How To Get Through Hard Seasons in Marriage

You know those “seasons” that people talk about in marriage that are more challenging than others? Well, we are IN one. I’ve come on here not to “air” our dirty laundry, gossip or complain, but instead to share with you the reality we ALL as married couples face, or will face, and shed some light on how we are getting through it.

I remember reading the book, The Meaning Of Marriage, when Kim & I were first dating. Kim comes from a culture that doesn’t really support marriage, and I come from a culture, and family, that celebrates it. We didn’t have the same understanding of marriage and what it all meant, so we both took the challenge to get on the same page and discover what it’s true meaning even was.

In this book, we learned a plethora of things, but one that stood out the most to us was that every couple, no matter how “perfect” for one another they were or how “in love” they are, will go through hard times. The author, Timothy Keller, shared how your spouse’s normal, is inherently not your normal, and eventually, those two realities will cause friction between the two of you.

Pressure reveals the cracks

Perhaps the most impactful piece of wisdom we both took away from that book & that season of dating in our lives is the thought that our challenging circumstances often time reveal the cracks. What do we mean by that? Keller gave the example of a large truck driving over a bridge – when that amount of pressure is put to the structure of the bridge, sometimes, cracks are then exposed. However – the pressure didn’t CAUSE the cracks, they were already there to begin with.

Lately, Kim & I have had some overwhelming circumstances add pressure to our marriage (and ourselves as individuals) that have exposed some cracks in our foundation.

On October 4, we experienced a miscarriage. I was around 12 weeks pregnant when I lost him/her at home. Then, about a week later, our entire family had lice. This was for my first time ever! We were constantly doing laundry & shampoo treatments for days.

During the midst of these weeks, we also had some unfortunate drama with my bonus daughter’s mom that added a lot of stress to our lives. Just when we thought we were getting over the worst of it, around Halloween, Kim & I both discovered that we had Co-Vid. Yep. After surviving a year & a half of the worldwide pandemic Co-vid free, we had been hit. And it hit us hard.

Now, what do we do?

Suddenly, we found ourselves home with two children 24/7, sick & barely able to move, and a business that was slowly but surely getting behind schedule as we struggled just to get out of bed.

Kim & I are both very healthy people. We spend a great deal of time & effort on taking care of our bodies and living an active lifestyle. Thus, in our almost 3 years of marriage, we had never been sick together at the same time. At least, not THIS sick.

While we both needed to rest and recover, we couldn’t. Our children still needed to be cared for, some chores still needed to be done, and we had to somehow keep moving forward. We both had moments of breakdown where we just couldn’t help the other.

For the first time, days went by where we didn’t feel like a team – at all.

It took us about 10 full days to recover from most of our Co-Vid symptoms (although we are both waiting on our full sense of smell & taste to come back), and during that time, there were some major cracks exposed in the both of us and our marriage.

We both exhibited behavior we had never done so before with one another. We both said things & did things that shocked one another. We both, in the end, gave each other grace, but we also knew, something bigger was happening.

All of this pressure from the last month was adding up and we realized, we had some cracks that needed to be healed. We had unspoken hurts that needed to come out. We had some healing, from past relationships, that was still lingering inside. We had established some unhealthy habits in our marriage. Patterns that didn’t serve us or our marriage were exposed.

Time to heal what was exposed.

Now, steadily moving forward into a new month, with Co-Vid gone & some of our biggest struggles behind us, we are actively working on repairing the cracks in our foundation. And let me tell you -it has NOT been easy. Some of the hardest cracks to fix are the ones that have been exposed within ourselves.

Marriage is the most real & raw mirror you’ll ever look into. It causes you to look at yourself in ways you never have, exposes your imperfections & the things you’ve tried to hide, & gives you the opportunity to change the reflection in your mirror.

However, this change must be done carefully and mindfully. What’s fortunate in our marriage, and we believe in other healthy marriages out there, is that when all this is exposed, we have the perfect place to heal it.

Our marriage is not just the two of us – but God is at the center. Therefore, there’s the perfect opportunity for unconditional love to hold us, keep us safe, and walk us down the path of healing.

Some of the things that were exposed to us were old, deep hurts that we didn’t realize were still there. Others, were reminders of where we’d forgotten to keep our foundation strong.

Back To The Basics

Sometimes, during the hard times of marriage, we’ve discovered that it’s best to go back to the basics. It’s not always easy working on life’s most challenging circumstances, while freshly recovering from your wounds.

But since your marriage is for life, and a commitment that is grounded in unconditional love, you can take your time. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself – or your spouse.

We sure aren’t. However, we are going back to the basics…and the perfect place for us to start is with the #3DayMarriageChallenge we created.

It’s a simple 3 Day Challenge, that gives you 5-10 min. tangible lessons that you can apply to your marriage that day, to build stronger intimacy and relight that fire.

I’m happy to share it with you also today below:

And stay tuned to our social media, we will be sharing our own thoughts, mindset shifts & results from our challenge.

Hard times in marriage exist for everyone. But, it’s what you do with the hard times that matters.

Tot ziens,

Cheyanne Cleyman

Published by Kim & Cheyanne Cleyman

Married Belgian-American couple living in Europe helping families connect through fitness across cultures and continents; with a passion for well-being - mind, body, heart and soul.

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