viii. Climate Change

“Today’s forecast is sunshine and showers”.

I often think my day-to-day married life is a bit like the weather. Sometimes the sun is shining – HF and I are gelling happily, marriage is fun and we feel like serving and make sacrifices for each other.

And then sometimes, often without warning, it rains. In fact sometimes the clouds part and it absolutely lobs it down, and all I can see ahead is the rumbles of thunderstorms and sudden strikes of disagreement-fuelled lightening.

Like the climate, my feelings – and subsequently the forecast ahead – fluctuate throughout the day and can change from one extreme to the other, often seemingly for little or no reason. I’m constantly astonished at how things can be going so swimmingly one moment and turn so easily to frustration or resentment the next.

This, a quick poll of my friends tells me, appears to be a pretty normal experience of married life. Daily stresses, strains, worries and – I’m sorry to say it, ladies – hormones, coupled with the closeness of marriage can create the perfect environment for an unintended marital storm.

For those of us more anxious-inclined, the stormy weathers that marriage can bring can be particularly distressing. If you’re already struggling with intrusive thoughts and anxious wonderings, the less sunny times are likely to be seriously spikey moments.

So, what do you with feelings like that? How do we ride the waves of marriage through both the calm and turbulent times?

As a marriage-amateur, this is something I’m still learning. But I think the key might lie in the way we respond to the inevitable good and bad times. When HF is driving me up the wall, I could fall down the rabbit-hole and interpret it as a sign that my anxieties were correct – that maybe we weren’t meant to be after all. OR, I can insist on banishing those lies from my mind and acknowledge that all marriages have ups and down, sunshine and clouds. I could get angry and rack up a mental list of things that annoy me about my husband, or I can decide to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. I can follow Jesus’s example: grace.

So even when the storms brew, which they inevitably will, I’m thankful that God’s grace is sufficient – enough for me, and enough for my marriage.