“I’m going to divorce my husband.” Each month my two girlfriends and I would meet for lunch. Each month seemed to bring a different topic to discuss. This conversation shocked me. They had been married for 20+ years and from the outside they looked like a strong couple. First response, “Why?”
“I’m not happy.”
“He doesn’t make me happy.”
“Maybe there is something out there better than what we have.”
At one point in our friendship, I saw their marriage as one I wished I had. The husband was prosperous in his career, she a stay-at-home mom in a large house with lots of land. Their children were smart and athletic. They had all the toys and gadgets that all kids desired. The family had large gatherings of friends with perfect decorations and ample food. They drove luxury cars and were able to go on extravagant vacations. I wanted all that.
My life was more of a financial struggle with lots of arguments and fights about how we would pay the bills. We had a small house and one car. My kids had toys, gifts from others given for their birthdays and Christmas. I felt cheated. I wanted what our friends had. My life wasn’t good enough, wasn’t as good as theirs. My husband was failing.
Comparison is the ingredient of disaster. When we compare our lives, marriages to what we see as a good one sets us up for failure.
Comparing our marriage to others’ creates resentment. Resentment toward your friends, your spouse, yourself builds like a flame in dry brush.
“Happiness in the present is only shattered by comparison with the past.”
Comparison to other relationships shatters joy in your marriage. I was spending more time envying what I assumed were others success than I was praying about my marriage. These marriages were falling apart. I didn’t want to go there!
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
I made a decision after the conversation with my friend. I became intentional in my marriage. Instead of desiring the false belief of what was right in another marriage I began to plant encouragement and contentment in my own. Prayer infused a new view on my marriage. Prayer focuses on God’s love, not your collective failures. Not every day of our life was or is perfect, however, being purposeful looking for the good transforms your view.
His smile when I brush by him and lay a hand on his back.
The glance from across the table as I ask about his day.
The contentment when I didn’t start a fight about money or career decisions.
The joy he found when he talked about his job.
The stories that flew between him and the boys, ending in laughter and dramatic interpretations.
A thank you for something small.
Some days, I have to look for things more intent than others, but there is always something good each day. I don’t look to his actions to make me happy, but I gaze upon the actions that pass between us in the subtle moments of love. They are there.
Are there times when you are so busy staring at the problems that you forget to search for the good?
Can you begin to rely on God’s love for your happiness and embrace the good in your marriage as a blessing at that moment?
What ways to you try to find the positive in your marriage?
How are you praying for your husband and your marriage?