Blog by Gaye Techanchuk
This blog is based on a message from Wave Sisters. Three women at different points of their marriage were interviewed – one is a newlywed, another married for 20 years and the last was a military wife married 30 years. All 3 ladies were so honest, vulnerable, and wise.
QUESTION: You and your husband have been through some pretty major events and life changes. From moving cross country multiple times, job and career changes, you had a house fire, you have a son in a wheelchair with medical challenges, all of which bring immense stress to any marriage and many actually don’t make it through the other side. How have the 2 of you stayed on course and made it through such times of stress and tension?
Answer: Every couple have their difficulties and challenges. It is called LIFE, and it is why Jesus told His disciples in John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We have trusted God at every step – trusted in His goodness. We have trusted that He was with us through every moment. We have felt His peace wrap around us during uncertainty and known His goodness.
I am aware and grateful to God that He gave me my husband to navigate and come alongside me through everything. Often as women, we want to just get things done the way we think it needs to be done. As women, we plan and try to figure things out, it can be tempting to not listen to our husbands. I have found that sometimes I can be quick to shoot down his ideas because they differ from the direction I was wanting to go. I have had to teach myself to stop being so quick to dismiss my husband’s approach to life and consider his thoughts (I think many of us women would say amen to that). Our ability to talk, reason together, and pray has given us a strength to navigate tremendous difficulties. I am so thankful that God has given me a partner to do life with.
Another verse that I have held very close to my heart while walking through difficult times is Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” I believe there is no circumstance that God cannot bring His goodness to even in the middle of Spina Bifida, seizure disorder, house fire, cross country moves, career changes-all of those are just things. And I know that in ALL THINGS GOD WILL WORK FOR GOOD FOR ME BECAUSE I LOVE HIM AND I KNOW THAT I AM CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE. I can remember saying, “Ok God, here’s my thing, let’s see what you’ve got planned”. He has NEVER let me down.
QUESTION: How do you stay intimate and close to your spouse in the midst of the busyness of life?
Answer: We are a team, each other’s advocate. I would say that by choosing to navigate life together, the things of life bring us closer together. CHOOSING is the key word. We strategically navigate life together. We set times to meet and pray with each other and our family, we put it on the calendar. We have CHOSEN to communicate, which means we are responsible to tell each other what we are thinking and listen to each other.
It is important to remember intimacy and communication go together. I need to be open and free in communicating with my husband about our sexual relationship. There cannot be any area where I am afraid to talk to him. Sexually, he is wired differently than I am. There is no possible way I can know his needs if he doesn’t communicate with me. Sex is an area where the enemy loves to separate us, but God’s design is for it to unify us. Don’t give any space for shame to enter your marriage.
As we’ve navigated life together, we’ve grown closer. Not just in good moments, but in the hard moments as well. This is an intimacy that the world cannot match. We need each other and we are so much stronger together.
The next lady has been married for 30 years and her husband has been in the Military for 29 of those years.
QUESTION: So how have you stayed the path in your marriage when you spend months apart?
Answer: I had to learn to watch my communication with him, not enough and not too much, while he is deployed. We emailed as often as possible and I chose to leave out stuff that I knew would upset him -things he couldn’t do anything about. You need to surround yourself with those that are married and can be a positive influence for you and will help you stay the course with your marriage. I jumped right into church life and joined a connect group, took up volunteer opportunities, and got involved as much as I could.
We’ve discovered that 2 weeks before he leaves for deployment is hard because we’d push each other away with petty arguments. 2 weeks after he left I spent adjusting to handling most things by myself and planning for the long haul. Then it took 2 weeks after he got home to adjust and establish guidelines with finances, kids, and everything else.
QUESTION: How has your marriage evolved over the years when you had the role of mom and dad, moving the whole family to Japan for a number of years?
Answer: I had researched as much as I could before we arrived in Japan. The 1st week we rode out a typhoon. I enrolled us in indoctrination and Japanese culture classes. One of the first things I looked for was a church. I had to put my big girl pants on and tell myself I could do this! I looked for a chapel and ladies meetings. My husband was gone 300 days of each year we were there. The church meetings became where I got my input. The church has been such an amazing source of strength and support for me and my girls.
Question: So what was it like to have a baby later in life? And what impact did that have on your marriage?
Answer: I was 39 when we found out I was pregnant again, our girls were 9 & 12. Once we got over the shock, we said “okay, let’s do this”. . . We never really felt like it changed our marriage, because we faced it like any other challenge, we are in this together, just an adjustment to a new normal in our lives. Faith adds so much life to our family—we would not want to have it any other way.
Finally, we asked our newly wed lady questions about their family backgrounds.
Question: So with both sets of your parents being divorced, what kind of things do you feel you will do differently than both sets of your parents’ marriages to ensure longevity?
Answer: My dad left for another woman when I was a teenager & my mom was left with no choice of repairing her marriage. She abandoned her faith and turned to other things to cope. I followed the same path for a while. I did not think I would be able to trust a man. It was all very detrimental to me as I was entering adulthood. So I am here today healed and I’ve entered marriage with God as the center and we both serve in Church together. We have surrounded ourselves with stellar examples of healthy, happy, and God-centered marriages.
Question: So with just a few months of marriage under your belt, where have you made some of your biggest adjustments?
Answer: The biggest adjustment I have made is relinquishing control. I am a control freak on the road to recovery!!!! I have really had to learn how to let someone else do life with me and not do it on my own. Ephesians 5 says that God designed the men in marriage to be the head. God designed marriage for 2 to become 1. Not always easy!
Question: Now you were single for a number of years before you met your husband, but not just single, you actually did not date at all. What kinds of choices did you make to stay on the right path of being single?
Answer: I was single for 6 years before getting married – that was by choice. I wanted God to heal me in places where I really needed healing. I had been in some pretty awful relationships when I was away from God – emotional and sexual abuse. I needed time to be in relationship with Jesus before anything else. I knew God had me in the palm of His hand with the perfect man in mind for my future. My husband had been in my life as a friend for years. Then I finally saw him as the man for me, not just a friend. I had been on a journey of learning what love was all about, before God opened my eyes to the possibility of him as my husband.
Some important points that all of our women shared were:
– they are madly in love with their husbands
– they have all experienced problems and none of them have a plan B
– they are staying together no matter what storms life throws at them