Do you ever feel like nobody gets you?
There were times over the past year where I would look around my church and just shake my head, because no one was talking about trouble in marriage. I felt very alone. It appeared (on the surface) that everyone had a stable marriage. Except me.
During those chaotic months I sometimes felt dysfunctional and misunderstood. Over time I discovered that I’m not the only woman who has felt like a loser because I couldn’t seem to get it together.
Some people look at us in troubled partnerships and wonder what could possibly be so hard about being married. They get along pretty well with their spouse; loving and serving each other comes rather naturally. Not only can these picture-perfect couples leave us wondering what’s wrong with us, but we often walk away feeling pretty lonely.
I’ve had sweet, well-meaning people try to give me marriage advice. And while I knew they were just trying to help, it was hard not to take offense. Because their simple solution would have in no way fixed my problem. There were issues so dark and so deep that a communication formula or personality test could not possibly bring about unity and healing.
They may mean well, but they don’t really get it.
While it stung when people gave me blank stares or tried to offer words of wisdom I never asked for, I had to keep reminding myself that it’s not their fault they don’t understand. If they have never experienced the kind of wounds I experienced, then they’re unable to relate. And why would I want them to endure the horrific pain I was going through just so I could feel understood?
Some people will never understand what we’re going through. And we gotta cut them some slack. It’s okay if they never do.
Nor should we expect them to. Because the Bible says we all stumble in many ways (James 3:2), and we all face the Refiner’s Fire, one way or another. They have challenges in other areas of their life, challenges that may be no big deal for us. They have their own struggles and issues, things that we may not understand about them.
We are not terrible people because we can’t seem to find the end of the dark tunnel. We must not be ashamed that our marriage is hard. No sanctification journey is more prestigious than another – we’re all headed to the same place in the end.
Everyone is broken in some way. Some marriages are harder than others because we have more wounds from our past that need to be healed, more baggage to sort through. Some of us learn faster than others, and manage to overcome the issues that cause detriment to marriage sooner. God may have a purpose for us that requires a strong marriage for a firm foundation, such as those invovled in Hollywood or politics.
And some people have figured out a way to hide our issues so they don’t affect the marriage much, but make no mistake, sooner or later that junk finds a way out. Perhaps you will be the one to understand them when things start to get tough.