Sitting at a table during Sunday School in our second year of marriage, my husband watched the teacher list twelve types of changes causing stress in a marriage. The only thing a person can count on in life besides paying taxes and dying is change. It’s around us constantly yet we never seem to embrace it.
These stressful changes included: pregnancies, miscarriages, divorce, cancer diagnosis, job loss, new employment, moving, loss of a loved one, blended families and three others I can no longer recall. Guess what this can lead to? Arguments, and sickness. This serious lesson brought a chuckle out of both of us. Out of twelve, we experienced nine in our first year of marriage. “Hey, Honey, we passed the stress test. Our marriage is going to make it,” I whispered.
After twenty-one years, I contribute my ability to cope with forced practice living in continual change from my deteriorating eyesight. Although, my faith in God is an even larger factor. Well, maybe the fact I live with a man who believes strongly in living peaceable among all men, and evidently, women plays a role also.
How do we cope with change? It isn’t easy some of the time. Education level and personality add into the mix. The bottom line, though, is we need to accept it as part of life for starters. Even good change affects our bodies the same way as negative change. Try to focus on the part you can control or the part you like. For example, even though 80% of couples divorce when building a house together, we have done it twice.
We didn’t always agree on the amount of money being spent or how to pack our belongings. To survive, I focused on the parts I enjoyed. I loved planning the layout and hearing excitement in his voice. When getting upset, I would think about the special features he did just to please me, and the extra effort he went to placing objects on the floor or table for me to “see” what the house was going to look like. Thinking about the special times allowed me to give grace and appreciation during those hard-to-handle times.