The Rest of Our Story

This last week as we visited our daughter and her family, I watched my husband playing ball with the grandkids. A simple game, him throwing the ball out in the yard and they’d retrieve it and throw it back. There were wild screeches of delight every time the ball landed in the kiddie pool as the kids announced another “wet ball.” Such a simple game, yet such fun was had.

It reminded me of times Alan would play with our own children. He has a way of making anything fun. I am really thankful for this quality in him and it made me so happy to see it again impacting another generation.

There have been other instances too when I think about how glad I am that we stayed committed in our marriage and worked out the problems so that we could still be together to enjoy moments like that ball game. We had some really hard things to work through, and it took years. There were many times that I thought maybe it would just be easier to split up. I wondered if it would ever get better. I know Alan had those thoughts too. But we got through it with the grace of God.

And now we are living “the rest of our story” together. Moments like the ball game become poignant because they could have been lost to us. If we’d split up I wouldn’t have witnessed that scene. So the hard times we went through seem so worth it to have the rich relationship we have now.

Of course, life isn’t perfect. There are stresses. But this is the part of our story when we experience calm in the storm together. We feel the support of the other even during a disagreement. And we come to understanding more easily.

My hope for you is that you too will persist in love and forgiveness so that you can joyfully live the rest of your story together.

 

Money Talks and So Should You

It’s often said that money is the number one  cause of stress in a marriage. It is not true. Money, in and of itself, does not cause any stress. Whether you have a little or  abundance, stress is caused by what you do with the money you have.

Many people think if they had more money they’d have less stress. More money can get you more things, but also more stress. Lack of money may tempt some to go into debt to get more stuff because of a false belief that more things will make them happier. And everyone knows that  too much debt is super stressful.

Dealing with all the issues revolving around money will never go away, whether you are young and newly married or older and ready to retire. How you deal with money in your relationship is extremely important. Failing to navigate this area in your daily lives means your relationship will be plagued by tension and strife. Better to deal with it sooner rather than later.

So what’s true about your relationship?

– Do you find yourselves fighting about money issues on a regular basis?
Are you worried about bills and debt?
Are you worried about providing for your children?
– Are your worried about your future and retirement?
– On some money issues are you in a cold war with your spouse?
– Are you diametrically opposed on some spending decisions?
– Is one spouse feeling angry or betrayed because the other won?
– Do you feel that money is a wedge between you and your spouse?

If you answered yes to some or all of the questions above, the issues around money are clearly causing stress in your marriage. And unlike the common cold, it will never get better over time if just left alone. You need to have a game plan for success, a strategy, so the money issues no longer plague you.

Similar to an overweight person, ignoring their condition will change nothing. It takes a conscious effort to adopt a healthy lifestyle of good eating and exercise. He must face the challenge of personal growth and practice the necessary changes. To complete the analogy, those of us who have accumulated excess debt and can’t pay our bills are financially obese!

It is time to decide we must exercise our will and limit our spending.

Personal growth is painful and by definition requires change but the rewards far outweigh the cost. Envision your relationship virtually free from the stresses and worries about money and you’ll feel like a miracle happened.

If you and your spouse have stress in this area, I hope you stay tuned for future blogs, when I will go over some basic principles about money and spending.

Maybe there will be a miracle in your future!