My Marriage Mess

Early in my marriage, my husband and I knew that with each passing day, we were making a bigger and bigger mess of our marriage. We were young, and perhaps naive enough to not know how to change it.

Since we were both Christians who were active in our church and growing in our faith, we were confused about why we were struggling so much. So we decided at some point to seek out a marriage counselor.

Through those counseling sessions, God began to pull back the layers of our marriage, revealing to us, not just the mess we had in our marriage, but also the mess we had in our heads and hearts. We somehow believed that it was our spouse’s fault for the mess we were in!

It wasn’t until we were able to admit our own contribution to the mess of our marriage and humbly surrender that mess to God, that He was finally able to do His redeeming and renewing work in our marriage.

We are still a work in progress. But I have to say, God has brought us so far from those dark and messy early days. Now our marriage perspective is not based upon what we can get from each other or who’s at fault for the latest mess.

We’ve learned how to forgive one another and accept one another as the broken, sinful partners we are. And we’ve learned to surrender our messes daily to the only One who can enable us to love each other as He loves us … with a Big, God-Sized Love!

My Background 

I have a Masters’s Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling and have counseled women and married couples for over 14 years. I’m also actively involved in leading the women’s recovery groups in our church, where my husband is Pastor of Care and Recovery.

My Family

My husband, Gary and I have been married for 33 years and counting! We have three handsome sons, Jordan, Graham and Braden, as well as, our newest family member, Sarah, Jordan’s new wife and our “daughter-in-love!” I just love living this messy life with all of them and especially with the One who redeems all of our many messes—Christ!

This Blog and Ministry

I began to post here on October 10th, 2010. So messymarriage.com is now twelve years old! Back in February of 2000, I began to blog at another spot online. So, all told, I’ve been blogging for 13 years now! Whew! Who’d of thunk it?

Though this blogging journey has had many more ups than downs, it has also tested me to my limits. It’s very time-consuming and costly (financially). I’m not complaining! I just want you to know how much of a labor of love my ministry here is. That means I love you more than if everything came easy. The same holds true for my husband and marriage! ha!

Well, thanks so much for visiting, my friend! And I hope you keep coming back around!


 

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12 responses to “Beth’s Story”

  1. Hi Beth, Joe Pote sent me over to meet you! 🙂
    So much I can relate to here…hubby and I have been married 29 years, and we definitely had a messy time of it for far too long. We also sought marriage counseling, in addition to individual counseling, and learned to take responsibility for our own parts of the problem. Not an easy thing to do!!
    Love your honesty and straightforward attitude!
    Keep it up!

    Like

  2. This is beautiful and so similar to my story. My husband and I have been married just two years, but recently spent about 6 wonderfully healing and helpful months in counseling. I am excited to read through your posts and learn more about the messy and real parts of marriage in this space!

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  3. Good Morning Mrs. Steffaniak and Mrs. Quails,

    I have been married for 14 years and I am at the end of my rope with my marriage. I try to stay positive and try to continue to keep the faith that our marriage will stand the test of time. It’s getting harder everyday. We are both broken in this marriage. It is easily said that’s done to forgive and forget but I know that I am holding on to a lot and I think I have let go of the hurts but they seem to resurface. We have 2 handsome boys and A beautiful daughter. How do a person keep continuing to live in a broken marriage when I feel like my husband has a lot to do with why I changed so much towards him. I see success stories all the time when I’m reading about testimonies related to marriage. I don’t think that my marriage will survive much longer.

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    • Ursula-I am so sorry I missed your post. I hope things have gotten better. Marriage is tough. I have felt like I was at the end of my rope many times, so I understand how you feel. I’d love to chat more with you. Please leave a message on my blog http://www.sheilaqualls.com I can recommend resources that helped me us. It is worth sticking it our in the long run. Blessings.

      Like

  4. To: Mr. John Wilder

    Hi, I just visited this site and I would like to read your book. I am now remarried as I was a widow of a pastor (pastor”s wife for 33 years). How can I acquire your kindle book?

    Like

    • Sorry I did not see this until now. It is on Amazon as a Kindle book. If you have Amazon Prime you can even download it for free. I am proud to say that it is an award-winning book taking first place in my category of marriage on the International Book Excellence Awards Contest. It is also on the AASECT website on their recommended reading list. (American Assn of Sexual Educators Counselors and Therapists)

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  5. Hello Beth,
    After 13 years of marriage we found out that my husband had a son. This was devastating to me and our marriage, but we made it through. Our desire was to build a relationship with him and our 2 kids. His mother did not want me in the picture at all. My husband didn’t want to have a relationship without us. It’s been 6 years now and there is no relationship. He reached out to his son and got nothing. It’s apparent to me that because of this my husband has no desire to have a relationship with his son. I know this partly because of the hurt and pain this discovery caused our family. Also, his son’s mother took us through a lot of turmoil during that time. We have come a long way since all of this happened. We will be celebrating 19 years of marriage this month and that ordeal grew my faith by leaps and bounds. My husband wants to protect me but at the cost of his son and that’s not right. How do I approach this situation?

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  6. Hi Beth,
    Hopefully you remember Mike and I from the early days of Shepherd Fellowship. Knew you wanted to be a writer and your blog certainly cements you as one.
    Marriage is tough; no doubt about it. Amazing how it develops so many different levels over the years (almost 47 in our case). Hard to fathom how we begin with physical attraction during the honeymoon stage, early marriage, raising children, empty nest syndrome and all the way to our golden years. If we are blessed to have God in our marriage half the battle is over, but I believe God gives us the tools to have a healthy and lasting plan to live in His Word. My mother told me on my wedding day that if both partners give 75% and expect 25% you should probably establish a healthy marriage, and prayer is a necessity to keep us grounded. Another surprising idea of hers was not to always put your children first. Your children will leave the home and begin to establish their own families and two strangers will be left behind. Too many couples no longer can communicate with each other and have forgotten why they married in the first place.
    I truly feel I have been so blessed with my marriage, and surprisingly my husband feels the same. Those of us that find ourselves in a God centered marriage must thank Him daily

    Like

    • Hey Lynne, I do remember you and Mike! It’s been a few years, hasn’t it?! Lol!

      And you are right about all that you’ve shared and all that your mom tried to pass along to you. Funny how our parent’s advice makes so much more sense to us when we get to be their ages than when they said those things to us! School of hard knocks at work again! 😉

      I’m so glad to hear that you and MIke feel blessed with your marriage. It’s increasingly rare that I hear that these days! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!

      Like

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