3 Trials Every Marriage Will Face
- Jaime Jo Wright Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- Updated Apr 05, 2022
When I was married at the age of twenty-three, I wasn’t naïve. I knew marriage was going to be difficult. I knew it was going to take dedication and work. I knew there would be challenges and trials. Sometimes, I don’t know that we give our young married couples credit due to them when they enter into a union. We assume they see marriage as all roses and fairy tales, but I think most young adults are aware that trials are an inevitable part of marriage.
What I’m not sure they—or I—realized is that there is a set of trials that every marriage will face. Every marriage? Yes. Every marriage. Are there any exceptions to this rule? Perhaps, but you’ll have to provide compelling evidence for me to believe that a marriage could possibly escape these trials.
“Every” is an all-encompassing word. There are no exceptions to the rule, and therefore, all will be affected. Knowing about these impending trials may give us some insight into how to handle them when they come.
1. The Trial of Identity
No matter how unified we are in our marriage relationship, there will come a time when we struggle to find ourselves within our relationship. Some spouses are very content to identify as a couple, while others find friction in being recognized as the “spouse of.”
For the spouses who are content to identify as a couple and, in a sense, forgo their individual and independent identities, the trial can become when their “oneness” is threatened. When life intercepts the unity and threatens to take them in separate directions—whether in conviction, opinion, leading, etc. At some point, the one path will threaten to split into two. This doesn’t mean divorce or separation. In fact, nothing so dramatic as that, necessarily. But, there will come a time when the oneness is challenged because, while you are a union, you also have two minds, two souls, and two very individual ways of processing.
For the spouses who prefer to maintain their independence and not be identified by their spouse, the trial of identity can come in an opposite way. Often, the quest to not lose their own personage will create a wedge and a separation in the marriage because they want to be seen as their own person so badly. In essence, they will sacrifice elements of oneness to remain single-but-married. This sounds a bit extreme to some, but the reality is that nothing in culture today inspires us to let go of ourselves and become intermeshed with another so deeply that we can’t tell where we end and they begin. Culture encourages us to find self-care and self-identify, which can create conflict within a marriage.
The trial of identity has two extreme ends, but we’ll often find ourselves somewhere in the middle. The reality is, there is a fine balance to being a union of two into one and also managing our own unique identities, wills, thought processes, and persons. Be prepared to forge through this trial together. It will polish your marriage if handled with sacrificial love.
2. The Trial of Differences
We are truly fooling ourselves if we enter into marriage believing that our differences will be small. Humor and comedy often come into play with the scripts of toothpaste tube squeezing at the end of the middle, TP rolling over the top or beneath, socks folded or piled, bed made or not, etc. Will there be these differences in marriage? Absolutely. But differences don’t limit themselves to the trivial.
No matter how much you prepare before you’re married, differences will continue to rise throughout your marriage. They may come in the form of beliefs. For example, you may find that you and your spouse agreed on the significant points of your faith/doctrine, but as you delve into the application of faith and daily life, you both approach life and your faith walks differently. You may find that you didn’t address doctrinal differences nearly as much as you thought, and suddenly one of you believes in the idea of free will while the other believes God predestines those who will follow Him.
Your differences may come in the form of goals and dreams. You may have a lifelong dream you agree on initially, but after years of pursuing it, one spouse may simply be done, while the other believes it may still happen.
When children come into the equation, you probably will find that you have different parenting skills simply because you were raised differently. This will inevitably cause friction—and probably a lot of it- if you haven’t stopped identifying the major differences areas.
Differences will rear their heads constantly throughout your marriage. It’s a trial that is both inevitable and will never go away. Be prepared, not scared. Be open to communicating, setting aside personal feelings, discussing them rationally, and being willing to make compromises.
3. The Trial of Insecurities
Men and women have vastly different insecurities. Granted, there are stereotypes of women being super emotional and insecure, while men tend to need to exert their dominance and strength in order to feel confident. Interestingly, I’ve known couples who are the exact opposites of that. I’ve known very sensitive men, and when their wife is displeased with them, it hurts them to the core and makes them question if they’re doing their role as husbands correctly. I’ve known women to feel as though they’ve been diminished into the subservient role of a wife and have no value outside of dishwashing and child-rearing (both of which are highly important for different reasons!).
Facts don’t lie. We all have insecurities. Nothing brings out these insecurities like marriage because it’s within marriage that we are the most vulnerable. Our questioning of ourselves becomes evident, and when a spouse questions those very elements, we can experience insecurity like none we’ve faced before.
You will battle insecurities within marriage. It is an assured promise that they will come. They will come in various forms. Insecurities you didn’t know you had may come to the surface. Perhaps you’ll develop new insecurities. Circumstances can influence you, push you into dark places you’re not prepared for, and leave you feeling exposed. The trial of insecurity is a big one. You can either choose to be together and work through them, seeking trust and reliance and respect, or those insecurities can fester and become deep wounds of mistrust that eventually lead to rifts in marriage that can take years to heal.
Don’t let these trials frighten you. The fact is, difficulties are inevitable. Knowing these are some that are sure to come can help you be proactive in preparing. This means communicating with each other and respecting the other’s position even if you don’t understand or agree. It means seeking the Lord in prayer together so that while you’re your own individuals, you can also have a unity that will continue to grow during these difficulties.
Marriage is a guaranteed trial. But as Proverbs says, two are better than one, and three strands are not easily broken; binding both of your hearts around the central Person of Christ will strengthen you for the troubled days ahead.
Jaime Jo Wright is an ECPA and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author. Her novel “The House on Foster Hill” won the prestigious Christy Award and she continues to publish Gothic thrillers for the inspirational market. Jaime Jo resides in the woods of Wisconsin, lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at jaimewrightbooks.com and at her podcast madlitmusings.com where she discusses the deeper issues of story and faith with fellow authors.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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