged wife? (I didn’t want to take it too far – God’s still working on me.)
I improved my marriage by implementing 7 important actions; Biblical, time-tested, and proven strategies. And if they worked for me, they’ll do the same for you.
1.) Accept the fact that you’re both imperfect
Does he leave his clothes right BESIDE the hamper? Or does he even make it that far? Does he snore, forget to take out the trash, play video games, eat too much, and make you pack his lunch?
I realize this list is petty. And I also realize that there may be many deeper, hurtful issues.
*(I am not referring to abuse – if that is your case, please get help and protection!)
We must accept the fact that no person in this world is perfect and no marriage is either, lower our standards, pick our battles, and stick it out!
And in the meantime – focus on his positives! This is key.
How to rescue your marriage with 7 important actions; advice to revive and refresh. Click To Tweet
2.) Give your husband time to mature
My husband is crazy – some would argue he’s certifiable. (Ironically, that’s why I married him – he possesses a hysterical wit.)
He made a few hair-raising decisions in his younger days (like taking a U-turn on an exit ramp at night while pulling a 37 foot camper with the family). Now, when we take the RV for a spin, he not only doesn’t run red lights constantly, but he drives the speed limit, too.
He decided the fight was not worth it. 😉
Wives – it will get better. Hang in there!
3.) Ditch the fairy tale hogwash
The problem with fairy tales is that they end with the prince and princess getting married.
“And they lived happily ever after” was much easier to end with because who wants to see Prince Charming rescue Lucifer the cat out of a tree or write out the power bills? Do you think Cinderella would look nearly as captivating changing chunky vomit-covered children’s bed-sheets?
Of course not. Marriage is daily, mundane, hard work.
Don’t expect your marriage to look like anyone else’s. Don’t play the comparison game and remember – no marriage is perfect – everyone is fighting a battle.
4.) Commit to hard work
Anything in life worth having is worth working for. ~Andrew Carnegie
Life isn’t easy, but we want to keep living, right? So we trudge through the bad days and cry over lost loved ones and clock in to a job we don’t necessarily like and parent unlovely kids. These are all things we do because we have to.
So why do we think we can throw away a marriage because it’s “too hard”?
When you put your heart and soul into your littles and they grow up to be wonderful, responsible adults, you’ll know it was worth it. You didn’t quit being their parent when they drove you batty because it wasn’t an option.
Our marriages aren’t options either.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and get busy.
Click here for your free download of 5 Secret Strategies to Keep Your Marriage Thriving!
5.) Stay put
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. ~I Peter 3:1-2
God established the sanctity of marriage and He wants your marriage to work. Whether you made a rash decision, thought nobody better was coming along, or you just don’t like him anymore, God wants you to stay.
Marriage affects people. Not just you and your husband, but your family, his family, extended friends and family, and let’s not forget the most important people – your kids.
Let’s not hand our children a throw-away legacy. Let’s own our mistakes, dust off our pants, and get back in there.
6.) Embrace appearance
Maybe your hubby was a stud-muffin gym rat when you married him and now he’s a flabby couch potato. What about you? Are you turning him on with that muffin-top you’re carrying around just above your tight-wasted jeans?
Come on. We’ve all seen men leave gorgeous women for new flames. We’re still mad at Brad for leaving Jennifer for Angelina!
It’s not about looks. It’s about choice. You decide whether to love that couch-potato husband who, by the way, is quite likely flabby from working long hours and eating McDonald’s with the kids to give you a break. (Maybe.)
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. ~Proverbs 31:30
Love is a choice, not always an attraction. Learn to embrace the rolls/flab/wrinkles. You’ll get those too someday and want somebody to love you, too.
7.) Serve your husband
This one took me a long time to accept. But if your man asks you to pop his back pimples, get in there and get you some. If he asks you to help him match a tie with his shirt, drop what you’re doing and matchie-matchie.
I know you’re exhausted when you fall into bed at night, but the Enemy will use this battle to take down your marriage if you avoid intimacy.
Our husbands need our help (frankly, God saw Adam floundering), and it is our God-given ministry to serve.
I know he’s an adult and kids are clamoring for your attention, the dog needs walked, and the kitchen’s a disaster area. But don’t treat him like a pesky nuisance.
God loves your man, and He grieves when you treat His son that way.
God will teach you to love your husband if you ask Him; God can rescue your marriage! Click To Tweet
About that suitcase…
The day Jim left the house with his beat-up suitcase, he was merely leaving on a work trip. I cringe today at my childish behavior. We went through some super tough times, but giving up was not an option.
And girlfriend, you can hang too. Forget the Cinderella story, appreciate whatcha got, and serve your man. Get in there and rescue your marriage, and God will undertake for you! Pray, stay in the Word, remain faithfully walking with the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart – which is a good, solid marriage.
Not one that looks like anybody else’s.
What have you learned to accept and overlook in marriage? Are you ready to rescue your marriage?
Betsy de Cruz says
Solid, sound advice, Ruthie. Amazing how we’ll stick with so many tough things, but give up on marriage. Liked that point especially, also #1, about acceptance.
Thanks, friend. You know it’s true – you’ve been married almost as longs as I have and could give the same advice. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow and link with us for Tuesday Talk! Thanks for reading – I’m still not subscribed to Faith Spilling Over…
Ruthie, you made me laugh so much with this one and you’re so spot on! I have a thing or two to learn from you, my friend and I’m still working on letting go of the little things. Gosh, I’m sure I have a few pesky things that he doesn’t like either, but we’re in this together for the long haul.
Thanks for sharing from your many years of experience. Happy anniversary!
Marva | sunSPARKLEshine
Oh Ruthie, you made me giggle! And think seriously too. 😉 I can’t help but share this one today. Thanks for writing!