Over 50% of marriages end in divorce. Many of these end between the 5-7 year mark. I know if people were prepared for marriage, it would prevent many of these marriages ending in divorce. When I got married, I had no idea that there are two stages to love. The first stage of love, only last about two years. In this stage people will do anything to see and spend time together. They will fly across country, spend hours on the phone together…. etc!
I refer to this as the honeymoon stage. There is little effort needed in this stage but once the butterflies leave that’s when the marriage is much more intentional and it takes effort. I didn’t know this when I got married and I didn’t know how to deal with real life issues when things got challenging. I know when my marriage hit the 6-7 year mark things were really hard. I still loved my husband but I needed some skills to help deal with the challenges we were going through!
During this time, we had recently moved away from all of our friends and family due to my husbands job. We had three small children. I was in complete culture shock going from a city of millions to a small town of a couple of thousand.
My husband worked in the restaurant business requiring him to work around the clock. He was hardly ever home and without any support from family or friends I was overwhelmed, to say the least…
I was not prepared for this, I didn’t know how to deal with it being frustrated and feeling abandoned. I remember crying and praying that something would change. I felt like it was inevitable that my marriage was going to end at the seven year mark.
This thought crossed my mind many times because my parents divorced after 7 years and my mom and step dad divorced at the 7 year mark. I knew about the term “7 year itch” and I thought that was going to repeat itself with me.
I convinced myself that if I took a small break and go home to family than I would learn to communicate with my husband.
This was what I thought would work because I didn’t know what to do. I was in the process of packing my bags when I got a knock on the door at 9 a.m. It was the wife of a pastor who drove across town with all her kids to talk to me and Bill because someone in her church had a dream that we needed help.
Her visit to my house changed my plans of me going to stay with family for a while. I had to stick it out and I realized that I was believing a lie that marriages only last for 7 years.
Even in these rough times marriage was never designed to end at the 7 year mark but
It is interesting that the number 7 means completion but this was not the design for the marriage. The marriage was designed as a covenant with God to last till death do you part. It was never designed to be complete at 7 years.
It took me realizing the belief system I believed did not line up with the word of God. It took work and changing my way of thinking from what I had witnessed.
Once I realized that this was a lie, I started believing what God said about marriage and had to reprogram what I had believed.
The truth is marriage wasn’t designed to always make me happy and that was an unrealistic expectation I had. Marriage does have rough spots but these are areas where we can learn to grow from. Looking back now I realized that the seven year mark is really just getting started and I am so thankful I didn’t throw the towel in.
What lies have been spoken over your life?