1. Such a great post! I think it’s so important that new brides know this and know that it is normal. Also, great tips that in order to keep the sparks alive/revive the sparks, you need to do the things that made the sparks happen in the first place.

  2. So what if you did all the wrong things – the complacency, miscommunications, lack of respect, self centeredness? I just moved out but no official separation has been even talked about. I want to do the work to get back together- I know it wont be quick or easy to do.

    I have no idea where to start 🙁

    1. 🙁
      My heart hurts for you, Kristal!
      I’d ask him if he’d like to go to dinner with you or grab a cup of coffee. If you guys struggle with keeping your emotions in check, perhaps a public place would be to your benefit to start to reconcile?

      I’d let him know you made mistakes (kinda like what you shared here.) You’re being humble which may cause him to be humble and admit some of his mistakes. Ask for his forgiveness. By the way, your flesh will hate showing humility. In fact, it will be screaming that “he is wrong”. Know that this is a natural reaction, but fight this emotion. The goal isn’t determining who’s right or wrong, the goal is to restore the marriage. Some books you can check out are on my pinterest board. Here’s a link to it. http://joleneengle.com/my-favorite-books-on-growing-into-a-godly-wife/
      Ask God to soften your heart and your husband’s as well.

    2. Kristal,
      I just prayed for you.
      I 2nd Mrs. Engle’s advice. I would not give up, but rather be as humble as I could and share my heart with him. I would focus on what *you* can do to make the marriage work, and lift your desires to God and allow Him to transform your marriage. Focus on you, and don’t point out what he’s done (Let God handle his heart.) A verse is screaming at me, so I must share it with you.
      Take delight in the Lord,
      and he will give you the desires of your heart.
      Psalms 37:4
      I’m praying for you, don’t give up! If you give up, Satan wins!

    3. I’m so sorry, Kristal. My husband and I have been married for 9 years now, and throughout years 5-7, we realized we had made all those mistakes, too! By God’s grace and with help from our pastor, we reclaimed our marriage for Christ and our relationship is much stronger now then it ever was before. There is always hope for those willing to humble and sacrifice themselves. I 3rd Mrs. Engle’s advice. If you are like me, you’ll need to guard yourself from getting wrapped up in the details instead of focusing on the goal. Making a list of the things I needed to say/talk about (apologies, questions, concerns) that was focused on bringing my husband and I back into fellowship was really helpful. If there is someone you trust, a godly friend to both you and your husband, them acting a mediator might be helpful, too. I can’t count the hours pastor spent with us, a guiding us away from rabbit trails and keeping our conversation Christ centered.

      Hang in there! It won’t be easy but it WILL be worth it! Praying for you now. ((hugs))

  3. This is a great post! I wish someone had warned me 🙂 the world and often even christan Sources offer a very one sided view of romance and relationships. Pulling out the ‘weeds’ of bitterness is a constant job, But well worth the challenge. Thanks jolene for the encouragement!

  4. Thank you for sharing this very truthful side of marriage. I used to expect that my relationship and then marriage would be ‘love and light’ with little or no hitches so at the first sign of conflict o lukewarmness, I run believing that the love is no more there..

    I would like to ask a question (I know the answer could be relative but I would still appreciate your opinion?)
    – How long should the ‘honeymoon’ stars in your eyes stage last?

    Thanks xx

    1. I’ve heard it said that the “honeymoon stage” lasts for up to 3 years, but usually less. I don’t know how accurate that is. My husband and I are still crazy about each other after 3-1/2 years, but I don’t know that I would say it’s the same as when we first got married. It gradually changed from being all about new discovery (and the excitement that comes with something new) to a quiet knowing who each other were. But the love and the admiration has only grown.

      For some, marriage can be a rude awakening as they discover that the person they were seeing through rose-colored glasses is human after all. Or perhaps they have to confront the issue of their own selfishness and the knowledge that having a spouse means someone else to think about besides themselves. Thus, the honeymoon stage of emotional bliss is short-lived and the hard work of marriage begins early.

      Others find joy in learning to serve each other and don’t have quite the rough transition that others do. So their marriage might transition very gradually to a new normal and it can be hard to determine when exactly it changed from honeymoon to just ordinary life. Our marriage was like that. Part of the way you avoid the sudden end of the honeymoon period is to have realistic expectations (of your spouse and yourself) going into marriage and to actively concentrate on serving your spouse, even in the little things. Get into good habits early on, when it’s easier, and they will stick around when life becomes more mundane.

  5. Jolene, you are a godsend! I have been married 27 years to an unbeliever. We have had good times and bad times. The last years have been very difficult, and I nearly gave up last month. Through much conversation I was convicted of the disservice I was giving my husband. I had let bitterness in, had taken over leadership, and had lost respect for him, all because of my view that his actions were unrighteous. While looking for marriage advice, I found your blog, and was convicted of my part in our mess. Because of your advice, I am working hard to restore respect. I know that I had let the enemy in to our marriage, and now I am placing Christ in the center. I have a long way to go, but I am on the right path, all because God led me to your advice. Thank you for today’s post, your words are so true!

    1. Angela,
      I’m humbled by your words of love. To God be the glory. What a blessing to hear that you are putting Christ in the center of your marriage! Continue to remain steadfast because it’s worth it!

  6. Such a sweet post! I know what that spark means.. I am happily married for 2 years and 3 months now to the guy who loves the Lord and swept me off of my feet! 🙂

    Visiting you from the Happy Wives Club Link Up.

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