4 Ways to Remain Thankful in Marriage in Trying Times

BY: - 19 Apr '18 | Marriage

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Here’s a revelation. Marriage is not always a bed of roses. Couples face challenges in their relationship that can take a toll on their emotional well being…especially their sense of gratitude. At times, these hardships can either leave you stronger or weaker. Mentally and spiritually, the weight of these difficulties can leave you feeling down and possibly advance into a state of depression. As a way to combat trying times in your marriage, it’s important to remain thankful and do things that make you happy and keep you healthy and sane.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Trying times in your relationship offer opportunities for reflection and a chance to improve the areas that need to grow in your character. By showing gratitude to God for how far He has led you in your marriage, you are able to redirect your focus from the problem to the One who can solve them. Remember, God created you and won’t allow you to face more than you can handle.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11


When life seems overwhelming, rather than slide into a pit of despair, switch your thoughts to happy times in the marriage and remain thankful as written in the Scripture.

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

With that in mind, here are four ways to remain thankful in trying times in your marriage:

Write down things you’re thankful for each day

Remember God’s goodness and faithfulness in your life and write down five things you are grateful for. When you sense yourself slipping off into a sad or depressed mood, this exercise can help to bring you back to reality. The act of writing down God’s daily blessings in your life is a way to change your mood from discouraged to thankful in a heartbeat.

Share the things you are thankful for with others

I have a friend who, when asked how she is doing says “I’m great and grateful.” The ability to remember God’s blessings in your life and share them with others has its way of stirring up gratitude in your heart. It leaves you with awe-filled memories to worship Him, and helps to keep the complaining to a minimum.

Engage in activities that give you peace and keep you thankful

These are moments when you absolutely absorb yourself into an experience by completely engaging your mind in whatever it is you’re doing. Activities like artwork, writing, and sports have a way of distracting your mind from and keep your face from being downcast. They also help you to lose yourself and enjoy what you are doing. These moments allow you to open up and move toward peace. The more active moments you engage in, the happier and more thankful you’ll become.

Study God’s Word on being thankful

While this is last on the list, it is certainly not least. Strengthen your faith with God’s word; meditate on scriptures regarding thankfulness and commit to them to memory. They will help you to always be grateful to God no matter the circumstances. Remember, without expressing thanks to God, it is difficult to lift your heart from despair to worship.

When marriage is difficult, your emotions can get out of control. Gratitude for as many things you can think of, including your spouse can not only ease your pain but give you hope that a better day is coming.

BMWK, what are you grateful for?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 154 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.


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How Do I Get Over Feeling Obsolete in My Marriage?

BY: - 24 Apr '18 | Marriage

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Dr. Buckingham: I believe that I am going through some kind of identity crisis and my marriage is in trouble as a result. My wife and I have been married for over 10 years and I have always had the spotlight on me as a successful businessman. I have made a few million dollars and have appeared on numerous high profile media platforms. In the eyes of many, I would be seen as rich and famous.

However, I retired a few years back after my 50th birthday and started to feel like a second-class citizen in my marriage. My wife is also a successful businesswoman and has garnered a lot of popularity in recent years. She is well known in certain circles and is getting the attention that I used to get. I used to feel important when we were together in public. People would serve me and I enjoyed it. Now, she gets all of the attention and I feel obsolete. Because of how I feel, I do not like to go anywhere with her. How Do I Get Over Feeling Obsolete in my Marriage?


Mr. Obsolete

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Mr. Obsolete,

Before I answer your question I believe that it is important to address your emotional state. I have worked with a few famous individuals and have learned that living in the limelight for years and returning “back to earth” can be mentally challenging. While I cannot relate to being famous, I can relate to what it feels like to be highly respected and admired. As a high-ranking active duty officer who is preparing to retire after serving 20 years of service, I am mentally preparing myself to adjust from being a respected and admired officer to establishing a new identity outside the uniformed service. I share this to say that I can relate on some level emotionally.

As you continue to search for answers, please remain mindful of how you feel. The euphoria associated with living in the limelight and feeling highly admired can be both addictive and destructive in nature. Addictive in that when you feel it, you want more of it; and destructive in that when you do not feel it you go through extreme and unhealthy means to get it. Given this, I highly recommend that you take some time to figure out what you need to do to replace the euphoric feeling of being in the limelight.

In regards to your marriage, I believe that the key to getting over feeling obsolete is to focus on your wife’s character and how she treats you, not the attention that she is getting. I do not recall you mentioning anything about her character being flawed. I assume that she supported you and made it possible for you to enjoy your time in the limelight. If this is the case, I recommend that you do the same. It is her time to shine and you should be there to support her. Don’t let your “rock star grief” ruin your marriage. Also, think about becoming a servant to your wife. In my experience, I have learned that the best high in life comes from serving others. Instead of focusing on being in the limelight, try giving back to others including your wife and see how you feel.

Remember that our feelings are ours and we are responsible for how we manage them. Do not ignore or minimize feeling obsolete, but do not project your feelings onto your wife. Marriage is about sharing, which also includes sharing the limelight. However, if you continue to struggle with feeling obsolete in your marriage, please seek professional help.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions, and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 216 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.


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