Persevering through disappointment in your marriage isn’t easy.
The emotional roller coaster was agonizing as my husband shared more bad news. I dared to be brave, only to have fresh hurt dumped into my lap. How could this keep happening? While this has been the true story of my life the past few years, you also need to know that my husband has been dealing with intense pressure in many areas of his life. The news he shared was a result of the pressure he was experiencing.
While I know that in my heart, it can be difficult to face in the moment. It is such a struggle to live one day relishing the good news, and the next feeling hurt from the bad news. Disappointment comes for all, but it seems overwhelming when you continue to struggle through it. You may experience this in relation to a job, a health issue, parenting, finances, or any other life circumstance. How do we keep going in the face of extreme disappointment?
Persevering Through Disappointment in Your Marriage
These pressures that my husband deals with are his – meaning, I’m not able to help him, other than to pray. When he shares bad news, or disappointment of some sort, I feel bad. I feel physical stress in my own life, but I also feel for him because he’s working so hard to learn and grow in his own life.
That stress has impacts in every area of our lives – physical, emotional, mental, even spiritual. Here are some ways that I’ve found to keep persevering through the disappointment.
How to Persevere Spiritually
I choose to list this one first because I believe it helps us most. Other areas, listed below, may help with specific areas of our lives, but I believe that if we can be focused on the Lord, we’ll find strength for persevering physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Worship music – Music helps to soothe us in so many ways. When I feel stressed and overwhelmed, I turn on the worship music and get my mind focused back on the Lord.
Meditate on God’s Word – Remember those Bible verses you committed to memory years ago? Start reciting one, and do it out loud. When we speak it audibly, our brain focuses on that. When our brain is focusing on listening to what we speak, it is not “listening” to the additional thoughts and worries swirling around.
Pray – This is so easy to say, and we all know we should pray about our situations. But sometimes we get stuck on what to pray. My favorite prayer continues to be the simplest, but hardest prayer that I’ve prayed for my marriage. It’s my go-to prayer when I don’t know what to say. Other times, it’s very easy to just have an honest talk with the Lord and share my heart with Him. The Lord is less concerned about our words; He just wants us to come to Him.
How to Persevere Physically
Stress from disappointment can adversely impact our physical well-being. The one impact I notice the most in my own life is a general tiredness. It just seems hard, or challenging, to need to do the next thing in the day.
Here are some suggestions that help me cope.
Rest – I think this is so vital, and probably one that “we’re all too busy” to make use of. Our bodies truly need rest, though, in light of struggles that come our way.
Physical activity – Take a walk, work in the garden, deep clean one room in your house. This is the opposite of rest, but sometimes when we do some deep muscle work, it will actually help us rest better.
Drink lots of water – Did your mom say this, too? It’s the truth! Keeping our bodies hydrated will help us through the physical impact that disappointment brings
There are many more, but these are essential when you are trying to find relief from the stress of disappointment in your marriage.
How to Persevere Emotionally
Emotional fortitude does not come easily for all of us. In fact, some days I feel like I’m very strong emotionally; other days I’m a mess. So how can we reign in those emotions and get some control over them, so that we can press on in our marriage?
Rest – We really under-value the impact that good rest can have on our bodies. Have you heard the phrase, “Everything will look better in the morning?” You’ll still have to deal with the issue at hand, but you’ll be able to look at it in a different light with some good rest. Rest benefits all areas of our lives.
Don’t discard your feelings – We’re quick to “stuff our feelings” because life is busy and we have to keep going. Those feelings are going to “marinate” if we stuff them, and they will eventually come out, likely in a messy way. It’s better to take time up front to deal with them, to find some time with the Lord and start to find healing.
Take time for yourself – I don’t really have time either. Or, I didn’t. I now make time when frustrations hit because I know that I have to take care of myself in order to be strong enough to keep being the wife and mom I need to be. Some ideas for easy self-care would be coffee with friends, a drive in the countryside, a hot bath or shower, time to meditate on God’s Word while you enjoy nature.
How to Persevere Mentally
I don’t know about you, but when disappointment hits, my mind starts to race. My thoughts turn to contingency plans, and “what-if” scenarios. Suddenly, my kids are asking for dinner that I forgot to prepare. It’s a tough spot to be in, and I struggle to calm my mind. But here are a few tips that have helped me.
Deep breaths – Taking a few deep breaths helps to calm my body and my mind. It helps me to focus on the moment at hand, and it settles the brain that is off to the races.
Make a list – This is probably the most effective thing that I can do in the moment. I make a list of the things I need to do for the rest of the day. I focus on my kids, my husband, and my home, and make sure that there is at least some form of plan for dinner because we need to eat to combat the physical impact of the stress. The list helps me to focus and gives me things to do, which keep my hands and mind busy in a productive way.
Do a “brain dump” – Take just a few minutes to write down the many thoughts you’re thinking. Some of them may be useful; others may just be “swirling thoughts”. As you look over your list, you can quickly cross off anything that is just “excess”. This helps you pare down all those extra thoughts and it gives you a ready-made list to come back to when you are ready.
Persevering through disappointment can be difficult, especially when you continue to receive tough news. As we take time to work on each of these areas, we are creating a healthy response to the stress, which enables us to keep on going. This is challenging, I know. If you have tips that work for you, please share them so we can all benefit!