Kate says . . .
It’s happening again. That pattern or cycle you swore you’d never do again. And thus you have slipped back into the rut you thought for sure you were out of. There are many things that can keep us stuck in a deep rut in our marriage. I was thinking about the themes we often see in couples, that keep them from moving forward. Here are the themes we see over and over and over again.
The I is more important than the we
Your feelings, your side of the story, your emotions, your perspective, you, you, you! This is the theme that we seek screaming the loudest in every couple that is stuck. The plague of the “I.” Selfishness at its prime. Yet while each spouse is completely focused on the self, they are unable to turn inward to self reflect on their part in the situation. They choose not to focus on what they need to work on or change. This my friends is a guarantee to keep you in a rut and to discourage you to no end. In order for the “we” to be more important than the “I” in marriage, you have to stop being selfish and focus on how you can change you!
We can handle this! We don’t need or want anyone else to know about what is going on. This is a private matter and others don’t need to know about it. Maybe we will tell a counselor, but that is it. We will put on a happy face for all around, family and friends.
Those who are stuck isolate. I get it, being vulnerable is hard. It means you have to admit to being human and struggling in your marriage. But you know what? You’re not alone and many others around you are struggling too. God made us to be a community. He wants us to have community that we can reach out to, share our lives with and grow together.
I have yet to have a couple share how isolation has helped them, yet the testimonies of community helping marriages is overwhelming and beautiful. Just as God intended!
You own feelings of self-worth
We say it over and over and over again. How you feel about God, his love and his grace-deeply effects how you are able to love your spouse and receive love from them. If you grew up thinking that God only loved you when you did good, only gave you grace when you were repentant enough, was just like you neglectful or abusive mother or father or that God could not love someone who has done the things you have or had the thoughts you have, you are not alone. I believe we have all struggled with thoughts along those themes at some point. But the message of grace says that all of these are a lie! A lie the enemy is trying to get you to continue to believe. When God thinks of you he is not mad or sad. He delights in you and you’re his beloved. His grace covers it all.
Grace is about our relationship with Jesus not about rules. Yes there are things in the Bible that tell us how to live the best life possible. God knows his people and therefore gives them guidelines and boundaries to live for him. Stop buying the lie that you are unworthy of God’s love and except his gift of love and grace. Live confidently in that love and allow that to flow through you and into your marriage.
So what can you do to get un-stuck? You know in your heart that you do one or all of these things. For starters, don’t isolate! Find a couple who can help you, pray with you as a couple and encourage you. Make sure they are marriage and sex positive. Ask them to hold you accountable to focusing on the “We” more then the “I.” Dig deep into God’s word and hear his message of love and grace. Accept that nothing you have ever done or ever will do will take you from the grip of grace. Remember that does not mean there are not earthly consequences to our actions. It means that God loves us not matter what and walking in that will help us to better love ourselves and our spouse. Don’t let another day go by without dealing with these things that are keeping you stuck! God wants so much better for you and your marriage.