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Is It Happily Ever After?

Let’s talk about something we often tiptoe around: frustration, discouragement, and sometimes, despair in our marriages. We were told somewhere along the line it would be Happily Ever After.


But it isn’t.


At least, not all the time.


Maybe not even most of the time.


Yep, the not-so-pretty stuff that we tend to stash in the emotional garage, hoping it’ll sort itself out. But you already know, it rarely does.


There's a way to not just navigate but conquer these challenges. Spoiler alert: it involves clearing out the blind spots that sabotage our marriage.


Picture it: a beautiful Saturday morning, the sun’s out, birds are chirping, and you and your spouse are gearing up for a day out. But wait (suspenseful music playing Suddenly, a seemingly innocent discussion about where to have brunch spirals…


Now it is a full-blown argument about finances,

household chores,

who forgot to take out the trash last night. Sound familiar?

 

Frustration

Frustrated couple

It’s moments like these when frustration can rear its ugly head. The feeling you are stuck in the same cycle of arguments and misunderstandings, AGAIN.


But here’s the thing: frustration isn’t the enemy. It’s a signpost, a flashing neon light pointing towards the areas in our marriage that need a little TLC. Think of it as your marriage’s way of saying, “Hey, pay attention! There’s something here that needs fixing.”


Frustration is an unresolved problem or unmet need creating a sense of insecurity. Something is not working and you have not been able to fix it.


A couple of years ago my daughter asked me to look at her car, the check engine light was on. No problem. I got out a scanner, pulled the code and changed the part I thought was faulty. She drove away happy, for a week


The light came back on. Huh, unusual. I did the same thing, different code, changed another part. A week later light came back on. I went through this a few more times. Same result.


I finally took it to a mechanic. He made several tests and a big repair. Same thing! Light back on. Took it to the dealer. First time they “fixed it” and when they brought the car out for us to pick up the check engine light was on again! This was getting frustrating!!!

We kept trying to fix the same problem but were not making much progress.


We finally get the car fixed but it would have never happened without help. You see, cars and marriages are similar. You should try to fix things, but when you start getting frustrated because you feel like you are going in circles, you need to be willing to get help. (see options at the end of this article)

 

Discouragement

Like frustration but a little deeper in is discouragement. This is wishing things were different by not having power to do anything about it. Like when your child is making decisions that overwhelm you and you try to do something but the more you do the more it seems to go sideways.

discouraged woman

In marriage, discouragement often includes a sense of giving up. Not on the marriage but on the problem. A feeling you will simply have to live with whatever is less than you hoped for.


This is more about attitude than action. It shouldn’t be surprising the antidote is more about heart change than activity.


I only know one person who has the power to change hearts. Persistent and passionate prayer is the answer to discouragement.


The word discouragement has the answer hidden inside it! Dis-couragement means the loss of courage. Ask God for fresh courage to move forward and bring encouragement to your heart. To restore the fondness for your spouse. To help you give grace.

 

Despair

Another step away from discouragement is despair. Despair is feeling overwhelmed and not knowing why. There is all the joy and excitement of getting married and building a life together and sneaking into your blind spot is despair.


man in despair

You don't understand why you feel bad and you feel bad about telling anybody about it. Now guilt or shame gets connected to it.


Why wouldn't you be joyful in your marriage, but you aren’t. You feel you have to keep your disappointment quiet. You know you don't want to feel that way and you don't think anybody will understand you feel that way. You don't say anything about it.


The biggest danger with despair is how it often leads us to isolate. The exact wrong response. Isolating is like adding fertilizer, it grows despair in your blind spot.


Despair is begging for community.


I hope you are feeling these, but of course you are or you have or you will. They are inescapable. You won’t avoid them, but you need to respond to them.


Take on your blind spots so your blind spots don’t take down your marriage.

Frustration, discouragement and despair are unique and require unique approaches but there are a few universal answers to move your marriage back towards happily ever after.


First up, self-awareness. This is like putting on your marriage goggles and taking a good, hard look in the mirror. What are your triggers? Your insecurities? Your communication pitfalls?


It’s time to own up to your part in the dance of frustration and take responsibility for your actions. Yes your spouse plays a part in what is happening, but so do you. Don’t beat yourself up but don’t let yourself off the hook either.


Next, empathy. This is your secret weapon in the battle of the blind spots. Put yourself in your spouse’s shoes and try to see the world through their eyes.


What are their fears? Their hopes? Their dreams? Understanding where they’re coming from can work wonders in diffusing tension and fostering connection.


If you are feeling frustration, discouragement, or despair chances are your spouse is too. Instead of staying locked in on your emotions, try to feel and understand theirs.


You have heard it before but it is still true, the biggest issue in most marriages is

communication.


Here’s the kicker: it’s not just about talking, it’s about listening. So put down your phone, turn off the TV, and give your spouse the gift of your undivided attention. You’d be amazed at the difference it can make.


Yes there are helpful communicate hacks and tools. The best one is to try. You know enough already. Do everything you know to do to listen well and express your heart. If it still isn’t working, get some new tools.


How ever deeply you want your marriage to be all it can be, God wants it more. He delights in happily ever after marriages!

 

Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Our church is committed to helping couples build strong marriages. It is an incredible answer to better parenting, better neighborhoods, healthier relationships, biblical morality, and pointing people to Jesus.


We don’t have all the answer but we have some. Check out mountainridge.church/marriage for resources to help you move forward in your marriage.


Need some help?  We have mentor couples, marriage experiences, and counseling options.


Want a prayer guide? Use this guide to bring God’s help and truth to your marriage.


Ready for Community? Check out our Community Groups


If you find yourself knee-deep in frustration, discouragement, or even despair in your marriage, take heart. You’re not alone, and there is hope.


By clearing out those blind spots you can not only weather the storms but emerge stronger and more united than ever before.


Get a little more happily ever after in your life!

 


 

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We love connecting with people. Visit us at mountainridge.church 


Finally, check our our YouTube channel for great videos designed to help you move forward

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