What Hard Times Taught Us about How to Keep a Strong Marriage

What Hard Times Taught Us about How to Keep a Strong Marriage

We’re Margo and Jason Canton. We’ve been married for seventeen years and have three great kids. The last few years has been very rough on us and on our marriage.

My husband’s brother passed away suddenly, my widowed mother came to live with us, my husband lost his job and my business was struggling.  When you go through periods like that, you focus more on how to survive each day than on how to keep a strong marriage. However, we came out of it as better friends and lovers than we were before.

We had a lot of help during this time, but we’d like to share what we learned about how to make your marriage stronger during tough times.

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How To Keep a Strong Marriage When You’re Feeling Weak

Really hard times and tough situations, especially if they’re ongoing (like my aging mom moving in) can really wear you out.

We learned that it’s extremely important to remember that your spouse is feeling overwhelmed and overburdened, too.  Sometimes you can get so exhausted and run down by circumstances that you feel like it’s all you can do to keep yourself going, much less take care of your spouse.

Along the way we found out that by taking a few minutes to ask how the other was doing, and really listening to the answers, we were able to build a strong marriage, a little bit every day.

How To Make Your Marriage Stronger in 5 Minutes a Day

At one point, as I took care of my mom and tried to run my small home business, my husband was going on interviews and searching for a new job. Somewhere in there, we still had three kids to take care of, too.

There were plenty of days that we had just a few minutes together out of an entire day. We learned to make sure that if five minutes was all we got, we got it alone. We also learned to make the most of it to lift each other up. We even made a deal that we would make each other laugh at least once a day, even if that meant a thirty-second tickle fight.

Sometimes you have to stop working so hard at figuring out how to make your marriage stronger and play together instead!

How to Keep a Strong Marriage On No Money

During this time, we were really, seriously strapped. All those marriage books about how to keep a marriage strong by dating and stealing weekends away together were useless to us. However, we did have a standing date to have coffee on our back deck every Sunday night after dinner.

That time was sacred to us and the kids knew that they had to take care of the dishes, each other and everything else for an hour or so.

It might not sound like much, but we’d light a candle or two or start a fire in the fire pit and just hold hands and talk. It was a wonderful way to get ready for another week, together.

Now We Know How to Keep Marriage Strong in Good Times, Too

We’re very grateful that things are easier now. My husband found a great job that allows us to pay for help with Mom, who needs a lot of care. My business is a lot steadier, too.

We know that the things we did to keep a strong marriage in bad times are the same things that will keep us together in good times. We know that what we learned about how to build a strong marriage is just as important now as it was then.

 

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