Strengthening Your Marriage During Hard Times

Difficult circumstances bring new sets of challenges to even healthy marriages. We’re all facing a unique brand of hard times right now, but every marriage will experience periods of challenge and difficulty. But we don’t face these challenges alone. I’ve been thinking recently about the promise of Jesus:

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

The truths of the Gospel bring hope and perspective to our most difficult circumstances.

I’m joined today by Donna Westcott, the mother of one of my dear friends, a lover of Jesus, and a licensed professional counselor. Today we discussed ways to strengthen our marriages during hard times.

Donna has a lot of wisdom to share in this video interview, and you’ll really want to watch the whole video to hear her practical encouragement, all founded on our hope in Christ. I’m just going to paraphrase and summarize a few of the key points in these show notes.

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Some of the strategies Donna mentioned for dealing with hard times in marriage include:

  • Be proactive rather than reactive
  • Set couple goals (this might be a project, or it might be taking time to rest)
  • Be honest about what causes stress to each individual, and discuss ahead of time how to love each other in those areas
  • Take turns; employ this listening exercise to facilitate better communication, deeper understanding, and more peaceful conflict resolution (explained in detail in the video; this will revolutionize your marital communication!)

We also discussed things we can do before we face the hardest times to nourish a healthy marriage:

  • He’s your spouse, not your Savior
  • Peace with God has to be your ultimate foundation
  • Resolving, repairing, and reconnecting from conflict is more important than not having conflict
  • Self-understanding, an ability to recognize and manage our own emotions, is more important than expecting our spouse to meet all our needs

**There are times when resolving conflict on our own is not the answer**

In situations of abuse, extreme anger, or addiction, times of stress can increase the levels of danger spouses and children face. If this is a situation you or someone you love is facing, my heart breaks for you. Please reach out to law enforcement or a trusted friend. You are not called to fix this problem on your own.

Donna recommends the following practical steps you can take:

  • Make weapons inaccessible if possible without arousing suspicion
  • Gather money, important papers, and some clothes to keep in your car or in a bag that is easy to grab
  • Find someone to whose house you could go if danger arises
  • Have a “Safe word” you can use with your children that means “Go to the car right away.”
  • Go with your gut. If you feel unsafe, leave and call the police or domestic abuse hotline

Donna also shared the following resources:

I also reached out to my friend, Curtis, a licensed professional counselor here in NC. For anyone experiencing domestic abuse locally in the Wake County, NC area, InterAct is able to help. Hotline: (English) 919-828-7740, (Spanish) 844-203-8896

Other Marriage and Relationship Resources:

{This post contains paid links. Please see disclaimer.}

For more encouraging conversations, check out my series of video interviews with real-life homeschool moms, dads, and other educators.

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