Your response to yesterday's blog post was amazing. Does your marriage suck? You are NOT alone!
A number of you responded, men and women. Be assured that Tom and I are praying for all of you. I wanted to get practical today, and continue this conversation. When your marriage sucks, and you are still living together, or separated, there are practical things you can do for the health of yourself, your family and your marriage.
1. Get outside and breathe. Preferably near running water or the ocean.
I know, that seems really simple, doesn't it? I won't get all nerdy on you, but studies show that fresh air coupled with running water (think fast moving streams or waterfalls) actually counteract the effects of stress. And when your marriage sucks, you're stressed. A lot.
Yesterday I mentioned that I needed to get back to a peaceful place so that I could think straight. That place was my parent's beach house. Being back in New England, on the tidal river, surrounded by cedars and white pine, I literally exhaled and began to feel settled. God knows what we need, and major stress requires running water and fresh air.
If I was going to add a 'Part B' to this, I would add that exercise is crucial right now. Continuous stress will cause absolute havoc in your body - your adrenals, your immune system, your digestion - everything takes a hit. Especially when you experience this stress over long periods of time. Get your heart rate pumping. You'll sleep better too. (Obviously, talk to your doctor first.)
...the earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord... Psalm 33:5b
2. Nix the sugar.
As my marriage began to suck, I began to crave sugar. I gained lots of weight. Sugar comes in many forms. Chocolate. Alcohol. Cookies.
I'm not going to rail against the dangers of food addiction and emotional eating or drinking. But what you need to know is this: sugar is an anti-nutrient. Your body has to USE vitamins and minerals just to process it. Your immune system is going to take a huge hit when you start ingesting sugar. Just like listening to negative people will lead you downhill, eating negative (anti-nutrient) foods will strip your body of the very nutrients it needs to cope. Stick to healthy, whole foods. Eat lots of fresh food. Eat healthy fat. Eat grass fed meat. Need more real food suggestions? Take a look at the Real Food pages. There are good recipes there.
You know what's interesting? Even God knows that too much sugar (even healthy sugar) is not good for us...
It's not good to eat too much honey... Proverbs 25:27a
(Ready for some 'Real Rosalyn'? There was a point, during the separation, when I was sipping on a whiskey or a brandy. Every evening. Not good. A few weeks in, God sent someone to say some choice words. They were right. Down the drain it went. Are you at that point? Email me. Don't go there.)
3. Talk to a mentor or counselor regularly.
Both Tom and I did/do this. We both found that having someone to talk to, in our case it was a Christian therapist, was/is crucial. In fact, when our separation ended, it was one of the things Tom kept doing - having wise counsel is very important.
You may find it to be different, but we found that we needed our own time to talk - individually. When your marriage sucks, it's usually in part due to lots of wounds and scars - and while you need to work through them, it's never a good idea to tear the other person down while you do that. Be cautious of counseling that has you ripping at each other...
The bible is full of verses that talk about the importance of either providing wise counsel or seeking it out. Taking time to express your emotions, work through situations, and receive counsel is critical.
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Proverbs 19:20
Our marriage sucked for a long time. Both of us are working through the residual and emotional after-effects. Hopefully, we can spare you some of them... Take care, and contact us if we can help...
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)