5. Get help.
I often joke that my husband and I keep counselors on speed dial. We seek out plumbers when our pipes break, roofers when our house springs a leak, and financial advisors to manage our 401K. So why wouldn’t we also seek out trained and experienced relationship experts as well? While my husband and I have learned a great deal over our 20-plus years together, we have nowhere near the education and experience gained by mental health professionals. In seeking their aid, we’re simply stating that we want to learn from the best. During particularly confusing times, we’ve also found it helpful to talk to someone who is unbiased and emotionally removed from the situation. The counselor helps us better verbalize our emotions, listen to one another, and process whatever issues we’re facing in the healthiest and wisest manner.
Counseling saved our marriage, when we’d fought ourselves into a mess we hadn’t a clue how to undo. Counseling strengthened our marriage when I became sick and everything felt disrupted, including many of the ways we’d related to one another for years. Counseling unified our marriage when decisions left us confused and uncertain. With each session, counseling deepened and purified our love as we unveiled our truest selves, bit by bit, and learned to see one another as we truly are.
Marriages can be a source of great joy and peace, but they can also lead to deep pain. We all enter into this sacred union with high hopes—often well-developed fantasies life’s realities shatter. We might find ourselves in a trench we don’t know how to climb out of and aren’t even sure we have the courage and strength to try. But God sees us, our pain, and even more importantly, the joy ahead, if we’d but follow His lead. As we seek Him above all, He’ll purify, heal, and protect our hearts; train us to speak truth in love, to hold tight to one another and our marriage, and He’ll give us the courage to seek professional help when necessary. While the journey may be hard, we can trust that the God who is restoring the world, through Christ, has the power to restore our marriages as well.
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