I’m excited to have as my guest this week blogger Liz Giertz, who is sharing personal insights on how to navigate a season of transition in marriage. She knows quite a bit about this as a military wife! You’ll find her bio and a link to her blog below. Please make her feel welcome by commenting, pinning, as well as sharing to all your favorite places. Thanks so much!
As an Army wife, my marriage has weathered several seasons of transition.
- 8 moves (2 of which were international)
- 4 deployments (one we did together and 3 more on his own)
- 1 shift from working wife to stay-at-home mom for me
- 2 promotions for him
- The birth of our two beautiful boys
- Miscarriage of our third child, and …
- The death of my father, just to name a few
Right now we are gearing up for the next big change on the horizon—my husband’s retirement from the military. Some day, God willing, we’ll be empty nesters.
Chances are your marriage is either entering a season of transition, in the eye of the storm, or cleaning up in the aftermath of one. After all, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus from Ephesus said, “Change is the only constant in life.”
As a Christian, however, I know God is constant, never changing, all knowing. He has been who He is today from the beginning of time and will be the same for all eternity.
Yet, everything we face in life changes us. Some circumstances in small ways. Other events change us on a magnitude we may not even comprehend this side of heaven. Sometimes we don’t even notice the changes because they are so gradual, while others are abrupt and instantaneous. Some you see coming miles down the road and others blindside us.
[bctt tweet=”If we allow Him, God can use these seasons of transition to transform us and our marriages into the masterpieces He created them to be. But we have to be intentional. #fromtransitiontotransform” username=””]
We have to look for opportunities to triumph in trying times. We have to recognize Satan’s assault on our marriages and slam the door in his face.
So, today I want to share with you …
3 lessons I’ve learned about weathering seasons of transition in my marriage.
1. Communicate Effectively
Communication affects every area of marriage. But just saying something doesn’t mean you’ve communicated.
Communicating effectively means your message was heard and understood.
Much like the importance of knowing our love languages, communicating in a way that facilitates understanding for our spouses is vital to the health of our marriages. And during seasons of transition, which are often high in stress and emotion, the danger of miscommunication is high.
The sound of my voice often sends my husband a very different message than the one I’m attempting to communicate. So, when something is particularly important, I’ve learned to write it down for him. This way he can process the information objectively without the subjective interference of my tone of voice.
There may be certain times of the day, rooms of the house, or physical conditions that make you or your husband more or less likely to receive and understand information. Take the time to find out how to communicate most effectively with your spouse before you enter a season of transition.
2. Manage Expectations
If we don’t talk about what we want, we’re not likely to get it. When I left the Army, the single most important conversation I think my husband and I had started with this question, “What do you expect from me now as a stay-at-home mom?” (Don’t take that to mean I had a clue what I was doing back then… I just got lucky!)
The truth is neither of us really knew what to expect as we faced that transition. Because, like most changes, it was something we had never experienced before. But that didn’t stop us from having expectations about the way we thought things would go. 😉
An expectation is just a wish unless we share it with someone who has a hand in making it happen.
[bctt tweet=”An expectation is just a wish unless we share it with someone who has a hand in making it happen. Find out Liz Giertz’ other tips for tackling transitions in marriage.” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
One of the most difficult transitions I’ve experienced and witnessed is reintegrating a Soldier back into family life following a deployment and I’ve seen far too many failures to manage expectations cause deep marital wounds. The wife wants to be swept off her feet when his boots hit American soil. The husband just wants a hot shower and a nap, maybe not even in that order.
So, be brave and ask the question. Start the conversation about expectations.
If you’re willing to consider his, he is much more likely to consider yours and together you can certainly find some common ground.
3. Remember the Commitment
None of us really knew what we were getting into when we said, “I do.” I’m not the same woman I was the day I walked down the aisle. And I’m not just talking about the tag inside my jeans. My guess is you’ve changed, too. We all do. But we have to understand the covenantal nature of marriage.
When we remain committed to each other and God we have the foundation we need to weather seasons of change and times of tumult. God intends marriage to be, “til death do us part.” Our marriages were meant to outlast the changes we face in this life.
Not only that, but we are meant to be helpers to each other through those seasons. God gave us this one person in life to be our partner, to walk beside us, to strengthen and guide us, to hold us close.
And before we ever met our spouses, God modeled that relationship in His Son’s commitment unto death for His people, the church, the bride of Christ.
One of the things that helps me remember the commitment I made is to think back to the beginning. The memories of why we fell in love and got married in the first place, give me the strength to keep fighting for my marriage, no matter what seasons of transition it faces.
[bctt tweet=”When we face seasons of transition in our marriages, and we will face them, we can weather them well by communicating effectively, managing expectations, and remembering our commitments to our mates. #lessonslearnedinmarriage” username=””]
Liz Giertz is an Army Veteran turned Army wife and mom to two boisterous boys who call the hills of West Virginia home for now. She is passionate about encouraging women to overcome MESSES and embrace their MEMORIES as they become the MASTERPIECES God created them to be. You can connect with her on her blog, My Messy Desk, as well as on Facebook or Twitter.
She has published two great resources for marriage:
When Marriage Gets Messy: Overcoming 10 Common Messes Married Couples Make, is an 11-week workbook for wives who want to model their marriage after the Master’s plan.
Marriage Maintenance: Tune Up After Time Apart For Him and For Her are companion workbooks that help military couples reconnect after a deployment.
Which of these three practices have you found most helpful in transition times of marriage?
How can you relate to Liz’ story today?
If you’re interested in a place where you can openly and anonymously share your messy marriage story, then head to a brand new site called marriage-irl (in real life). I’ll be a future contributor there, so I’m hoping to support them as best I can! Besides, we all need a place to be heard, even if no one knows who “we” are!
I’m excited to be a part of Kelly R. Baker’s effort to arm you with “15 Ways to Strengthen Your Faith While Walking with God.” I’m one of a total of 15 Christian bloggers who want to provide inspirational resources that will encourage you in your faith walk, and I get the distinct privilege of speaking into how to walk with God in marriage! How cool is that?!
Also, click the link to read other posts in the Lessons Learned in Marriage series. The graphic below reveals all of the other bloggers who are participating. Next week, Ngina Otiende will be sharing, “4 Reasons to Make Love Even When Angry At Your Husband.” Now, who doesn’t want to hear more about that?! Hope to see you then!
Here are some lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me Monday, Literary Musing Mondays, Tea and Word Tuesday, Purposeful Faith, Tell His Story, Recharge Wednesday, Porch Stories Linkup, Break Through Homeschooling Linkup, Coffee for Your Heart, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Encouraging Word Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Destination Inspiration, Grace Moments Linkup, Imparting Grace, Tune in Thursday, Heart Encouragement, Moments of Hope, Grace and Truth, Faith and Friends, Blogger Voices Network, Faith on Fire Friday, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday
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