Marriage seasons – we all go through them.
When my husband and I moved to the United States, one of the things we had to adjust to immediately was the weather.
We arrived in the heat of summer – with temperatures soaring above 100F on some days.
But before long, the long sunny days were gone and we began to brace for our first east coast winter…
Life in Marriage-ville
Getting married is a lot like moving to a new continent. In fact I’d say it’s a lot like moving to a new planet!
There’s a lot of excitement and joy in the new season but there’s also adjustments and changes.
The thing about adjusting to life in Marriage-ville is that you are no longer alone.
You are not in Singles-ville anymore, where all you had to think about was yourself.
Now you have another person – and institution – to think about even as you find your own way around the new location.
So how can you help, support and encourage your husband through the new and different marriage seasons?
1. Fall in love with prayer
God desires that you thrive and flourish through all seasons of marriage.
But His desire will not become a reality to you unless you learn to connect with Him through prayer and relationship.
Prayer often changes you first before it changes your circumstances.
It’s your weapon against fear and worry and everything that will try to steal your heart and mind.
As you spend time with God, He forms and changes you to become what He wants you to be for your marriage and husband.
Not on your feet.
Or your husband’s face.
This revelation will carry you through every season of marriage and make you a precious gift and blessing to your husband.
2. Understand he processes things differently
As women we tend to process things aloud; talking helps us feel connected and understood and secure.
Unfortunately, we expect our husbands to process life the same way.
And we get upset and afraid when he can’t open up and tell us everything in his mind and heart.
Here’s something I’ve learned over the few years – my husband does indeed have feelings and emotions (and so does yours!), but unlike me he can’t always tell right off the bat what he’s feeling.
It takes a while to figure out the feelings (if he can), find a fix for the “why” behind the feelings – before he gets comfortable talking about it…if at all.
Of course he keeps working at it..but he will never be a woman!
Sometimes the best gift you will give your husband, one of the best ways you’ll love him is through understanding that he is a man.Sometimes the best gift you will give your husband, one of the best ways you'll love him is through understanding that he is a man.
3. Get over yourself and remove some expectations
If we’ll be very honest, many of us came into marriage with ourselves on our minds.
It wasn’t a conscious thought of course but as we stood on the altar and took our vows, we were thinking about our happiness, our comfort, our security, our needs, our hopes, our dreams, even a small honey-do list.
It takes just one blazing summer (an argument, a fight) or a dark bleary winter (a job loss, sickness) to reveal our deep-seated selfishness.
My husband lost his job a few months after our wedding and for the longest time I couldn’t understand the depths of his crisis because my newlywed expectations were out of control.
It’s impossible to love your husband through every season if you have yourself on your mind all the time.
You have to let go of your “rights” and privileges and expectations in order to minister love.
When you understand that marriage is not a 50-50 partnership, but a 101-101 union where everyone gives lavishly and extravagantly, you can drop expectations and go that extra mile.
(I have written about expectations in marriage here)
4. Take care of yourself
It’s one thing to cleave and knit with your husband, quite another to burden him with the responsibility of making you happy.
I find that when I am not taking proper care of myself, I’ll try to put that responsibility on my husband.
I’ll be needier, more clingy and nagging. But when I get enough rest and take better care of myself, I am more refreshed and I am able to give my marriage what it needs.
In the newness and sometimes strangeness of marriage-ville, you must find new ways to refuel and refresh.
You can’t talk to all your single girlfriends (even married ones) about everything that’s going on, you can’t talk to your mother, you can’t “air out” things with other people. (but see # 5)
So grow up, dig deep, go the extra mile for you. Sometimes we think that what we need will fall right into our lap right about the time we need it.
But girlfriend rest is not one of those!
So cultivate an interest, read a book, go for a walk, exercise, meet a girlfriend for tea or coffee.
You’ll love your husband better when you take better care of yourself.
5. Work through different marriage seasons through asking for help
Sometimes a wintry season can get so dark and bleary and you’ll need an extra pair of hands to keep the snow from burying both of you alive.
One of the ways you can love your husband and help your marriage is through asking for help when you need it.
Sometimes you don’t even need to go in for counseling; maybe he’s just burdened, encourage him to spend time with a guy friend.
There’s always help in time of need but you must first get out of your comfort zone and overcome fear and pride. See 9 Things Newlywed Couples Need to Know About Mentoring
Question – How else can we support and encourage our spouses, especially in the early years of marriage?
Are you vexed because your husband won’t change? Wondering how to positively influence his life? My book Blues to Bliss might help. I wrote it with the newlywed wife in mind. If you are imperfect girl married to an imperfect guy, this book is for you. Learn about the book, and find the purchase links – Click here