They say stress and finances are the reasons couples fight and grow apart. They also say that living as an expat is about five times the stress amount as living in your home culture. So it has been a major priority of ours to take good care of our marriage living in Africa. We have felt the stress!! Sometimes we handle it well, and other times not so well. But we don’t give up striving to have a healthy and strong marriage!
This was my Journal entry this time last year after ‘throwing my cards in.”
My Love likes to relax a lot, which is good b/c I don’t rest well. And sometimes it seems like that’s all he wants to do! But…when he sets his mind to something, it’ll happen!
So this past week he made up a weekly schedule for us. He has started running, being very diligent in his studies and café time with is card buddies. I love seeing his “let’s get this done” RED side!! (for those who know Color Code) It speaks to my BLUE, “to do list” little heart. And he’s made “us” time every night after kids go down, which I’m thankful for…seeing his effort speaks love to me!
He was also great in helping me get the extra rest I needed Tuesday and Wednesday when I was really sick.
My Love knew that my BLUE side needs structure and productivity to rest and relax. So by creating a schedule I could get a handle on life, de-stress and start enjoying. With all the stresses in living cross-culturally, we could grow apart or closer together. So it was key that we make “us” time a priority too.
My Love isn’t naturally a scheduler or organizer, but because he saw me struggling and knew what I needed, he stepped up. This is key, folks—SELFLESSNESS! My Love knew how I receive love and he gave it to me, even though it wasn’t natural for him; even though it wasn’t his way of receiving love.
My Love does like to relax and it is important for him to do so to de-stress and recharge. I love him is by not multi-tasking and playing cards with him, watching a movie, reading with him, speak words of encouragement, & bring him sunflower seeds. 🙂
Living in a place were it can be stressful just going to the grocery store and back, weighs and wears you down quick. As a married couple, we have to make priority: loving and refreshing one another. There is no one else around who can do that for us. We strive to give grace, apologize quickly, forgive even quicker, & speak encouragement and truth often.
If you are struggling with the stresses of life in your marriage, I would encourage you get with spouse to relax and enjoy each other!! Selfless love breaks down many barriers and builds a solid foundations for a healthy life. Whether you are in Africa or your home town, learn to de-stress and enjoy this beautiful life and the wonderful spouse you’ve been given!
I am so thankful for my husband!! Does anyone else have a story to brag about your husband’s selfless love for you?