Yup. It’s true. After dating for almost 7 years, we got married and then came very close to getting it annulled. By the time we reached our 2nd month, the honeymoon was over. And then difficulty began. Actually, not difficulty; it kind of felt like disaster. Those first 2 years were so difficult that we didn’t think we would make it. What did we argue about?... What didn’t we argue about? It baffled us how we didn’t feel like 7 years of dating prepared us for married life together. Sure, 3 of those years were long distance, but we had really thought we learned each other well enough to be ready to ride off into the sunset. But we had very few tools to build the life together that we wanted. We wanted partnership, but neither of us wanted to sacrifice. We wanted harmony, but we didn’t practice forgiveness. We wanted to be in sync, but we didn’t communicate well. We wanted to become one, but neither one of us wanted to make any adjustments to who we were individually to come together with the other. We were a mess.
As we tried to get settled into life together, a turning point came when God led us to a church where marriage was a priority and we began to get some solid teaching, coupled with accountability. Both pieces were critical in getting us back on track, both learning how to honor God in our marriage, and then having someone come along side us and hold us accountable for implementing the things we were learning. Thank God for that season. Otherwise, we’re certain our marriage wouldn’t have lasted.
Over time, God healed our marriage. The key element that we both had to learn to practice is forgiveness. We’ve learned (and continue to practice) how to forgive quickly and often. As often as required. We’ve both also matured a lot over the years, particularly in our faith. We both also recognize that the purpose of our marriage is much greater than just making the two of us happy. We believe our marriage is to be used by God to be a light. While our marriage certainly isn’t perfect, we can honestly say we have enjoyed a healthy, loving marriage beyond those first 2 years.
We had no idea what God had in store for us. Our babies, our adventures, and now the opportunity to share with you. So hang in there. You don’t know how God is going to use the challenges that you may face. We’re so glad we didn’t give up in those difficult years.