Marriage Matters

This is something that's been on my heart and mind for a little while now. It seems like everywhere I look on social media lately someone is getting divorced. And honestly, it breaks my heart a little bit every time I see it. I think about the hearts, families, and children involved and it just makes me so sad. I suppose that's in part because my [biological] parents are divorced. Even though they divorced when I was about Millie's age, it still affected me growing up. And there were absolutely times when it was painfully difficult.

It pains me to see it because I, too, know that marriage is hard. Although I won't go into detail (some things just don't need to be shared), Joe and I have had our fair share of tough times. There were days when I wasn't sure if we'd make it; days when I wondered if he really did love me. There have been days - weeks, even - when all I could feel toward him was anger and tension; days when we fought, and I cried my eyes out. 

Reality check: marriage isn't easy. It isn't all rainbows, butterflies, happy babies, and happily ever afters. It takes work. And military marriages? Well, it's my personal opinion that military marriages take twice the work because we endure frequent separations, cross-country moves, daily upheavals, and frustrations. There are times we go days or weeks, (for some of you months) without speaking. It's really hard to make a marriage work when you can't see or talk to them for long periods of time. 

When we got married 6 years ago, I had no idea that marriage would take work. I didn't know that we'd need to have the same discussion 5 times just to understand each other's ideas and expectations. I didn't know that I'd do certain things that would drive him crazy, and vice versa. I didn't understand the brand new challenge kids add to a marriage. And since I didn't marry a military man (he joined after our first anniversary), I had no clue what challenges we would face as a military couple.

Knowing how divorce can affect children, it was (and has always been) my aspiration to keep my family whole - no matter what it takes. I don't want my babies to know the pain and frustration I've dealt with throughout my life. Even though it was just a part of growing up for me, I think it's normal for us to want better for our kids. Doesn't every parent want that? 

In the end, though, we make it work because we made a commitment to God and each other. And it's not just a stay-together-because-of-the-kids type thing. It's actual work: having hard conversations, doing dig-deep Bible studies (and groups), and even counseling from pastors at church. We have to make "us time" a priority, too, although I admit that's something we struggle with. Really, that's mostly because our kids are so young. We can't always afford a babysitter (or find one we trust), and we can't always leave them with sitters because I'm breast feeding Millie. Instead, we try to find things to do together at home - new shows or movies to watch, talk about things after the kids are in bed, etc. 

I know that sometimes it's one person who wants to end a marriage, while the other has done everything they can to save it. I've seen it. Sometimes it's God's plan for a couple to separate for a while, and sometimes God allows a marriage to dissolve even though He absolutely hates divorce. That's probably another reason I feel so much about this issue. I know that divorce breaks His heart; how can mine not be broken over it?

Marriage is the foundation of our family - of any family. To have a healthy family - spiritually and emotionally - we have to make our marriage healthy. We have to put God first (also something we struggle with), recognize when we're having a hard time, deal with our problems, and do hard things. We're modeling marriage for our children, and I want them to know what they should be looking for when the day comes that they'll get married. I want them to see two people who love God, love each other, respect each other, love their family, and love others. Maybe that will include some arguing. Maybe that will include some tough times. But no matter what, I want them to know that we still love and are committed to each other. Because we don't give up when things get hard. We turn to God, ask for direction, seek help, and do the work we need to do to get better.

Marriage matters. Families matter. People matter. 


  1. Marriage is work plain and simple. I know first hand how difficult divorce can be even without children involved. It is not easy to go through. Keeping a marriage together is a two person job.

  2. Marriage is absolutely work. It takes two people recognizing that just because they got into an argument it doesn't me they just call it quits. You work thought it, you communicate, and you move on. This is a repeated cycle that will last as long as the marriage itself. There have been tough weeks and months even when it seemed like more work than one should need to. That's when we sit down and really talk. Get on the same page and go from there. I think kids, especially little one, test a marriage. The stress is high and keeping each other a priority can be difficult. Hubby and I do what we call a "reset." Every night we pick up the toys in the living room and put them away, do the dishes, and talk about anything we need to about the baby or ttc. When we finish that's it no more talk of kids for at least an hour if not more. It helps us. We don't always succeed but it does help.

  3. I completely, 100% agree! My husband comes from a broken home and many abandonment issues that stemmed from that divorce. One thing we talked about before we ever had children, and one thing we constantly remind each other of, is that we will never, ever put our children through the hell he endured. Marriage is so hard, and some days it's really easy to want to throw in the towel, but most of what we argue and fuss about can be solved through communicating and setting aside one-on-one time with one another. It's very hard to do with children...but it's absolutely necessary. Great post!