when you've hit a wall in your marriage

Alex and I celebrated eight years of marriage this week. Whenever we reach a new anniversary I like to look back and reflect on the previous year. We really had a good one. I feel like this past year we were more in sync than ever before. We were on the same team and had each other's backs. I'm grateful for that time of building up and strengthening in our marriage...because the truth is we've been locked in an ongoing argument for several days now. Actually, the conflict has been brewing for a few weeks, but in these past few days we really hit a wall. There has been fighting and crying and words we didn't mean and silence and now...now we hit a wall. 

I know. It sounds scary. It certainly sounds less than ideal. But I'm not worried. Yes, it sucks to be in a conflict with my husband. It's mentally and emotionally draining. It's embarrassing. It's exhausting and frustrating. But we've been here before and we found our way out and we'll do it again.

The temptation as a Christian couple (with a husband who works in ministry and a wife who writes about faith on the internet!) is to keep up a perfect appearance. We don't want judgy people looking down on us. We don't want to seem like "bad" Christians who don't know how to be properly married. But that's all wrong. We're regular people with faults and sin issues and pride and all the messy stuff. God is still working on us and delving out his grace and mercy to cover our mistakes. We're not perfect, if we were, we wouldn't need Jesus. The temptation is to pretend like the conflict doesn't exist. We want to brush it under the rug and slap a smile on our faces. But that's not the way. 

There is so much growth and maturing that happens when you face a conflict head on. It's uncomfortable and it sucks. But when you work through the issues you come out on the other side of it with a better understanding and a greater love. I know that at the end of this I will have a greater appreciation for my husband because he stuck it out with me. I know that we will have learned some great lessons. Our marriage will be a little less superficial. We will be a little wiser. 

Right now we're still figuring it out. Right now there is still tension and hurt feelings. And that's okay. We will fight our way out of this mess together. It may take us a little while to get there, but we're committed to each other for life. Those wedding vows aren't void when things get hard. Those wedding vows are a life buoy to hold on to. They keep us afloat. They give us hope. God's not done with us yet. In the midst of this conflict I can still feel His presence. I can feel that He is on our side. I can feel that He is doing a work in us. He is refining us. There is a purpose. And even though I don't feel the warm fuzzies for Alex right now, I still love and respect him as my husband. By the way, newlyweds - A good marriage is so much more than warm fuzzies. It's okay to not feel the warm fuzzies all the time, they come and go, but a great marriage has a foundation that's much more solid than warm fuzzies. There is deep respect and appreciation and teamwork. And love. Real, hard-working, never-giving-up, hopeful, and forever love. And Jesus. So much Jesus. 

So yeah, we've hit a wall. But we're tying some ropes together and standing on each other's shoulders and pulling each other up and over that wall. See you on the other side, friends.