Earlier this year, when talking with a young man about relationships, I told him my theory:
From the emails I get and from talking to women online and at my events, I’d say that 60-70% of marriages are just fine. People enjoy each other. They’re getting by. They’re satisfied. About 15% are just lousy. They’re almost broken and everybody is miserable. And then there are those 10-15% that are awesome. They’re not just getting by–they’re thriving! They can’t wait to see each other at the end of the day. They feel like they’re one.
Most people never have that. It doesn’t mean they’re miserable. They just never quite get there.
And so, I told this young man, do not dismiss the chance at that top 10-15% because the timing isn’t right. Let God decide your timing.
But that’s a story for another day.
Today I want to talk to you about that question: is a good marriage good enough?
On the one hand I’d say absolutely! A good marriage, even if it’s not great, is so much better than the alternative. To have someone to share life with; to parent with; to bounce ideas off of. That is a blessing.
But on the other hand, I’d say this: what if you could have more? And what if that MORE wasn’t so unattainable? What if it just took a few new ways of thinking about marriage, and about our relationships?
That’s what I share in my new book. I’ve been in a good marriage, I’ve been in a hard marriage, and I’ve been in a great marriage. And I’ve only been married once! The hard years were the first few, but for the last twenty we go back and forth between good and great. Thankfully the great is most of the time. But when we fall into the “good” years it’s because I’ve forgotten one of these thoughts that I share in my book (and I’m really transparent in the book, too, about all the ways that I’ve messed up!)
(see other testimonials from great people like Gary Thomas, Shaunti Feldhahn, Fawn Weaver, and more!)
How often do we believe these things:
- If I’m unhappy I need to take it to the LORD (well, yes, but sometimes He wants you to DO something about it, too! And the more we pour out our complaints to God, the more we focus on the negative).
- God made my husband just for me, so he should complete me (only God completes you, honey!)
- We’re best friends; he should want to spend time with me. (yes, but marriages naturally drift. What are YOU doing to stop that drift?)
- Sex is supposed to make us feel intimate. If it doesn’t, there must be something wrong with my husband–or with the way God made sex!
- We’ll never get over this one fight because we have it over and over again. I need to learn to get past it and accept it about him.
And don’t get me started on all the “pat answers” that we often hear in church on how to fix our marriages–pat answers that often make things worse, like “just submit and he’ll lead”, “just have sex!”, or “just pray about it.”
What if we started to believe other things instead? Things like:
- I’m to be a peaceMAKER, not a peaceKEEPER
- In marriage fights, no one has to lose
- I can learn how to make love, and not just have sex
- Marriage naturally drifts apart. If we’re drifting, we’re not in crisis. I just need to be deliberate again!
- My husband can’t make me happy–but I CAN be happy with my husband
Whenever my husband and I go through a rough patch, it’s usually because I have forgotten one of the 9 truths that I share with you in this book. I get lazy. And I start to feel like I deserve a happy marriage that either God, my husband–or both–should hand me on a silver platter.
But when I take responsibility for myself, it’s amazing how I can change the dynamic in my marriage.
Nine Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage starts shipping tomorrow. And I’ve been working at this book for a LONG time. It’s so amazing that the day is finally here! So much of what I share in this blog, including a lot of my most important blog posts, are all expanded on in this book. I feel as if I’ve been able to crystallize so much of what I believe about marriage and taking responsibility for your own stuff.
I see so many people just drifting along, thinking there’s no way to get anything more. But there is! There really is!
I wish I could shout it from the rooftops! God has given you the ability to think, to react, to love–and all of that can draw people closer to Him, AND closer to you. You aren’t helpless. Even in a difficult marriage, there are things that you can do to bring yourself more peace, and deal with the root cause.
If you like this blog, I know you’ll love this book.
I feel like I know so many of you personally–from your emails, your comments, and even speaking with so many of you at my Girl Talk events. I hope in this book you can get another glimpse into me. I’m honestly just a regular wife who struggles, too. I’m just awfully stubborn and I’m not content with “good enough”. Wanna be stubborn with me?
Here’s where you can get the book! (and if you’re in Australia or Nigeria, Kenya, or South Africa, and you know where you can buy paperbacks online, can you send me the link and I’ll add it? Thank you!)
Thanks for being a part of this with me! Stay tuned here, and on Facebook, for more info about some of the parties that are coming up this week!