When you get married, you vow to love that person in sickness and health, for better or worse, until death do you part. On a wedding day, those vows may feel easy to say to the man in the tux standing in front of you. He's young and hot and sexy (and so are you) and those big problems are still (god willing) a long way off. But they come. Trust me, they come.
Over the course of a lifetime together, a couple will encounter many things. A large number of them will be happy -- births of babies, huge promotions, anniversary trips -- but they won't all be so. Some will be hard. If you stay together, you will encounter parental issues, illness, and death. You will encounter job strain and even financial strain. Your marriage will encounter rough waters.
But those rough waters can (and should!) make you stronger as a couple. Here are 6 problems many marriages encounter that can actually be blessings in disguise. See below:
- A big fight: Personally, I hate/love our big fights. Over the course of a decade-long marriage, my husband and I have encountered our fair share of fights, but probably only three or four for the record books. These awful, crying fights often ended with a talk. Sometimes over days. And these talks always changed things, made things better, and made us more loving than ever. Sometimes you have to go through the rapids to truly appreciate the moments when the water is still and calm.
- An unexpected pregnancy: It's rarely good news to see double lines on a pee stick when you weren't expecting the stork. But the good news is that the stress can bring you closer with your spouse. Even if you don't agree on the way to deal with it initially, the talking and the deciding and the stress can make you stronger.
- Job loss: There is almost nothing scarier than being faced with an unexpected job loss. But there is an upside. The two of you get to work together, harder than ever, to make things work. It can be a good, albeit terrifying thing. Especially once you come out the other end.
- A big move: My husband and I just did this, and although it was HARD (we lived apart for a while), the reality is, it was great for us. We both learned to appreciate each other's strengths in ways we hadn't had to before. A move is very, very difficult, and if you aren't working together, it's even more difficult.
- Illness: There is nothing fun about a scary diagnosis. But for many couples, it's an opportunity to really understand how much you love one another. I adore my big strong husband, but I also know if I had to, I would be there, doing whatever was needed to get him well at his weakest point. I know he would do the same for me. You get to show what true love is all about.
- Financial strain: Maybe you get a big bill that was unexpected or the car goes kaput and that wasn't in the budget. But whatever the reason, financial strain is the number one reason people divorce. It doesn't have to be. Money problems CAN be a catalyst for much needed belt tightening that, if you work together, can actually become a bonding exercise. By working together to strengthen the financial picture, you two also strengthen the WHOLE picture. See how that works?
Did you ever have a "bad" moment in your marriage that made you stronger?
More from The Stir:
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10 Ways to Improve Your Marriage Right Now
5 Fights You SHOULD Be Having With Your Spouse
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