I thought about divorce at least 3 times last year.
Hold your gasps. Are you here to keep it REALLY REAL? I have and, let me be clear, it wasn’t due to any infidelity or any abuse. It was purely me sitting in a pandemic and realizing that parts of me had grown in a different way that was contradictory to what my husband was expecting and vice versa.
What the what?!
Yes, I have considered divorce. I know that is a forbidden term in marriage and many couples like to say that divorce is never an option, but there I was. I do believe that divorce should be reserved for instances where God did not permit a marriage. (what God has put together let no man put asunder). That’s the way I really chose to adhere to my “forever” marriage. However, as I got older and journeyed through new chapters in my life, I realized that sometimes divorce is freeing to BOTH parties if you simply can’t get on the same page. What happens when two people grow in different directions. When love languages change? When communication is not suitable for one or both parties? Is divorce an option then?
I’m glad to say those moments were short lived because ultimately, I love my husband and nothing was happening that I didn’t feel like we could work through. My patience was the problem. My communication (and his) was the area that needed to tighten up. While life continued to be seemingly normal for him, I was quickly thrusted into full time e-Learning assistant, college admissions counselor, speech therapist, vegan-ish chef and CDC inspector. Not to mention the two businesses I was still trying to run from my home office. I was overwhelmed and felt underappreciated and when I tried to explain it to my husband, he just wasn’t getting it. It took several CALM conversations for us to get to a place where understanding on both sides of how life had changed could be reached.
How do you “Reset” your marriage?
It doesn’t involve the standard renewing of vows because while that is a beautiful thing to do, if you haven’t addressed any underline issues; it’s literally decorations for an ugly mess. (sorry not sorry)
Here are 5 tips on how to reset your marriage?
1. I’ve mentioned this in previous blogs but you have to work on YOU first - No matter how sexy, intelligent, funny or talented you are; YOU CANNOT CHANGE ANYONE BUT YOURSELF. Many times, we try to change the other person to fit what we need instead of working on ourselves and determining what is a permanent need vs a temporary emotion. The change has to begin with you.
2. Communicate openly and honestly – This can be hard at times because you don’t want to intentionally hurt your partner but the key here is to make sure you speak about how YOU are feeling, not what you think or feel THEY are/aren’t doing or feeling. Communication is literally THE most important thing in marriage. The love is a minimum, great communication is the great qualifier in a forever marriage.
3. Be willing to hear the ugly truth - Lissen, no one wants to hear what they can be doing better as a wife or husband but the truth of the matter is many times how we behave in our marriage is not necessarily a reflection of the other person but of the insecurities or ineptness we feel about ourselves. Refer back to point #1. Listen/hear the ugly truth, ask questions and then work on YOU (if you feel like its something you can work on; if not that’s another conversation for another blog)
4. Date each other – One of the mistakes that commonly happens in marriage, specifically after children come or careers/businesses advance; is we forget to take it back to the basics and dedicated one on one time. During this pandemic, I am BARELY getting time to myself so I definitely wasn’t making one on one time with my husband a priority. I had to let go of the notion that my husband was going to plan these great dates (for those of you who have that, good for you). I knew J wasn’t Mr. Romance when I married him so just because what I accepted in the beginning now changed, that didn’t mean he was going to change immediately too. J is always down for a good time with me, though, so I had to take on more of the planning of our dates. Again, if that’s a deal-breaker for you then that’s your cross to bear but if it’s not; just plan the date sis and make sure he pays.
5. Forgive – Whew… Jesus. I know. Whether the hurt was intentional or not. Whether you received the apology you wanted or not. You not forgiving your spouse for something that happened in the past will always be a point of contention in your marriage, no matter how much you THINK you’ve gotten over it. Forgiveness is not for them, it’s truly for you. You need to release that weight from your heart and move forward from a place of peace. Now don’t get me wrong, if there are things that have happened in your marriage that are unforgiveable then sis you already have your answer and divorce might be the way to go for you because unless you can forgive your spouse, your marriage will NEVER be the same.
A reset on your marriage is not a bad thing. I know social media will have you believing everyone is happy and date-nighting and sexing on a regular in their perfect marriage. Let me be the one to tell you if no one else does, there are NO perfect marriages. ZERO. NONE. While someone else’s issues may be different than yours, there are still issues. More importantly, don’t compare your marriage to anyone else’s, not just because you don’t truly know what’s going on in their marriage; but also because you can’t focus on your own by coveting someone else’s.
Bonus but most important, KEEP GOD FIRST in your marriage. We are good for trying to take control of things and not turning it over to God. That should be a given but I thought I needed to explicitly state it!
The grass isn’t greener over there, it’s just filtered sis. Water your own damn grass and watch that organic love blossom.
Love & Light,