Tips For Growing & Supporting a Healthy Marriage
Marriage can be one of life’s greatest blessings, but it can also present us with some of our most difficult challenges and be responsible for some of our more painful life experiences. TheHopeLine has helped many people navigate life at every stage of marriage, and grow toward greater freedom and connection.
Is Marriage Always the Right Choice?
We are constantly fed images of two extremes – either the blissful bride on her wedding day to Prince Charming, or angry couples in constant cycles of getting together, fighting, breaking up, and starting all over. With all the drama, should you get married in the first place?
Marriage is a gift from God and it shows us a path to true connection and intimacy. But rushing into marriage as soon as you find someone you’re attracted to can lead to conflict and problems. It’s important not to jump in without talking at length with your boyfriend or girlfriend about the following things:
- Future Plans: Do you have the same long-term goals? Are you on the same page about where you will live, what your day-to-day household responsibilities will look like, and what to do if there’s a conflict between you?
- Struggles and Strengths: Have you been with each other long enough to know how you handle conflicts? How you are when stressed? What strengths do each of you bring to the table? Have either of you been through pain or trauma that may affect your perspective on marriage or sexual intimacy?
- Family: How important is family to each of you? Do you want children? If so, are your ideas about parenting and childcare compatible? How does each of your families shape your views of marriage?
- Faith: Do you have the same religious beliefs? If so, how do you practice them? If not, how do you deal with differences? How will faith come into play when it comes to parenting and family life?
Working through things like these with someone you care about is not easy, but it can reveal a lot about whether marriage is the right choice for the two of you.
What if Your Marriage Feels Broken?
If you’ve been married before, or are currently married, you are well aware that marriage can be deeply rewarding and very difficult, depending on your partner, your circumstances, and how each of you handles conflict. Sometimes you learn things about your partner that are painful, like seeing their abusive or addictive behavior, or discovering they have been cheating. Trauma like that leaves you feeling broken, and your marriage may seem broken, too.
Healing During Marriage Challenges
Sometimes, when a marriage becomes toxic or traumatic, separation or divorce may be the best option for the physical, spiritual, and emotional safety of people involved. In other cases, couples are able to rebuild trust, reestablish intimacy, and move forward in their relationship. Knowing what to do starts with admitting you need support and reaching out for help.
TheHopeLine offers confidential, judgement-free support for people with questions about marriage, including live chat and email mentors. We are here to listen and help you navigate important decisions, whether you’re wanting to get married, experiencing marital problems, or coping with a divorce. No matter what, there is hope.