We've all gone through one, right?
A rough patch?
I remember getting lots of advice in the beginning of our marriage.
"Don't ever go to bed mad..."
"Keep an open line of communication..."
"Put your spouse's needs before yourself..."
"Keep going on dates, even after you have kids..."
"Take time to do the things you love on your own, so you don't lose 'who you are'..."
"Talk about all things money..."
But what about those times where you've been trying to do those things?
When you've had conversation after conversation, trying to feel better about life?
Those times in life where you just feel like you don't even have it in you to fight anymore?
We've been there.
We have had moments in our marriage where we felt like we didn't even know each other.
I pray that we never get to that place again, but I know it's likely that we'll struggle through certain seasons of life.
And even when we aren't in a "rough patch", there's almost always a time that somebody we know is feeling the strain of keeping a relationship alive.
This subject is one that I feel like God has put on my heart lately, so just in case you're going through "a rough patch"...in life in general or specifically in marriage...I thought I would share with you a few of the things I've learned about getting through these times.
1. Serving each other is always a good option.
There are days that I am cranky or Mr. Farmhouse is cranky and I truly don't even want to talk to him.
I just want to slide through the day and do my own thing.
I have found that with one day of no interaction, two days with no interaction becomes easier.
Anybody else ever feel this way?
Like you're two people living in the same house who hardly know each other?
I have found that when we get to this point (during harvest time, for example!), the best thing I can possibly do is to ask myself what I could do to serve Mr. Farmhouse.
What could I do to make his day easier?
Some days, it's as simple as finding him a pair of socks in the morning.
Other times, it's making one of his favorite meals even when I don't feel like it.
It becomes easier and easier to serve each other when you take that first step.
2. Choose to love.
Sometimes Mr. Farmhouse and I don't like each other much.
I get frustrated with him and I'm sure I annoy him.
But even when it's hard to like each other, we have committed to loving each other.
Circumstances can affect our attitude, our words, and even our actions...but we cannot let circumstances affect our choice to love one another.
3. Look back.
In the day-to-day junk of life, I feel like some days it's hard to look back.
It's hard to remember what life was like back when we were dating.
Back when we first got married.
Back when we were eating Hamburger Helper every night and Always Save ice cream for a fancy dessert.
Before the stress of money and parenting and careers took over.
We must look back.
Go back to those things that made you fall in love with your spouse.
Look at pictures. Reminisce. Tell stories of your favorite memories of days past.
We have to look back.
4. Find a healthy couple, a dear friend, or a therapist to walk through this season with.
I do not know what I would do in life without "my people".
There have been many times that I have had good friends who said the hard things to me.
Friends who had to be a voice of reason for me when I was being irrational.
Friends to pray for me.
To pray with me.
To help us fight through the hard days.
And I'd like to think that I have been that person for someone, too.
5. Take it one day at a time.
Marriages, friendships, and any relationships do not become strained in one day.
It can take weeks, months, and sometimes years to rebuild what has fallen apart.
Make a plan to serve each other.
To love each other.
To recommit to each other.
To do the best you can every day.
To be the best you can every day.
To put one foot in front of the other and to take it one day at a time.