A Little Girls Dream…
It seems it wasn’t that long ago when I would dream about my Prince Charming rescuing me. He would be tall, dark and handsome. He would have long arms to wrap around me and keep me safe. He would NEVER say a mean word to me-ever! He would do everything I asked and without hesitation.
Whether it was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Cinderella or perhaps Pretty Woman, there has always seemed to be this elusiveness that led many of us women on a trail of disappointment in the search for our so called “Prince Charming”.
Seventeen years ago I believed I had found my Prince Charming. I mean I met him in church, how perfect he would be, right? In just over a year we were engaged, married and expecting our first child. Life couldn’t be better. Truth be told, from the beginning after our honeymoon, things quickly disintegrated as we both experienced the lows and disappointments of unmet expectations.
From the Castle to the Dungeon..
It wasn’t long before I realized that my dreams of the perfect man were beginning to fade and the Castle I set up in my mind began to look more like a Dungeon.I was no spring chicken when I met my husband, I was 30 years old. The problem was not a matter of age but rather it was a matter of pride between two very broken people.
Intentional vs Unintentional
It was never our intention to wound one another -EVER! If your struggling in your marriage and feeling like giving up, keep reading. But the one thing I want you to know right now is, your spouse is NOT intentionally trying to hurt you. Pain is a natural symptom of brokenness, as you have probably heard before, “hurting people hurt people”.
Both my husband and I came into our marriage with a lot of baggage, like most couples do. So what made our path that much harder than the average married couple. Well, we both lacked the communication skills necessary for a successful marriage & we were not equally yoked in our relationship with God. Being “Christian” is not enough or be equally yoked.
The Chemical Reaction
I’ve often thought of the union of a man and a woman coming together as a science experiment, here me out; as men and women, most of us have the basic understanding of just how differently we are created by God. When you join a woman and a man together by a marriage covenant an amazing and spectacular event takes place, the two literally become one. It is a Spiritual Phenomenon . That is the first concept EVERY marriage experiences.
This is now a spiritual union that will take LOTS of discipline, a discipline many couples do not practice after the honeymoon ends.
So where does the chemical reaction go wrong?, when you take the complexities of a man and woman and the fleshy battles we face every single day and then add all the baggage from each other’s past, BOOM! you have a chemical reaction that goes wrong and the breakdown begins. This is the result of married people who do not nurture their marriage with prayer and the Word of God, but more importantly, who do not make an effort to heal from their past in order to become healthy for themselves first and then for their spouse.
Where there is Sin, there is MERCY
In saying all of this, I believe there are certain situations where God will step in and allow His grace and strength for those who spouses have either turned from God or never knew Him in the first place.
Let me just stop for a moment and say this; the single people who are looking to be married, pray first and truly get to know who your future partner will be. This is the rest of your life. Never look at marriage as a “chance” event, it is a destiny decision that is, well, till death do you part. That means forever. It is not a decision you want to make lightly. I had people tell me the same and of course, I took it lightly and it cost me, my husband and our children unwanted pain.
Perfection is not the Goal..
Finding a spouse for life is not about finding the perfect person. That will never happen, we all know that. But if you or your spouse or “spouse to be” have pain from the past you have not worked out, it’s a must before you commit OR if you want to salvage your marriage that is crumbly.
If you have managed to get by and everything is fine in your marriage still but you have things you know are hurting you and you haven’t confronted it yet with yourself, God or your spouse, might I suggest dealing with it now before it shows up in a negative way. Unresolved hurt always has a way of revealing itself later in life at one point or another and when it does, it can be very painful. An untreated wound only gets worse.
Where it went wrong for Us
My husband and I both loved God and had a reverence for His Word, however, about 5 years into our marriage, selfish and pride set into our hearts towards each other and our marriage became a very cold and lonely place. Our past toxic relationships and toxic remedies were beginning to show up and those same self preservations we had all our lives took over our marriage and well, we became roommates…
For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”
Luke 6:43 KJV
We went about family life for the next 10 years living like a roller coaster. I can’t say we didn’t have great times together, we definitely had some beautiful moments as a husband and wife and with our children, but our marriage was lacking the fruit that a content marriage requires and that God desires for us to have.
The Tides of Change
I am happy to say that heading into our 18th wedding anniversary we have DEVELOPED and come a long way. Anyone looking on the outside or even those people who know what we have been through would have perhaps thought we would not have made it this far.
Well, we still have a long way to go, however, healing and growth will be a continual thing in our marriage and this is the consequences of not learning how to deal with unresolved pain from our pasts and during our marriage. Side note: sweeping any difficult situation from your marriage under a carpet will never resolve anything, it will eventually show up & when it does, it’s painful. Communication is a whole other blog one day.
Family is always worth the fight
There truly are some things worth fighting for in life, to me, FAMILY is one of them. Today, it doesn’t seem the norm however. The family unit has taken its fair share of dismantling over the last decade. Just look at the statistics.
I have chose to fight, again and again and so has my husband. Have we both wanted to quit, yes, many times, even this past year to be honest. But, there is something deep down inside of me that says, “Billie, you have fought for many things in your life, why not continue to fight for something sacred?, something that will have generational effects long after your gone. Fight for what you love, your husband, your children, heck YOURSELF!”
Let’s be honest, divorce is not at the top of anyone’s “to-do list” and my heart goes out to those who gave it all they had and it didn’t survive. I’m not here to judge anyone’s walk. I’m speaking of my own experience. There are clearly situations where divorce is sadly the only option for very serious reasons.
I just want to encourage you that if you feel you have done all that you can do, dig maybe a little bit more deeper, to the part of you that you don’t even know existed. It’s called “fight”, I believe we all truly have it deep down, here is the key to the “fight”, it’s not yours, you can’t do it alone. You will absolutely need the strength that is supernatural that only comes from the Spirit of God. Remember the same spirit that joined you both together? That’s the same One that will keep you together and give you the ability to overcome the unbearable.
LOVE is a Process….not instantaneous
I can truly say that by the end of 2017, my husband and I are falling in love. You may ask, “what? it took 18 years to fall in love?, YES!, true love and real lasting love I believe is built on struggle. The meaning of relationship is, the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.
We have always loved each other, but we were never “connected”. We are now becoming connected for the first time the way God intended, that is, connected to each other as one with God. The fruit is slowly growing and we are believing for a harvest.
I can honestly say today, without God, we would not be together today.
Our Fairy Tale & Unknown Certainties
My idea of finding the Prince Charming was not a bad idea, but it was totally unrealistic. Looking back I realize that it was both of us that contributed to the failures and the successes of our marriage and it will take the two of us to keep growing and staying connected. The KEY, keeping God at the centre where He belongs.
I cannot say what our future holds, none of us know that, but what we do know now is that we have lived a marriage without God and now we are living it with Him, and with Him at the centre and our willingness to stay humble there is no reason that our marriage shall not REMAIN.Strong in Him