“You may lose your job.” My husband’s boss told him. “We may all lose our jobs once this company takes over.” It was the second time that we had been faced with a very stressful issue in our marriage (the first being much much worse, as the health of our son was on the table). With four children to feed, we knew that we were going to have to prepare for the worse. Thankfully, the new company didn’t make many changes and we were fine, but that was a very stressful six months for us.
Every marriage faces some sort of hardship at some point: Job loss, death in the family, disability, infidelity, sickness, time apart…
When my husband and I faced these hardships, we had two choices: pull together or fall apart. We pulled together and we grew from it. We learned three things from the experience:
1. Don’t give up
They say that 50% of marriages (or more) break up, but we never thought of that as an option. We just knew that we had to lean on each other. Fighting, finding things wrong, or being unhappy with one another wouldn’t help the situation at all. We had to lean on one another for strength. He didn’t like to talk about it and it was all that I could do, so we said that… “I’ll talk, you listen.” It worked.
2. Work at it.
We had to work on being happy in the hard times. Now I will say that we have always been best friends, so it wasn’t too hard to do, but it would have been easy to argue… a lot. Stress does that to people. Instead, we found ways to get along, to be happy, to enjoy each other’s company. Games at night, cooking together after the kids went to bed, a walk before dinner…
3. Find support.
If you are truly having trouble, help is everywhere. My dearest friend said that counseling changed her marriage. After 20 years of marriage, they hit a very rough patch. They did counseling for a year (most insurances will pay for at least a few visits) and they are stronger than ever.
You can survive a crisis and thrive in your marriage afterward. Be open to what life has to offer… when one door closes, another one opens. If that doesn’t happen, just hang on tight & dig your way out… together. 🙂