Purposefully pursuing your spouse during a hard season of life is incredibly important for a healthy marriage. We talk about first fights and how to settle arguments and submit joyfully to our husbands but what do you do when you find out you’ve lost a little one? How do you draw closer to your spouse when you discover your child has developmental issues or that your parent has a terminal illness? How do you cultivate your friendship when bills are sky high and the stress of unemployment fills the room? How can your marriage bloom when your season of life is too full or crazy for romance?
We have been wading through our own personal chaos over the last 9 months. My pregnancy has been an answer to prayer (we waited for two years for our little Uriah!) but the months have been unprecedentedly full of unknowns, stress, and chaos. From a misdiagnosed miscarriage to 135+ days in the hospital, Dalton and I have experienced a full range of craziness I never imagined we’d experience in our first two years of marriage.
And there have been bad days. Stinky days when I let fear overwhelm me and mommy-guilt weigh me down.
Yet, in the midst of chaos, doctor visits, bed rest, surgeries, choking episodes, and daily hospital stays, our marriage is more fun, more enjoyable, and more loving than it has ever been.
Below are 5 ways we have pursued each other when life felt too full for romance; it isn’t easy but purposefully pursuing your spouse pays off.
- Make it a Date
It doesn’t matter what “it” is. Maybe it’s your hospital cafeteria lunch or your 120th day in the Ronald McDonald House. Maybe your home is full of laundry piles and dirty dishes and dinner looks like Chinese take-out. Maybe your too poor for take-out so it’s Romain Noodles for dinner and Netflix.
Whatever it is … make it a date. Even though Dalton and I are living 2 hours away from home we try to have one date a week. Sometimes that looks like buying Korean from the food truck across the hospital. One time, Dalton warmed leftovers and pulled up a fire place scene on my iPhone for a little spice. 😉 Whatever it is, make it special. Pursue your spouse by pursuing time together.
- Laugh Together
Laughter is the best medicine for a stressed soul. I know there are days when laughing healed my hurting, tired heart. Dear friend, let yourself laugh. Laugh at your baby smiling for the first time. Laugh at your husband who is doing his best to tickle your funny bone. Laugh at yourself and how ridiculous you must look worrying all the time. Laugh at the climbing laundry piles … it’s okay to laugh even when life’s season is unbelievably hard.
For Dalton and I, we laugh together by watching our favorite Netflix shows and quoting Office lines over long-distance phone calls or down the hospital halls.
- Pursue Touch
Pursue your spouse by pursuing touch. It is SO easy to forget to be kind when life is exhausting but touch can be as simple as a big hug, shoulder rub, or hand hold (or bottom pat). 😉 The beautiful thing about marriage is that you don’t have to go through life’s hard days alone. I can’t tell you how special it has been to have Dalton nearby for when I needed a hug; having a baby in the NICU is stressful and sometimes the only thing that eased that stress was snuggling up to my man and resting in his arms.
- Verbally Appreciate
Personally, there is nothing more comforting and encouraging to me when Dalton verbally tells me how good of a job he thinks I’m doing as wife and mother. I eat up his loving words.
When you find yourself in a hectic season of life take a moment to verbally praise and appreciate your spouse. Thank your husband for coming home every night. Appreciate your wife’s sitting at the hospital bed day after day. Praise your spouse for their good attitude even through hard moments.
Words can give life and courage on days when everything feels wrong.
Finally, remember to purposefully pray for your spouse when life is hectic and exhausting. You can take special time for your spouse, laugh together, touch him, and praise her but praying for your spouse is the most important thing you can do to stay connected.
Ask your Heavenly Father to bless your spouse. Pray for her peace. Plead for his protection. And entrust your special person to your loving Father’s care. He cares more about your marriage than you could ever so ask for His guidance, will, and way in your marriage.
And enjoy the benefits you receive from purposefully pursuing your mate. They’re is nothing more rewarding than to grow closer together during a season of life that wants to rip you a part.
What are some practical ways you have pursued your spouse during a season of illness or struggle? Share your ideas in a comment below — I love hearing from you!
Join me on Instagram as I share daily pictures of Dalton and I putting my words into action over the next week. 🙂 Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and I want to be practicing ways to purposefully pursue my husband … even if we’ll be celebrating the holiday in the hospital!
Love, blessings, and coffee,