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How to Survive the Ultimate Test of Marriage

What is the ultimate test of your marriage? I can’t think of anything that truly tests your marriage like what I went through last year.

How to Survive the Ultimate Test of Marriage

My Ultimate Test of Marriage

I suffer from mental illness, Bipolar 2 to be exact. Last Spring I had a breakdown and had to be admitted to hospital while my meds were adjusted. I spent 3 weeks in hospital, unable to see my kids, dealing with hallucinations and negative thoughts. My husband had to step up and take on the role of mom and dad for 3 weeks without me by his side. He had to deal with the kids thoughts and questions, do the daily grind of getting them off to school, cooking and cleaning and all while trying to deal with his own feelings about what I was going through. That’s a lot for one parent (we have four kids at home.)

This may or may not be a situation you might end up with, but if not, there might be others. The death of a loved one, an immediate family member’s illness or the loss of a job might be the ultimate test of your marriage in your family. When that time comes, if it comes, you will need a few things set in your marriage to help it continue to go strong despite the hardships.

How to Survive the Ultimate Test of Marriage

No matter the test, to survive you will need a few things in your marriage.

Communication

I think everyone knows that communication is the key to a good relationship but many people don’t follow that advice and really communicate.

Good communication doesn’t mean getting angry with something your spouse does and then hinting at your anger indirectly and then getting more angry when they don’t realize you are angry. Taking the time to have a personal conversation and stating how you feel using I statements then listening while your spouse responds and repeating back what they said is good communication.

Using I statements means saying something like I feel ignored when you don’t’ ask me how my day went instead of saying You never ask me how my day went.

Listening

Listening is a part of communication and I think lots of people forget that. Communication isn’t just stating how you feel it’s listening to how the other is feeling. Really listening too, not just hearing but focusing on yourself instead.

Men and women are different and people are different in general. So every relationship, even a same-sex one is going to have instances where one person doesn’t fully understand how the other person feels. However listening to their thoughts and feelings and trying your best to understand where they come from is necessary.

I may not agree with everything my husband feels or thinks but I know it’s important to him and I respect that.

No Assumptions

Have you heard the saying Assuming makes and ASS out of U and ME (ASSUME)?

Assuming you understand something about your spouse will cause problems. Many times I inaccurately assumed something only to find out I was totally wrong about how he felt or what he meant. After a small argument I realized I was wrong to assume.

Now I ask for clarification or explain what he just said again to make sure I’m right. Often my views are opposite his but I still make sure to understand his point of view.

Trust

Trust is important in any relationship. Everyone seems to know that yet putting it into practice doesn’t always work the way it should. If you can’t trust your spouse, there is a problem with your relationship that you should work on immediately.

I trust my spouse completely. He’s had his ex girlfriend over (who is still his friend) while I was away and I trust that there will be no problems. I don’t just blindly trust him either. He’s proven himself trustworthy and I trust his ex girlfriend too so I am comfortable leaving them alone in the house.

You should be able to trust your spouse that much. If you don’t feel you can trust your spouse, sit down and have a conversation about trust.

Respect

As I mentioned before, I don’t always agree with my husband’s thoughts or opinions but I always respect them. If we feel completely different about a situation, say like with parenting situations, then we compromise and come up with a solution that is halfway between his preference and mine. I may never agree with a thought he has but because I love him, I have to respect it.

Summary

Everyone seems to know these five words and know they are important but really putting them into practice is another thing all together. If you want to be prepared for your ultimate test of marriage you need to get these five words set and ready in your relationship.

This post is part of the March Marriage Challenge. Click the image below to see the other posts.

marchmarriagechallenge

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Mom of five, Girl Guide leader, Blogger, Social Media Enthusiast, Knowledge Seeker, Canadian.

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