Marriage: How to hold on through the hard times

Hard times can make or break a marriage, but they can also strengthen it. Here are a few ideas to keep your marriage relationship strong when facing financial or heartbreaking challenges.

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  • We are living at a time when many couples struggle to keep their jobs, their homes, and their marriages. These are the times when we must cling to each other with herculean strength. Hard times will pass, things will get better. All we have to do is hold on and keep moving forward together.

  • Many years ago when we were on our honeymoon we bought a little wooden plaque that we thought was very funny.

  • We still have it, and it has taken on new meaning several times throughout our life together. It serves as a humorous reminder that we’ve made it through some pretty difficult storms, and we’re going to do our best to keep on “making it.”

  • There will be hard times in every couple’s life. These times can bring you together or break you apart. If you are determined that you are committed to each other and to your marriage, no matter what happens, then there is no way these difficult events will rip you apart. The only real tragedy is a lost marriage and a broken family.

  • Here are a few suggestions we have for helping your spouse through hard times.

  • Accept comfort, even if you don’t want it

  • Sometimes when a deep sorrow or a difficult time comes into a marriage, one or the other spouse may put up a barrier that destroys the closeness you have developed. Stress and sadness do strange things. When you need loving arms around you the most, you may actually reject the effort of your mate to give you comfort, and you can’t even explain why you reject it. It can be very frustrating to the one who is trying to give comfort.

  • Accept hugs and physical affection

  • Even if you feel like you don’t want any hugs, accept them. The very act of opening up to a loving hug can break down the barrier and start to heal the heartbreak. Hold each other in your arms and allow your mate to cry. If one of you doesn't cry, don’t be critical; just hold on to the embrace, and never accuse each other of not caring. Embracing brings about healthy healing. It’s as if energy from your mate infuses you with strength to go on, even when you’re both suffering.

  • Nurture one another

  • A noted professor told us the story of his arriving home one day feeling deeply sad and hurt by what had happened at work. As he sat on the edge of his bed his wife asked him if he was all right. He found himself unable to reply and could only sit there and weep. His wife sat down beside him and held him in her arms without saying a word. That was the greatest thing she could have done for him at that moment. He said, “I needed that silent nurturing.” Nurturing each other with loving embraces and words of hope will bless your marriage and your family. Remember, things will get better.

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  • To abandon your mate when life gets tough is like throwing away a valuable diamond just before it has been polished to achieve its most brilliant sparkle. Hold on to each other through the stormy seasons of life: When the skies clear, you will see a relationship more radiant and beautiful than you ever thought possible — a relationship that never could have had the full depth and beauty without the struggle. It’s good to remember that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalms 30:5)

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Gary Lundberg is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Joy is a writer. Together they author books on relationships.

Website: http://garyjoylundberg.com

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