“Nobody understands what we’re going through!”
“I had no idea being married would be this hard!”
“I don’t know if things will ever change!”
In the Two Becoming One resource, we talk about the four stages of marital decline: Romance, Reality, Resentment, and Rebellion. Maybe you yourself have said one or more of the statements above…or at the very least thought them. And these statements are usually uttered, cried, or screamed somewhere between Reality and Resentment.
When couples are in Reality, they are navigating scenarios with their spouse that if unchecked, will lead to Resentment and possibly Rebellion. In our research we found out that the average couple is in crisis for six or more years before they seek help. Our desire is to encourage and challenge you to seek out help early.
One reason many do not reach out sooner is because they are embarrassed that they are having marital issues. We live in a social media world where everyone is posting highlight reels, which leaves many in the wake of shame. But, the truth is all couples go through trials and hardship. None of us are immune to the struggles that come from everyday life.
Before Reality even happens, Romance can give a fantasy view of love making it seem like everything is good, fun and easy. This blinds us to the hardships of Reality. This makes trials seem like the end of the world when they happen because we weren’t expecting them.
But scripture says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you as though something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12)
In the Reality stage, just because marriage is hard, or not what you expected, doesn’t mean things have to progress to Resentment. But, how do we keep this progression from happening? Don’t wait 6 years to seek help.
Going to the doctor for a well-visit is taking preventative measures to catch things early before you get really sick. We should be doing the same thing for our marriages.
We highly encourage you to find a couple who you respect and will give you godly advice, to mentor you. If there are issues that your mentor coupe can’t help with, seek pastoral counseling. If your marital issues require professional help, seek Biblical clinical counseling. Perhaps your local church can help with recommendations. Or reach out to us, and we will help connect you with the help you need.
One thing we offer at CFL is an 8-week marriage discipleship resource. This resource will help you better understand God’s design for marriage. Click here to check it out and purchase!
God created marriage, and He can make it work!