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!

Vulnerability Definition:

Vulnerability is the cornerstone of forming authentic connections with others, especially with our partners. It is the willingness to expose our true selves, flaws and all, without the fear of rejection. When we open up about our failures, we demonstrate trust, honesty, and a shared vulnerability that can foster deeper emotional connections within the marriage.

What does vulnerability look like in a Christian marriage?

In the journey of building a strong marital bond despite a fighting relationship, sharing our failures with our partner can be a daunting task. We may fear rejection or judgment, leading us to hide our deepest thoughts and emotions. However, in this blog post, we will explore the importance of vulnerability, what it looks like, how failures can shape us, and how sharing them can contribute to marital success, even in times of hard marriage.

Failure is an inevitable part of life, and it is how we perceive and react to these failures that determine our growth and success. By allowing ourselves to learn from our mistakes, we can evolve and improve our future actions. Embracing failure as a stepping stone toward greatness provides a powerful perspective on personal development. Approaching communication issues in marriage  with humility allows for communication skills to develop.

We recently interviewed Chuck and Linda McCallum on our podcast about how they worked together in their marriage and even grew closer during a time when their children were struggling with addictions. Linda was sharing how failure isn’t a bad thing because it helps us to learn what went wrong, it gives us opportunities to be vulnerable and connect with our spouse about the situation, then provides space for growth both individually and together on ways to do things differently the next time. She said, “God lets us fall and fail in the right places, but He watches over us and He gives us the small failure before we hit the big things.” This only goes to show how failures can indeed strengthen communication in marriage.

“God lets us fall and fail in the right places, but he watches over us and he gives us the small failures before we hit the big things.”
Linda McCallum, wife of Executive Pastor at Infusion Church (Dublin, Ca)

Vulnerability is the cornerstone of forming authentic connections with others, especially with our partners. It is the willingness to expose our true selves, flaws and all, without the fear of rejection. When we open up about our failures, we demonstrate trust, honesty, and a shared vulnerability that can foster deeper emotional connections within the marriage.

In Thomas’s and my relationship, we practice being vulnerable with each other by breaking up conversations into individual topics.  Then, we each have an opportunity to share how we are experiencing that particular topic through the act of being completely self-aware.  We do this by making “I” statements, by not blaming, getting angry, defensive, etc.  We understand that if we are open and vulnerable when sharing, it is the listener's job to be present with the sole objective of gaining understanding into the other person. We have agreed that we will not throw what the other person said back into their face later on.  That would only cause the other person to not feel safe and shut down.

Our willingness to share our failures with our partner is an indication of the level of trust in the relationship. It shows that we have faith in their ability to accept us as we are, flaws and all. When we allow our partner to see our vulnerabilities, we invite them to do the same. When we are authentic in our sharing, it helps create a safe space for emotional intimacy to flourish, and strengthen the marital bond. Openly discussing failures can lead to improved connection in marriage.

Discussing our failures and the lessons learned from them can transform our relationships into a powerful support system. As we share our individual struggles and challenges, we invite our partner to offer support, encouragement, and guidance. This shared experience can cultivate empathy, understanding, and a deeper connection that can weather any storm.

Creating a healthy support system is vital to our emotional, spiritual and physical health.  If our partner isn’t the one we initially feel comfortable sharing with, finding people who we can open up to is an excellent starting point.  Examples are:

  • A relationship coach
  • A pastor 
  • A counselor
  • A support group

Being a part of a Christian small group or having a few solid and sound Christian marriage couples as friends is key to sharing life with the community and not feeling like we are alone.  Then, when we need some encouragement, have questions about relationships or just want to have some fun, we have people we have created a life with, we trust and can begin to be vulnerable with.  This helps to foster deeper and meaningful relationships with our spouse and the community.

People’s identities can be multifaceted, consisting of our successes, failures, the roles we play as a parent, spouse, business owner, employee, friend, etc. True personal growth occurs when we do not allow ourselves to be defined by our failures. Instead our true identity liberates us when we learn from them, inspire others through our successes, and ultimately let our Heavenly Father define who we are by who He says we are.  St. Paul, the Apostle in the New Testament wrote, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba Father!”  Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” (Galatians 4:6-7 NKJV)  Recognizing that we are chosen, loved, and His precious children allows us to approach vulnerability with courage and confidence.

“And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba Father!”  Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
(Galatians 4:6-7 NKJV)

Though opening up about failures can feel intimidating, embracing vulnerability is key for marital success. By learning from mistakes, candidly sharing experiences, and offering mutual support through life's ups and downs, couples build trust, emotional intimacy, and understanding – a firm foundation that endures. Our failures do not define who we are, but the willingness to grow through them shapes us into better partners and individuals. With open and judgment-free communication in relationships, we can discover the transformative power of vulnerability. Let us have the courage to share our imperfections and see how, together, we are made stronger.

Communication challenges don't have to keep harming your marriage. Small changes can make a big difference. Equipping yourselves with just a few simple techniques can help end the fighting and foster understanding. If you're looking for practical, research-backed ways to improve how you communicate as a couple, be sure to check out our free guide. It shares 5 powerful yet easy hacks for improving communication. Don't let destructive arguments continue to damage your relationship - learn how to communicate in a healthier, more productive way and restore peace in your marriage.

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All rights reserved 2023 © Trisha & Thomas, a ministry of LGLP Ministries, Inc.
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