Something I’ve always been truly passionate about is marriage.  When I was young, I didn’t dream of a big career or traveling the world (although I did get to travel when I was single).  I dreamed of finding my life partner and of the life that we would create.  And one day in a Walgreens store, low and behold, it actually happened.  Twelve years ago I met my husband and knew that he was the one.

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It hasn’t been perfect.  We’ve struggled financially and had three babies in five years. Through the stress we fought, screamed at each other, and given each other the silent treatment.  We’ve also loved each other a whole lot.  We’ve raised kids and I’ve gotten used to a whole new body after three pregnancies.  My husband has gone through career changes and I’ve gone through health struggles.  Then, a few years ago, we hit rock bottom.  We had a choice… leave each other or rebuild.  We drove to a park and talked for two hours.  We held hands across a picnic table and chose to rebuild our marriage. Since that day it has never been better or more filled with love.

During our rebuilding time, we acknowledged each other and realized that we have both changed.  We were not the same people we were ten years ago who said “I do” at the alter.  We’ve come to accept the NEW people we are now and how our new selves are married to each other.  This isn’t easy.  But this is necessary.

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Encouraging married women is now one of my passions.  Should all women stay in their marriage if they were having a rocky time like I did?  Absolutely not.  In cases of abuse, they should not only walk away… they should RUN away.  Should women stay if there spouses cheat?  That is a personal decision they need to make.  For those of you who do stay after infidelity… you have my utmost respect.

A marriage is between two people, and two people only.  The strength or validity of your marriage has nothing to do with…

*How big or beautiful your home is.

*The size of your diamond wedding ring.

*If you have children.

*His or Your past relationships.

*How you get along with your inlaws.

*If you are financially stable.

*If you are a frazzled mother (like me!).

People often think others have a better marriage than they do because they fill their social media pages with beautiful photos of their home, their rings, their smiling happy faces.  I get caught up in the comparison game as well sometimes when I see a gorgeously decorated home or a photo of a romantic date night.  Then I look over and see my husband and I dressed in sweats with kids arguing about cleaning their rooms or throwing a tantrum.  I think, “hmmmmm…. are we doing something wrong here?  Because according to Facebook and Pinterest, we should own our home by now, be dressed way better, and our children should behave perfectly.  Oh and that dinner on the table should have been homemade, instead of the chicken nuggets I bought from the store.”

Wives, we are doing just fine.  We are all doing just fine.  Can we all take a deep breathe together and push all the “supposed to” items out of our minds.

You and your husband.  Love and Respect.  That’s pretty much the secret to a happy marriage from what I’ve found.  Love and Respect… throw in a lot of kindness, and you are doing great.

My favorite writer Glennon Doyle Melton says life is brutal and it is beautiful.  She says “life is brutiful.”  Sometimes marriage is brutiful, but we keep showing up.  Bruce and I, we keep showing up for each other.  We smile at each other, knowing that our precious, “brutiful” marriage is ours, and ours alone.  And that fact alone is Pretty. Freaking. Awesome.

Wives, your marriage is your very own as well.  I pray for joy into your brutiful marriage.

With encouragement and love,

Marsha

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Marriage is “brutiful”

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