What does “for better or for worse” really mean? A surprise birthday party when you get home from work… your spouse doing the taxes and reorganizing your entire filing system – are those better or worse?
The truth is, promising your life to someone is more than surprise parties and taxes – we’re all going to face better and worse.
The Tension: A life committed to “for better or worse” has a lot of ‘worse’ times.
So what do we do about that?
The opening lines to the classic novel Anna Karenina say “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Satan is the author of confusion and there’s a lot of complexity and despair within confusion. God’s way always feels clearer and less confused.
After seeing a lot of couples go through tough situations, I (Ted) have seen that it really boils down to how couples view a situation and how they respond to the situation. One couple told me, “we used to use each other like a punching bag, now we see each other as a soft place to land.”
Truth: Your response to tough moments is the engine that can steer your marriage in one direction or another.
If you know what your tendencies are in tough times, it is easier to combat them. For example, if you know that your inclination when you get home is to go hide in your room, you can prepare yourself to stay present for your spouse and spend 30 minutes connecting with them.
Your one simple thing for this week: Ask yourself the question “what is one area of my life that I can respond to in a way that makes a tough thing better?”
CJ: To be transparent, Teri and I have been trying to get pregnant for a year and a half. Every 30 days feels like another ‘worse’ for us. I need to think about how to respond every time this comes up so we can use this to bring us together instead of drive us apart.
Ted: You’ve just made a very profound point – maybe what makes ‘worse’ so difficult is that we’re both at a place that’s really tough. And that is a time that you both need each other. Thank you for being so willing to share!
We hope this episode helps you find some ‘worse’ areas in your marriage and respond to them differently.
Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast! We hope today’s episode helped you realize that marriage is a little easier than you may think. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.