How to Keep Your Marriage Strong During a Crisis

October 31, 2023
by Trisha Walker

When you said your wedding vows, you committed to loving each other in good times and bad, in sickness and health. But when trials hit, those promises can be put to the test. Major hardships like illness, job loss, financial problems, or communication issues can strain even the strongest marriages.

During difficult times, you may feel pulled between managing the crisis and nurturing your relationship. But keeping your marriage healthy must remain a priority so you can weather the storm together.

Here are tips for protecting and strengthening your union when crisis strikes, even during times of hard marriage:

1. Make Time for Open Communication

Communication problems

Don’t let the stress of the crises you are going through put your communication with your spouse on the back burner. Studies show that one of the main contributing factors to 65% of divorce petitions is poor communication. Set aside at least 10-15 minutes daily to connect emotionally and understand each other’s hearts and needs. Share feelings honestly but gently. Ask open-ended questions to understand what your spouse is thinking and experiencing. Listen without judgment and offer empathy and reassurance.

Tips on marriage like this can help build intimacy in couples and improve communication. Strong communication requires dedication and practice from both partners. By making communication a consistent priority, you can deepen your connection and overcome any marriage issues together.

2. Seek Outside Support When Needed

If marital issues predate the current difficulties, consider marriage counseling to settle them before cracks widen. Build your broader support network by asking family, friends, church members, or professionals for help, prayers and advice when needed. Leaning on your faith community can also provide emotional strength and wisdom.

By working with a licensed therapist, a marriage counselor, a relationship coach, or a pastor, couples can address core issues, manage differences constructively, and strengthen their bond. Seeking professional help takes courage but is well worth it.

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold."
~ Proverbs 3:13-14

3. Reaffirm Your Love and Commitment

Make your partner feel cherished by expressing appreciation for their efforts, sensitivity to their needs, faith in their abilities to contribute to solutions, and unwavering commitment. Verbalize that the crisis has made you value their partnership even more. Counter the negativity of external issues with extra positivity in your relationship.

Look for opportunities, both big and small, to reaffirm your dedication and devotion to one another. Send a supportive text in the middle of the day. Greet them with a hug and kiss when getting home from work. Make their favorite meal on a tough day. Appreciating your partner's strengths and reassuring them of your commitment can make a world of difference in strengthening your bond. During turbulent times, a spirit of gratitude, affirmation and affection goes a long way.

4. Allow Space When Required

When tensions run high, give each other room to calm down before reengaging and saying things you might regret. Humble yourself; spend time praying, exercising, doing hobbies, or hanging out with friends to clear your head and gain a possibly different perspective. Then come back together with renewed patience, motivation and perspective. Agree to table heated discussions until you’re both in a better frame of mind.

Taking a breather can prevent arguments from escalating into something damaging. It demonstrates self-control, maturity and commitment to communicating constructively. Make sure to agree on a time to revisit the discussion once emotions have settled. A short-term time out can lead to more positive long-term relationship outcomes.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."
~ 1 Peter 5:6-7

5. Pray

Dwelling on uncertainties or worst case scenarios will only feed anxiety and arguments. Instead, turn your eyes to the Lord and seek His perspective on the situation.

 “Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].”
~1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)

Learn to release control over the situation by letting go and asking God to take it from you so that He carries the heavy load for you.

Solve problems together one step at a time versus getting overwhelmed by the big picture. Maximize the present—enjoy simple pleasures and quality time together. Appreciating the here and now helps anchor you amidst external chaos.

Every couple faces challenges that test the strength of their marriage. But by leaning on each other’s support, proactively nurturing your connection, and turning to your faith, you can keep your relationship not just intact but thriving. During crises, your priorities may shift, but don’t neglect caring for your marriage. Together you can overcome anything.

Open communication and teamwork are key for couples navigating challenging times. Don’t neglect your relationship - make connecting a daily priority. Seek help to resolve any underlying issues before they escalate. And remember, you’re in this together. With mutual understanding and compassion, you will make it through.

If you want to take your couple communication to the next level, join our Love God Love People community where we will send one newsletter per month offering relationship tips, free resources, and early access to any upcoming retreats, etc.

Trisha and Thomas' 12+ years of experience helping couples deepen their relationship with each other and with God. Let's strengthen our relationships and achieve God's design for an amazing marriage!

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About us

Trisha & Thomas Walker have been married for 27+ years, live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have three children. They are relationship coaches and founding Directors of LGLP Ministries, Inc. (Love God Love People), a 501c3 organization since 2014. They were both certified as Couple Communication™ Coaches in 2010 and then as ThriveSphere™ Relationship Map Facilitators in 2020. The minisry’s vision is to see healed and whole families that impact their communities with the love of God to bring restoration, unity, and transformation

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