Keeping Your Marriage Strong During Difficult Times

This week’s post is from a beautiful lady in gorgeous California!
Lisa is a sweet soul who is on a journey with her husband to build a family. Her story is very dear to my heart, as I too, struggled with infertility. I had the privilege of being interviewed by her with my story and breakthrough in February – you can find that here http://www.amateurnester.com/2014/02/on-the-journey-with-kaitlyn.html
Today, Lisa shares a few things on keeping your marriage strong during difficult times – In their case, it’s through infertility.

Lisa

My husband and I have been married almost 3 years, and we’ve been trying-to-conceive for more than 2 of those years. To say that infertility has shaped our marriage would be an understatement.

But we decided early on that infertility would not define us; our marriage is bigger than infertility.

When we realized we were going to have trouble conceiving, we decided we needed to be intentional about several things. I know these things are important within any marriage, but especially important in a marriage with difficult circumstances.

Read Scripture together daily

Several months ago we began reading Scripture aloud together each night. We set a reminder alarm on our phone to go off at 9pm. Since we started doing this, we’ve read through Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, James, and we’re currently in I Corinthians. Yes, we’ve skipped a few nights, and some nights it seems more like a chore than a joy. But, I can say without a doubt that this has been one of the best things we’ve done for our marriage. Even if we’ve been fighting earlier in the day, or even if we’ve barely had time for a conversation, this nightly routine forces us to pause and focus on God. We’re constantly amazed at how the verses we read apply to our infertility situation.

Make it a point to get away on a regular basis.

Infertility is expensive, and money is tight. But we’ve made it a priority to set aside money every month for a few short getaways each year. We signed up for special promotions emails from hotels and resorts within driving distance, and we wait for good deals to show up in our inbox. As I write this, I’m anticipating an overnight trip we planned for this weekend. We’ll only be gone one night, and we’re traveling just a few miles down the road, but the point is to break out of our normal routine and spend intentional time together. Having something to look forward to helps us not to get too mired down in the struggles of infertility, and it reminds us that we can still enjoy a fruitful marriage without children.

Pray together.

We pray about our infertility almost daily. We pray when we get good news and we pray when we get bad news. I’ll admit that this is one that is really tough for me, because I’m uncomfortable praying out loud- even with my husband. So even though my husband does most of the out-loud praying in our house, it is something that brings us together to each other and to God.

Keep physical intimacy alive.

Fertility drugs have drastically reduced my libido. All the hormones made me a hot mess, both physically and emotionally. To complicate things even further, certain fertility procedures and test often put restrictions on when we can be intimate. I’ll admit that I would be 100% okay with just giving up physical intimacy during infertility treatments. But I know that would not be loving towards my husband, and it would put him in a very bad place.

So we’ve learned to compromise – especially when we’re in the middle of a treatment cycle. And thankfully my husband is patient with me.
This is perhaps one of the hardest parts of marriage during infertility, but I’ve discovered that just a little compromise and a little patience in this area (from both partners) can go a long way.

Decide that your marriage is more important than children

Having children might be the most pressing and urgent goal in our marriage right now, but we’ve decided that it is not the most important thing. We believe God has plans for us as a couple and as individuals, regardless of whether or not we have children. Our most important goal is to keep our marriage strong so that together we can serve others and glorify Him.

It’s ongoing…

We have no idea how long we’ll be on this infertility journey. We may get our miracle next month, or we may have many years still ahead. We are not naive enough to think that our marriage will never be tested, or that we’ll never have harder times. But we know that we have built a firm foundation, and we know what things to do to help keep us strong.

Lisa blogs about infertility at AmateurNester.com. She lives in California with her husband and their spoiled cat, Hemingway.

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