richnelwedbands Courtesy of Nelly Guajardo. All rights reserved.

Marriage in the real world can be terrifying. Yes, terrifying! After the big day, couples look forward to the dream life they have planned together. Timelines and goals are set, a home begins to come to life and a routine is soon in place. Memories begin to be made and that “happily ever after” that everyone talks about is now the couples reality. Married bliss!

Time passes and for some couples wedded bliss is no longer something they are living in. The stresses of everyday life can take a toll on a person and eventually those around them. Many couples strive to start a family, but; that is not something that is attainable by all. Not every couple is blessed with a baby after nine months or a year of marriage. Disappointment, worry, and stress begins to add up and one begins to question, why not me? I was angry with God, life was not going according to MY plan so what did I do? I pulled away from him. I left him behind. I stopped going to Mass and stopped praying. I should have taken the time to thank God for the things he had blessed the marriage with; jobs, home, peace, happiness and love.

More time passes and other issues come to life; in my experience…depression hit hard. Having to see a doctor for my issues was something that had me questioning my relationship with my husband. How did he feel about having a wife that needed to seek help and depend on medication to get through the day? Not once did I sit back and ask God to help me, nor did I fall on bended knee in prayer to seek guidance. I know now that I wasn’t stable enough to handle the gift God had in store for us.

After a few years, we finally were blessed with our own precious baby. Parenthood can put a huge stress on a marriage. Especially if the marriage hasn’t placed God in the middle of it, having a child with special needs is a huge eye-opener. The humility, strength, patience and stress that come with parenting and making decisions that will affect the child for a lifetime can be terrifying. No parent wants to make a mistake, but we are only human and we learn from the mistakes we make. We need to learn to pray about decisions and not just act on impulse. Making time to communicate with each other and address issues at hand is huge too. Many times we want to ignore the elephant in the room and that benefits no one.

Many of us also have parents that are aging and need us, their children, more than they have before. Some of our parents can be ill and making time for them is also something many marriages struggle with. Having a home and growing family with active kids and elderly parents that also need attention can be stressful, but it is doable. Communication is key, knowing how to depend on one another as a team is what will make things flow as easy as possible. Yes, there are times when things appear to be impossible but somehow by the grace of God they are handled.

When times get to be scary, impossible and simply too much, we as a couple must learn to make time for each other. Learn to lean on one another and, if at all possible, pray. We must also thank God for all He has given us and make time for Him. How do we make time for Him? Mass, attending Mass as a family is huge! It is one thing that we have learned to do and appreciate; after Mass we usually have dinner together and talk about the homily the priest gave. It keeps us talking about our faith and creates positive memories for all.

Marriage in the real world can also be so beautiful and rewarding. We have our soulmate by our side, the person whom we vowed before God to love until death do us part. As a married couple we have a live-in best friend, confidant, cheerleader and of course someone to talk sense into us when we are headed the wrong direction. A couple can share so many moments that will be cherished and stored for moments when one needs reminding of how far we have come. Marriage is a sacrament and should be respected, honored and appreciated.

There is no marriage manual, no secrets to a happily ever after and surely no easy fix for when things get tense. What we all do have access is to, is God! If He is at the center of the marriage then there is absolutely nothing to worry about. With Him by are side there is nothing we shall fear. Remember to always thank Him for everything, God is Good.

Copyright 2015 Nelly Guajardo