Shopping for Father’s Day is Hard When Your Marriage is Broken
I shared a little bit about this on Facebook last week, but after the response, I received on both my personal page and my Facebook Business page I knew I had to expound more. You see, so often we keep a mask on our face and pretend like everything is ok when in reality we feel like our life is falling apart. After going through years when my marriage was broken, I resolved that if it was ever restored and my heart healed, I would reach out to others to share hope. I was so lonely during that season and felt like I was the only one whose marriage was struggling. Now, I know many struggle in their marriage. So often, it’s the couple I least expect, who appear to have everything together. In fact, we were that couple. On the outside, everything looked great; people even looked up to us and our marriage, but no one knew what was going on under the surface. Here is the FB memory that I shared from 2014 and the one step I took that initiated change.
As I stood looking at all the Father’s Day cards earlier today, I was flooded with emotions. You see, several years ago my marriage was very broken. In fact, at times, it seemed hopeless. During the darkest season picking out a Father’s Day card for my husband was so difficult because honestly I didn’t mean the words I read inside. Instead, I would look for the most generic card I could find. Today, as I picked out the mushiest most loving card I could find, I was in tears at the faithfulness of God. He not only healed our hearts, but he so carefully bound our hearts together again with a love that is so much stronger than anything we had experienced before. God is a God of redemption, and I’m so thankful for what he has done in us and through us. Why share? Because God moves when we are real. Being real opens up the door to minister and encourage others who are where we once were. If you are struggling in your marriage today, don’t give up. Healing didn’t happen for us overnight……it took years. Long, hard, difficult years but it’s so worth it. Today, as I look at our life, there are truly no words that can describe the miracle that has taken place. I am beyond thankful that we never gave up and am so excited about what He is doing in our family.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
This still brings tears to my eyes when this post comes up in my Facebook memories because God’s faithfulness is beyond what I can comprehend. Two years later and he continues to restore, redeem, and use our story to speak hope into marriages who feel hopeless. Two years ago I was pregnant with Jordan, our restoration baby, and today I am pregnant again with our new miracle. Two children that would have never been had we given up. As I was sharing with a precious wife last night, the fight is so very worth it.
But, what do you do when you are right in the middle of brokenness? I remember holidays, especially Father’s Day being so difficult because I was so hurt and didn’t mean any of the words in most of the cards that I read. In fact, I felt exactly the opposite. At the same time, my heart desired to heal more than anything in the entire world. I wanted to be able to look at my kids in the face and know that I had done everything in my power if our marriage didn’t heal. That meant I was willing to humble myself, shut my mouth, and do things that were hard. It meant not listening to what I felt like and treating him how I wanted to be treated. Now, please know there were years when I acted exactly the opposite of how I am describing. I treated my husband exactly how I felt because I was hurting so badly. My will to change at that time was based solely on him changing. I thought for so long that my healing……..our healing was dependent on him changing. If he would just do this or if he would just do that, THEN our marriage would change. I was wrong. We were in a vicious cycle. At some point, I chose to heal over my feelings, my anger, my desire to be validated, and whether or not my husband changed. I began to work on me and trusting God more than anything, knowing that there was no guarantee to the outcome of my marriage.
Recently, my husband told me that a major turning point in his heart was on Father’s Day in 2011. I had no idea the impact that my one decision would make on his heart and in turn our marriage. All I knew is that I was going to serve him, and love him in his love language, which happens to be gifts. (Coincidently, gifts are not my love language.) I don’t remember what else I bought him, but I made him the photo book pictured above. I was planning on ordering a beautiful photo book online, but procrastinated too late and ended up at 3 am the night before Father’s Day creating a photo book online at Walmart.com. I am so thankful that I didn’t listen to how I “felt.” I am so glad I didn’t stay in that place where I thought that my healing and my marriage depended on my husband changing his behavior or treating me a certain way. I am so thankful that I listened to God, humbled my heart and loved my husband through my pain. He shared with me just how much this gift meant to him because he knew he didn’t deserve it. It softened his heart and opened his eyes to see my heart towards him and my desire for our marriage to move forward.
How to honor your spouse on Father’s Day when your marriage is broken.
- Don’t wait on your spouse to make the first move, even if their initial choice is what led to the struggle in your marriage. Be the one willing to take the first step. Trust me; it will go against everything in your flesh. I am not going to pretend that is will be easy.
- Love your spouse in their love language. Humble yourself and serve their hearts.
- Protect the atmosphere of your home on Father’s Day. It’s not enough just to give a gift, but that day honor your spouse. He is copartner in parenting your children. Don’t start a fight, or bring up issues that are difficult. They will all be there tomorrow. I don’t mean ignore problems, or pretend like everything is fine, but instead don’t engage any arguments.
Again, I had no idea on Father’s Day in 2011 that my one act of obedience to God would be the change agent that would begin to bring about healing in my marriage and change my husband’s heart. I was so mad that day on the inside, but I knew I had to obey the prompting I felt in my spirit to obey God. I know that every marriage is different, and not every marriage can be saved, but mine seemed incredibly hopeless for such a long time. I am so thankful that I never gave up and was willing to do the hard work for the possibility of healing. One thing is for sure, every single tear and every ounce of work was worth it! Restoration is so much sweeter than I could have ever imagined.
My sweet friend, what HE has whispered to you in the quiet and dark places, you are now proclaiming from the rooftops!! This is only the beginning… HE is going to use both you and Gary in such mighty ways! What the enemy meant to destroy you is going to be used for your good and HIS Glory in so many ways! I can’t wait to see it all!
Thank you so much,friend. I am in awe of how God is already moving and so thankful. You are so right, the enemy meant to destroy us, but God is now using for our good. Love you so much!
Thank you so much for sharing this. I just read it and it’s the day after Father’s Day. And honestly my husband probably didn’t enjoy his day very well which a lot is do to me still hurting over him ruining Mother’s day for me so honestly I didn’t care how his day went and I didn’t go out of my way to do anything special like I usually would. Because one, I got sick of doing special things for him not just on Father’s day but also on his birthday and even sometimes just on a random day just because I felt like it just to end up (in my eyes) getting treated like crap. And secondly, he ruined Mother’s day so basically because of those reasons I didn’t feel the need to even hardly try this year. As of the last 6 months or more I haven’t felt much like trying to salvage what is left of our marriage. Which it really wasn’t all him or me that led us to where we currently are in our marriage. We both have done things that led us here and actually if anything it was more of the things I’ve done and choices I made and how I treated him more than anything he has done to me to get us to this point. I feel like I’m the only one lately who was putting in any effort to turn things around and until I read your story I had been ready to just give up and tell him I’m done. I was already looking into how shared parenting would work out for our 4 girls. Because if there is anything he has been great at and done a very good job of that would be being an amazing father to our girls. So not only has he been a pretty good man to me until as of the last about 6-8months (after I hadn’t been treating him very well and dragged him down) but he’s always been a pretty great dad to the girls for the most part. Now, after reading your post I have regained hope and I’m willing to humble myself, get back up on my feet again and fight to salvage my marriage and make my family whole again. Someone once asked me when it comes to my marriage…. “Would you rather be right or would you rather be Happy?” Well, I’d rather be happy! So thanks to you and your story and the hope you have given me my marriage and family now have a better chance of making it through this. I’m actually considering having a re-do Father’s day and taking your advice doing it the right way this time by actually honoring him like he deserves to be homered as the amazing father he has always been. So my famiy, marriage and I thank you so very much!!! Best wishes to you and your family! Hope all is still well and going strong.
I am so sorry for my delay in responding to you. It took a lot of courage to admit what you did in your comment. I admire your desire to change your marriage and to fight for it. The fight isn’t easy, but it is so worth it. I never in a million years imagined that our marriage would be restored the way it has. God has blown our minds. We are so much closer now than we ever were and our kids see an example of two parents who are madly in love with each other. Evict strife from your home, work on you so that you can look your girls in the face and know you’ve done everything. Don’t give up. God can soften your heart and give you a love for your husband again that is deep and honorable. It took us years to heal. Years. But, I’m so thankful we didn’t give up and we continued to fight. When I quit looking for my husband to change and I became committed to doing everything I could to change me, my marriage began to change. Blessings to you!
Thank you for this post, it gives me hope. After 27 years I am right where you use to be.
I am so sorry, as I know it is such a very difficult place to be. My prayers are with you. Fight with everything within you for healing. There is hope.
Wow…after 26 years of marriage I am exactly where you were…reading your story this morning gives me hope. Thank you and God Bless you and your family
I am so glad that my story gives you hope. Please know that in the middle of our mess I felt hopeless, however I wasn’t willing to give up. I pray that you will hold on and keep fighting. Blessings to you and your family!
Thanks I needed this. I struggled finding a neutral card, and sat unable and sad frankly to write the basic ‘Thanks for being a great dad’ with much pain and anguish I did it. I wanted to say thanks for holding our 7 month old daughter just a few times since she’s been born, it breaks my heart, and being a “great father” about 1 hour a day to our toddler..but those words weren’t going to help. I’ll keep trying because in the end I want it to work, I want him to be a great father and husband but we’re broken. I’m broken. Thanks for your story
I am so very sorry. I know how very lonely it is when you are in that place and how helpless you much feel. I can tell you now, the fight was so worth it. Every tear, every heartache, every day that I felt hopeless was not in vain. I began to work harder on me than anything else. When I did, he began to change. I pray strength, rest, peace, and hope over you. God is faithful.