As I look up from my writing I see the beginning of the icy, sleety, wintry mix fulfill the predictions made for our area today. Like many of you I am ready to be done with this. This winter, still in it’s early weeks has been a tough one so far.
Thinking about that, while also thinking about marriage, directed my pondering to those times when marriage feels tough, maybe even cold and icy and you are not sure how or when things will warm things up.
Today my co-workers were talking about how weather stories seem to be so blown out of proportion these days. Snow falls, ice storms, and cold weather, are expected in winter. What changed that news stations now begin talking about these storms a week or more in advance when they aren’t even sure what will happen. They build dire scenarios and create sensational names to attract viewers and ratings. Often the storms do not arrive with the power and fury predicted. And even if they do – isn’t that expected in winter?
Have you ever reacted like that in your marriage? I know I have. When two people, no matter how much they are in love, live together challenges should be expected (just like snow and ice in winter). It brings to mind the counsel we heard early in our marriage, “Life wouldn’t be so hard if we didn’t expect it to be so easy.” The fact that you and your spouse hit a cold or icy spot here or there is typical.
It is what we do with it that makes the difference. Do we perseverate and build it up by adding any other moments where things seemed “off” and look so far ahead that we begin to fear the worst and become suspicious of anything our spouse says or does? Do we talk about it with others and spread the alarm instead of talking it through with our spouse?
Or do we appreciate the differences in the way we approach life and work together to clean it up? As you grab your shovels, snow blower and ice melt over the next few weeks use it as a reminder to check in on your marriage. Taking stock of things at the end of a storm and prepping for the next one to come isn’t just good practice for winter, but also for our relationships.