I was very touched by this video. I guess it brought back memories. We just celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary. I can remember when I wondered if we would make it four years. How did we make it? Were we always happy?
I always envisioned people who were happily married after many years as always having a blissful relationship. I've changed my mind. I think they are people who simply didn't give up. They just kept praying and trying. They aren't quitters.
Sure, there were lots of times when we wanted to just run away, when we were discouraged, and didn't feel close. We were also aware enough to know that running away, wouldn't solve our problems. We knew we weren't very happy, but we also knew we wouldn't be happier if we divorced. Of course, there are times when you must leave an abusive relationship, then you should run as far and as fast as you can. But this isn't what happens in most marriages.
Personally, I think the cry of "abuse" can be an easy excuse to quit. I can remember many times wanting to quit. Both my husband and I came from "dysfunctional" families. Though we had seen miserable marriages and divorces, we had never seen a happy marriage. We had no idea how to communicate in a marriage relationship, or how to work out problems.
One problem we had to deal with right off was the differences in our personality. I am a creative, philosophical soul, while he is a practical detail type. I didn't feel that he was listening to me, or cared about my needs. He felt that I was always criticizing everything he did. Yes, I felt he was insensitive and abusive. He thought I wasn't supportive and loving.
At this point, you might be wondering how we made it 44 years. We read articles written by people who had happy marriages. We observed how people in happy marriages treated each other and how they communicated. One thing I noticed was that they expressed their feelings and needs in a calm, clear sensitive way. They didn't yell or accuse the other, and they didn't say, "If you really loved me, you should know!" They helped their partner to be a successful spouse. They offered suggestions such as, "You could say", or "I'd really appreciate it if you". I tried it and it worked. I know it is hard for women to believe that their husband probably isn't trying to be abusive. He really can be that clueless. We think it is so obvious, and it is to other women! I found that I had to love my husband enough to take the time to give him the "big picture", to explain how I felt. It really helped.
We also had to make time to just be together, to have fun and communicate. Many marriages just wither in the heat or work demands and other interests. I learned that good marriages take work. They don't just happen. In real life you don't just fall in love and "live happily ever after", but that with conscious effort you can make your own happily ever afters.
A big thing we did was we prayed a lot asking the Lord for help. Actually, I prayed that my husband might change. It was very disconcerting when I kept getting ideas of things that I should change. We gradually learned that making a good marriage required both of us to humbly accept our weaknesses and to be willing to change. This is something we couldn't have done on our own. I was just too hard. We needed the Lord's help, and He gave it. Was it hard? Was it rough? Yes, but so worth it!
I also wrote this http://perspectivesonpersonality.blogspot.com/2016/10/marriage-between-detailed-and-creative.html about our marriage.