Marriage Instruction Manual Part II

So there’s only a few weeks between Part I and Part II. We were just recovering from the disconnect of grief we experienced after the death of my father-in-law, when we had to rush our 3-year-old daughter to the emergency room after a lot of weird and unexplainable symptoms were occurring, only to receive the diagnosis of leukemia! (I wasn’t kidding when I said 2018 was the worst year of our lives.)

This chapter in a marriage instruction manual would have to be entitled, “Chapter 13: Dealing With Simultaneous Grief Within Marriage.”


We don’t realize how much we depend on our spouses during the seasons of life. When life is good, we expect them to celebrate with us. When life is sad, we expect a shoulder to cry on. When life is hard, we expect support and encouragement. However, all of that falls under the assumption that they are not in the exact same place we are. We are assuming they have those things to give when we need them. Unfortunately, those assumptions are incorrect when you both find yourselves in the same pit of darkness…a place neither has walked, nor wants to…a place of more questions than answers. Our daughter’s diagnosis sent us both, separately, spinning into that place.

What do you do when you don’t have that spousal support? You can’t blame them, because you don’t have it to give either.

Here’s the instruction part for Parts I & II:

1. Take up your grievances with God, not your spouse. He’s the Dude in charge anyway!

2. Sit tight. Wait for things to turn around. The pressures surrounding you and your spouse will change. Wait for it.

3. Don’t do anything stupid! There’s a reason a lot of marriages don’t survive the stresses and traumas of life. They’re hard. When things escalate, refer back to instruction #2! ⤴️

I wish I could say that everything our marriage experienced in 2012 would prevent any future problems, but that’s not the case. When things got hot and heavy and the pain was unbearable, we, unfortunately, attacked each other. There were fights that I can’t even remember now what they were about, but we survived. What we did learn in 2012 to prepare us for all that we were going through was instructions #1-3.

In these times, it’s proven that our spouse (no matter how strong or wonderful) isn’t our lifeline, that position is only for Jesus! Our answers don’t come from our spouse either. He/She is just trying to figure it all out too…just like you.

Keep in mind, we simply cannot give what we don’t have to give. In the trauma of our daughter’s diagnosis, both my husband and I were severely hurting. We, honestly, didn’t have each other to lean on or look to. However, that’s ok. Those are the times we are reminded that God should always hold that place…in the bad times and the good.

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