The Unraveling in a Marriage

Over the years unraveling will happen in the healthiest of marriages.

A marriage is a union of two individuals knitting their ideas and creating a life together.
A marriage is a union of two knitting their ideas and creating a life together.

The purpose of a blanket.

A marriage is much like a blanket. It offers warmth and security. It is meant to be well worn and if tended to will withstand the ups and downs of the life of a marriage. When the unraveling in a marriage happens over time, it is simply meant to be reinforced with something stronger.

My husband and I are the collectors of blankets. Blankets adorn our home. We live in an environment which is warm with no need for the warmth provided by a blanket. And we oftentimes wake up in the morning complaining about being over heated due to too many blankets on our bed!

It is the security I receive just from wrapping the blanket around my body, the physical presence. It is the same feeling I have when my husband is present.

Crafting a Strong Marriage that won’t Unravel.

My husband and I met in my mid-twenties and we started to knit our lives together. We have two unique personalities, each bringing our traits and intertwining them to create a beautiful blanket. At the time we met we had the same goals to share our lives together and grow a family.

At the time we were getting acquainted with each others strengths and weaknesses. Alcohol was used as a coping mechanism to relieve stress with the added benefit of enjoyment in social situations. The two of us thought we could take on the world and nothing would stand in our way.

We entered into a Christian marriage, planning to honor a commitment for the length of our marriage. We drank alcohol with friends on Saturday night and attended church Sunday mornings. What our marriage needed was to be reinforced with a beautiful golden thread.

Creating a Family On a Strong Marriage that won’t Unravel.

Not only did I metaphorically take up knitting when we got married but in my thirties I started quilting. To make a quilt scraps of material are arranged in such a way to make an elaborate design. Building a family is much like creating a patchwork quilt. My husband and I brought together our ideas based off of our experiences to create our family.

Since we had many of the same ideas from our shared experiences I made our quilt to reflect us, our family. I handcrafted each square to tell a story. I was given full control and started creating an ideal life for us to live.

Creating a family is much like crafting a patchwork quilt.
Creating a family is much like crafting a patchwork quilt.

The weak thread started the unraveling in our marriage.

As the years passed and life continued we celebrated milestones and endured hardships. Alcohol was used to celebrate and also to endure. The spirit of alcohol was woven tightly into our marriage. The alcohol brought on tension and when we have too much tension in our lives we tend to break.

My once ideal life started to resemble a hodgepodge of light and dark patches. Each patch resembling the highs and lows of our circumstances. The stresses of work for my husband and a woman with a lost identity, following my childrearing years, our quilt had become an eye sore. This is a period of our lives when we walked away from the church and we did not have the proper coping skills, and still resorted to alcohol use.

We continued to do life together. Our life consisted of waking together, starting our day listening to the morning news. We chose to react to what we viewed as a broken world surrounding us. I allowed this world to shape me. I wanted to control an environment which wasn’t mine to control. The result I acted out against anyone who opposed my ideal. And our marriage started to fray around the edges.

Alcohol left our marriage unrecognizable.
Alcohol left our marriage unrecognizable.

When our life doesn’t resemble our ideal.

In an ideal marriage we need to allow room for change.
In an ideal marriage we need to allow for change.

By the time I turned fifty I lost control and decided I could know longer live life on my terms.

My approach is different than my husbands. In order to heal I need to follow my own path. It starts with addressing my problem with alcohol, which leads to revealing my flawed character. Once my flawed self is revealed then I can truly create that ideal woman God has intended for me to be.

My husband didn’t sign up for the sober lifestyle, but he did commit to a life with me. This has brought on additional challenges for him. He chose to remain by my side when others would walk away, even when a friend suggested he should give our marriage a break. When I decided to spend more time outside the house attending meetings and working alongside others who struggle, he did not complain.

A beautiful marriage is culmination of ideas from both husband and wife.
A beautiful marriage is a culmination of ideas from both spouses.

Loosening up control by allowing the unraveling in my marriage.

Our marriage is in trouble. We are growing apart and I know at times it doesn’t look good.

My intention is not to give my husband an ultimatum but our different paths started to pose a problem for us. Although my husband uses restraint and does not abuse alcohol, he isn’t eager to address his part in what contributes his desire to consume alcohol. Once again I have the need to control and this time it is him. I need to surrender our marriage to God. Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth states: “Marriage is designed to display to the world in technicolor the covenant keeping character and faithfulness of God.

Meet the Simpletons to find out more about my approach to our marriage…

The scarlet thread used to strengthen a marriage.

Adding the scarlet thread of Christ will help with the unraveling of a marriage.
Adding the scarlet thread of Christ will help with the unraveling in a marriage.

Making demands on my husband causes a greater divide within our marriage. Recovery is not meant to do with a partner, but I am to follow the path God has in place for me. At times I feel alone within our marriage, but I am never alone. My husband has been a faithful companion and by trusting in God I know our marriage will endure.

Instead of voicing how I think he should handle his sobriety. I have decided to take the apostle Peter’s approach, women are to cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit that is beautiful to God and of immense value in marriage. I was suffocating my husband with my ideal for his life.

As a gift to my husband as we celebrate our wedding anniversary I would like to remove the blanket which has been suffocating him. My daughters need to know that in a healthy marriage we do not try to control our spouse. My husband is the same man I married twenty-seven years ago. I am the one who chose to make changes in my life. These changes impacted our marriage. In return, I will allow my husband to cover me with a blanket of his undying love.

“These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children,”

Titus 2:4 NLT

Why demanding change in a marriage doesn’t work…

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