Marriage is absolutely wonderful. It’s also incredibly hard. No matter how much you love your spouse, there will be rough patches—moments that you are struggling to survive. It’s inevitable. Any couple that tells you things are always rosy either hasn’t been married very long, or they are lying.
Is Your Marriage Struggling Because You Won’t Let Go?
Struggling to hold on
When you face challenges in your marriage, there should always be an attempt, by both parties, to make things right. Maybe you need counseling, or maybe you just need some time, but giving up when things get hard shouldn’t be your impulse. Efforts to restore things have to be made before you walk away from a commitment you made before God (great efforts).
But once the effort has been made and you both decide that this thing you have is worth fighting for, how does it serve your marriage if you can’t let go of the wrongdoing. Are you really fighting for your partnership if you continue to relive whatever caused the initial damage?
I am not implying that working through something as serious as cheating, for instance, is easy. However, I am saying that if you take the time to work on your marriage and you decide to forgive your spouse (if there is a need for forgiveness depending on what’s going on in your marriage), things will never truly work out if you continue to live in the past. Your marriage will never be repaired if you aren’t able to let go.
All about letting go
When you can’t let go and you continue to bring up an old grievance, you are simply communicating that you are not over it – that you are still angry and hurt.
There is nothing wrong with being angry and hurt. It’s a normal emotion. But if you plan to be angry and hurt forever, never truly moving past what happened, your marriage is destined to fail.
Letting go is not easy. It’s very hard to do. But once you choose to put in the work to improve your marriage, you are also choosing to eventually let go (and by eventually, I don’t mean 3 years later).
This idea of letting go is not just about the big stuff either. It’s about those everyday things (the kids, chores, expectations) that can cause a rift in your marriage and work through those things without later bringing them up all the time.
When you are unwilling to let go, it causes just as much damage as an unwillingness to work through your issues in the first place. They go hand in hand because you really haven’t worked through anything if you are having any lingering emotions that cause you to relive what went wrong. Put in the work, choose to forgive, and let it go. It’s the only way to strengthen your union.
BMWK: Is there something in your marriage that you need to let go of?
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on December 13, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.