In the past two weeks, I’ve lost count of the number of people who have asked me to pray for their marriage.
Listen to me: Fight for your marriage, no matter how difficult it is right now.
Yes, people get divorced for good reasons. But needing to work hard is not one of them.
The first few years of our marriage were the worst.
I was immature and selfish. I had no idea how to resolve conflict in a healthy way or make myself emotionally available. I didn’t know what Lisa’s emotional needs were or how to meet them.
In a recent message, Lisa shared that her parents divorced when she was young, leaving a father-figure void. She tended to idealize marriage as a result and place unrealistic expectations on me. As an Enneagram 3, ENFJ, she was baffled by my Enneagram 5, INTJ personality, and interpreted my introvertedness as me not loving her.
She cried a lot.
I walled myself off.
We felt like we had this big secret we were hiding from everyone.
Feeling like we had no place to turn, we did the only thing we knew to do: we started reading.
Books on marriage. Books on personality types. Books on overcoming wounds from the past.
Then we started being honest with friends at church in our small group, and lo and behold, they had struggles too. Some the same as ours. Some different.
For the first time, we had real hope.
Things started to get better.
Then 20 years ago, we began hosting a class called Dynamic Marriage, and that was the game-changer. We learned how to truly meet each other’s needs and resolve conflict.
We were unhappily married for 3 years, somewhat happily married for 9 years, and most definitely happily married for the last 20.
I share this because we want you to know that you’re not alone.
We see you.
We were you.
You can do this.
FYI – many have said that my candid talk about relationships in my book Getting Rid of the Gorilla: Confessions on the Struggle to Forgive was the turning point to help them forgive themselves, and their spouse, and start new.