237. REAL TALK: When It’s Hard to Prioritize Your Marriage

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REAL TALK: this year has been stretching for our marriage. We’ve had some really hard and spark-less days. In fact, at the beginning of the summer, I looked into Jesse’s eyes and said: “This isn’t working. Something needs to change.”

We talked about how we felt like we’d been running on empty in our marriage, that we’d been trying to tap into any reserves we had but we were now hitting the bottom of the barrel.

Maybe some of you who have walked through challenging seasons can relate?

It wasn’t any one thing. We still loved each other. We just were tired and worn down and our marriage was getting the leftovers — and truthfully it felt like there really hadn’t even been many leftovers to spare in recent months.

We knew something needed to change, so here were two things we did:

HONESTY: we said out loud what we were feeling. We didn’t blame the other person. We took personal responsibility. It’s sometimes easy to stuff down our feelings — but that only makes things worse over time as they eventually explode out in dysfunctional responses (and usually in anger). We also got honest with God — asking for His help and wisdom — and with few trusted friends in our life. We listened to their wise counsel and took their advice.

PRIORITY: we started prioritizing our marriage again — even when it was super challenging to do with 3 teens and 3-4 younger ones. I realized that I’d been putting the kids’ needs above Jesse. I would always view their needs as more urgent and put him on the back burner. I didn’t mean to do this, but it just sort of started happening — and it hurt our relationship. So I began asking them to wait sometimes so that I could talk to him/kiss him/greet him first. We committed to look into each others’ eyes more. To kiss more. To look for little ways to express our love throughout the day. And to make time for dates by ourselves — even if it was just 45 minutes.

Love is often built and nurtured in the little tiny choices day in and day out. We’d lost sight of that this year and the impact was significant.

But little bit, by little bit, in our choosing to make each other the most important priority next to God again, the sparks are coming back!

In this week’s episode of the podcast, Jesse and I share more about this year, the challenges our marriage has faced, and how we’re fighting through and fighting for each other… and learning from our mistakes.

I hope this honest and vulnerable conversation encourages you. Plus, like usual, we share some family updates and I talk about a sweatshirt I’m loving and an audiobook I’ve been listening to!

In This Episode

[3:19] – We’re getting honest about marriage today!

[6:22] – I have been listening to Three Sisters by Heather Morris.

[11:32] – A sweatshirt I’ve been loving and a free Christmas gift guide!

[13:52] – Reflecting on almost 21 years of marriage.

[17:02] – Both of us felt like there was not enough space in our lives to handle everything.

[19:29] – In the midst of a lot of unknown, unexpected, and interruptions, this year’s emotional toll strained our marriage.

[25:51] – We eventually admitted the need for change in our marriage, emphasizing honesty and shared responsibility without blame.

[29:07] – Confronting the danger of drifting apart, committing to creative solutions and honest communication.

[32:37] – Prioritizing each other, teaching our kids patience, and planning intentional dates.

[36:46] – Jesse adds that recognizing issues and being open to honest communication is crucial for marital understanding.