For our 15th Anniversary, I asked my former husband to get me a boyfriend. I was attempting to use humor to communicate to him that I felt lonely in our marriage. I actually hoped that he would volunteer to be that boyfriend.
However, we had so many unresolved conflicts in our marriage that he did not see the humor in this request. There were way too many resentments that built up a thick wall between us.
The only topic we had to talk about was our three children. Most of our conversations were flat and filled with disagreements. There were concerns on both our hearts that we were reluctant to share with one another. From our different focal points, we saw the same events in our life from two totally different perspectives.
We attempted to start a restaurant, but over-extended our self financially; and the house of cards we erected in both the restaurant and our marriage eventually fell apart. He saw no option for us but divorce, which left both of us feeling abandoned and abused.
About two years later, God blessed me with a new man in my life. He makes an honest effort to dwell with me with understanding and to shower me with focused attention. I provide him with needed verbal affirmation, admiration and a virtually stress-free home life.
We never let the sun go down on hurt feelings. We keep a couples’ journal, and take turns writing out our feelings in non-judgmental and uncondemning words. Then we responded to each other by writing back in the journal. This keeps out negative emotions that could escalate into arguments.
We have always worked well together in the ministry, and we actually enjoy each other’s company. We take turns deciding what to do on our “date” nights. We always schedule them into our shared calendar, so that we can look forward to them.
We jealously guard this special time as a couple. We do not have much discretionary income, so we plan simple dates: watching a movie on TV after putting the kids to bed, star gazing on the hill near our home, sharing a milk shake at the local restaurant, sunning on a blanket at the local beach or strolling along the water’s edge, sitting in lawn chairs in the backyard and reading the latest book that intrigues us, walking through the mall holding hands and window shopping, perusing an antique store (a free museum), going thrift store shopping to find inexpensive treasures and clothing, exploring small towns around our home, etc.
During our dates, we talk about everything on our heart, laugh, cry, and make plans together. Over the years, this practice allowed us to bond in a love relationship that has stood the test of time and all of the trials of our life.
Father God, thank You for keeping me safe during my return to single living and then for providing a man that is willing to meet my needs with selfless humility and understanding. We appreciate You for keeping us together through the storms that Satan devised to tear us apart. We love serving You together with every ounce of our energy and each moment of time in our life.
Thank You for allowing our relationship to be an example for other couples, and for using us to help to prevent others from going through the trauma of divorce. We give You all the praise and glory for our marital success as we move toward twenty-five years of anniversaries; and we rely on You to continue to use us as a couple to further Your Kingdom in the earth.
Thought for the Day:
Together, we learned to guard our date night, to prefer one another in our decisions, and never to make a choice without first checking with how each of us feels about it. This keeps us on the same page throughout our marriage and allows us to walk in the wisdom and counsel of God’s Holy Spirit.