Change is hard, there’s no way around it. Change is even harder when it’s unexpected. We experienced that kind of life impacting change last year when my husband suddenly found himself out of a job, and not just any job, a new career, which he had left his previous career of 15 years behind to pursue. The new dreams of the life we were going to live suddenly came to a screeching halt.
Over that year he jumped from one job to the next trying to find out what was next. There were several weeks without any job or income at all. He tried new things, hard things, and even tried to get jobs doing old things.
During that year I had a choice, a choice on how I would choose to love my husband as he processed the loss of his new purpose and passion, the loss of his role as the main provider of our family, which for most men, can be so hard as they try to forge a new path. I asked myself what I wanted my marriage to look like in and through the end of this season? I knew that protecting and prioritizing our relationship was what mattered most because this was only temporary. In my heart I longed for a strong marriage, for my husband, more than financial stability which goes against the grain of the world and culture we live in!
Fighting against each other could have been so easy during times of frustration, stress, feeling like the weight of our families survival all fell on my shoulders, and at times, was carrying the load on my own while he floundered and was lost. In those moments it would have been easy to point blame, be angry, and hold a grudge for how long it seemed it was taking him to figure things out. But would any of that make this already difficult season easier? I didn’t think so. Choosing grace and love while being patient and trusting my husband as he blindly lead us seemed like the only way to come out of this season on the other side TOGETHER. I was learning that the best way to support him was to give him assurance and confidence. He needed to know that the one thing steady in his life was our relationship while he searched for his new calling.
Some practical ways I did that was:
Offer grace and patience
Chose not to nag or point blame when frustrated and overwhelmed
Made date nights a priority and consistent
Took advantage of his newly flexible schedule to be together even doing simple things like errands and the gym
Confided in trustworthy friends when I needed encouragement so I could stay positive around him
Asked him how I could help in this time rather than trying to fix it for him
Had open and judgement free communication
Only brought well thought out concerns and feelings to him
Celebrated the little victories and wins in life as they came
Encouraged him in new job roles he wanted to try and kept an open mind
Spoke affirmation and encouragement over him often
Had sex regularly and never withheld it in times of frustration or anger
I believe if you find yourself in similar shoes and you love your spouse in these ways, you can get through this season with a deeper intimacy and strength to your marriage than you entered it with. I know that to be true for my marriage and if that’s what this season was for, than I am forever grateful!