Together …. all the time
We married to be together forever. Did we have any idea it would include together 24/7?
During our current pandemic, everything has changed. We have all had adjustments and disappointments.Our daughter eagerly anticipated her wedding for over a year. None of us knew her wedding would look completely different than planned. Some have missed graduations, trips, or other special occassions.
We feel for everyone who works from home, along with their spouse, and children.
For many families, it has been a blessing to have that much time together. For others, it is a time of high stress and anxiety.
Financial and/or employment changes pile more stress on top. Forced separation from older parents or other family members strain the emotions. A change in schedule and routine throw us off balance. We might feel confused or a lack of direction in general in our lives. Our coping skills are stretched.
Whatever irritations or conflicts that were already present in a marriage are magnified in the togetherness experienced every day.
Younger couples are still learning to be compatible. For older couples, we have learned more about how to live in the constant closeness.
How do we make it when togetherness causes stress and conflict?
We are in this Together ……Is anyone else tired of hearing that phrase?
It is such an odd phrase when the reality is that we are not together with many others. The intent is that we are all experiencing the same thing right now…. around the world.
Few of us have seen anything that brought the whole world to its knees. The futility in the power of humans is on display. How many of us are directing our utter helplessness to God?
The Lord knows all human plans; He knows that they are futile.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.
The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
Better Together ….Going through a crisis together can actually strengthen a marriage . . . . when a couple works together instead of directing their anxiety, anger, or frustration at their spouse. We WILL face a worse crisis than the one we are going through right now. Now is the time to learn to work together.
Our current circumstance requires adaptations that may be new for us.
- Show the same grace and understanding that I want others to show me. We all have irritating habits. I want my spouse to overlook my habits. I can overlook his.
- Have fun. For those who work from home, it may be harder to find a cutoff time for work. It’s critical to take time for fun together right now! We may have to find some new ways to have fun since typical venues may be closed.
- Remember why we married each other. Reminisce about our days of dating and the highlights of our marriage.
- Take time to be apart. Give each other some space. She may need to go somewhere alone and read. He may need to work out. We all need time alone to diffuse, regroup, and refresh. To be better together, I have to be better personally.
- Get outside and get exercise. Go for a walk or bike ride. Try a kayak or a canoe. Get fresh air and some exercise - they reduce stress and release happy hormones in our brains.
- Set a schedule but be flexible. Most of us thought this wouldn’t last long and didn’t think about a different lifestyle long-term.
- If you need to talk through a conflict, schedule a time. Don’t have the conflict in front of the kids or at a time that it will disrupt work.
- Spend time meditating on the Lord and His goodness! Make a list of who He is, what He has done for you, and the blessings that He has given you. Express your gratitude to Him everyday!
Resolve ….Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
I have to come to grips with the fact that another person is not responsible for my happiness.
Most people aren’t able to just say “I am going to be happy.” But ALL of us can decide where to put our focus. I can choose which thoughts that I allow to linger and grow.
My perspective on this pandemic determines whether I look at it with joy or disdain.
If I focus on what I have missed (weddings, graduations, travel, events), my heart will be heavy.
If I focus on all that I still have (family, friends, a home to live in, food to eat, extra free time), my heart will soar.
If I focus on what my spouse does that I don’t like, I will become angry and resentful. If I focus on the good in my spouse, I will be gracious and joyful.
I can resolve to focus on good.
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8