Storms in your marriage are inevitable. Just like thunderstorms, you know at some point there will be one. Thanks to weather forecasters we are usually forewarned. But what about storms in our marriages? Is it possible to know in advance when they are coming, or are we just at their mercy? More importantly, how do we prepare for the storms?
I’m willing to bet you own an umbrella, probably a rain coat and, if you live in one of the northern states, snow boots and gloves. It would not be the smartest thing for you to disregard purchasing those items. You may not need them everyday, but when a storm comes, you are glad you have them! I wonder how many of us take precautions for the storms in marriage.
We prepare for almost everything in life
Just about every area of our lives, we prepare for the worse case scenario. We are advised to save for a rainy day. At the end of the year, we were all getting prepared to go over the fiscal cliff. Like mentioned earlier, we purchase items and prepare for various types of weather. Most of these things we prepare for are not things we necessarily want to face. Yet, we know we will. So why not do that in marriage?
Predicting the storms in marriage
A meteorologist has tools that let him know what type of weather to expect. The financial planner does too (your bank statement). Even life insurance underwriters have information that can give them a good idea of your life expectancy. If all those things can be predicting, then we should be able to predict the storms in our marriage. Right?
How to know when storms in your marriage are near
I think it is completely possible to know when a potential marital storm is near. Just look at yourself. Look at what consistent actions you have taken (or not). If you have spent more money than you make, expect a financial storm. If you have taken more than you have put into your marriage, you may be nearing a storm.
Listed below are 5 warning signs a marital storm is near:
You have not spoken your spouse’s love language. If you don’t even know what his/her love language is, or what the 5 love languages are, go get your umbrella.
You have not been truthful. All relationships are built on trust. If you have broken that trust, or said something that could, then get ready, a storm is brewing.
Communication is lacking. We are built to relate to others. We are left unfulfilled when we don’t. When the communication is lacking in your relationship, you should not be surprised if issues arise when you do start talking.
You are not praying together. I do not see how any marriage can thrive, let alone survive, without God involved. However, many times couples go to God alone, not together. This is an area which many times goes unnoticed. At least until the storm.
You have an island marriage. An island marriage is where you become isolated, and do not allow other married couples who have been there, are there, or are going there get involved. When doing so, your minor problems seem major and the storm is getting closer. Just think when storms hit islands, there is nothing slowing it down when it reaches land.
How to prepare for storms in your marriage
The best way to prepare for the storms in your marriage is to expect them and know they will pass. If you think marriage truly is happily ever after, all the time, then the storms that hit you while you are unprepared are the ones that could knock your marriage out.
Here are some additional ways to prepare:
Have your storm gear ready. Bible verses about God’s plan for marriage, baby sitters to watch the kids in case of emergency, an advance agreement that no storm will end in divorce, or even entertaining the idea of divorce!
Know that storms are not always going to be there. If you think the storm is the norm, then you are in some trouble. Understand this too shall pass.
Have a storm crew. Some storms you cannot fight alone. You need a crew of trusted couples, counselors, and family members who you can go to and who you will receive the truth from.
Create your weather as best you can. Yes, storms will come. However, if you know your actions (or inaction) are the perfect weather pattern for a storm then make some changes.
Go through storm survival training. Periodically you should prepare your marriage for tough times. Things like regular dating, attending retreats, having weekend getaways, or meeting with a small group can help. Those times will build your marriage strength to help you withstand the storms.
BMWK: How have you handled the storms in your marriage? Please share in the comment section below how your marriage is still standing through the storms.
About the author
Jackie Bledsoe, Jr. is a husband, father, writer, blogger, and entrepreneur. He shares his experiences at JackieBledsoe.com, writing about Family Leadership in his quest to GET better and help you GET better in leading your family. Read more articles like this on his blog, ‘Follow’ him on Twitter, and ‘Like’ him on Facebook.