Covid-19 has certainly affected our lives. The uncertainty and fear that it has caused may have left you feeling alone, vulnerable, or hurt in your marriage. Or, if you already have solid relationship skills in place, the difficulties may have given you an opportunity to strengthen your marriage. Sickness, shelter-in-place, or the loss of a job (like any other stress) brings out the best or the worst in our relationship. It doesn’t cause it; it amplifies it. Let me say that again because it is important: It doesn’t cause the best in us or the worst in us to come out. We are responsible for that, but it does amplify it.
Marriage in uncertain times
A stressful time can cause the rise of negative emotions. I was struck (like a bolt of lightning strikes) by disbelief and fear due to Covid-19 and the subsequent shelter-in-place. During a team meeting, we were told that we would not be coming back to work the following Monday afternoon. By the end of the meeting, we found out that we would not be coming back at all. We were locked out. The fear and grief were almost instant.
Upon returning home, Doug and I met together to talk about how we felt about it. Talking about it did two things. It satisfied my need for security because we talked about how God was providing during this time and it solidified Doug’s need to provide protection because we developed a plan to continue in what God was calling us to do while addressing the safety needs of our family. Our lives wouldn’t spiral out of control. As the days went on, we talked again. We examined our fears together. Doug noticed watching the news triggered fear in me. So, when I was in the room, he would change the TV or turn it off. When I asked him about it, he said “It was something that I could do to reduce the stress and fear in your life as an act of love.” This created a sense of connection and comfort in me because I could trust him to “have my back”. My emotional wellbeing was more important to him than keeping up with what the news had to say about the pandemic.
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Uncertain times, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, a move, or a pandemic, gives us the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our spouse. When you consider our role in our spouse’s life, you’ll realize that we have an opportunity to build a redemptive relationship, cultivate connection, and produce protection even in uncertain times.
“Overcome fear in uncertain times. Your spouse can help.”
Here are 3 ways to starve your spouse’s fears
- Know the triggers.
If your husband’s stress increases because he is concerned that he will not be able to provide for your family, encourage and be appreciative of the things that he is currently providing. If your wife’s fear is triggered by something you can control, change it. If it is triggered by something you can’t control, reassure her that you are “in it together” and she won’t be left alone.
- Do what you can.
Action produces confidence and confidence produces calm. When you see your spouse taking action steps, regardless of how small these steps may seem, it strengthens the bonds between you and your spouse. When there is a “we’re in this together” mentality it dispels the “alone” feelings. Sometimes, we have no control over what is happening to us. This is a scary thing and when fear abounds, we can lose track of some important truths. Take responsibility for what you can control. You can influence the atmosphere in your home. I’m not just talking to the wives here. Husbands, you also. Focus on God’s truths. This didn’t catch Him off-guard. Here are some verses to help Psalm 27:1, Joshua 1:9,
- Pray Together.
This should be the first thing, but I’ve saved the best for last. Stormie Omartian says in her book The Power Of Praying Together, “When you start praying regularly with a partner, you will see great things happen. That’s because each of you brings the Holy Spirit in you, and that power increases exponentially.” (pp. 87-88) Praying together has many benefits, especially in stressful times and when fear abounds. Praying together increases trust and intimacy because of the aptitude for vulnerability that it affords. It teaches us to be more focused on our spouse and it encourages grace. It literally strengthens the bond of marriage.
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How will you feel when your spouse starves your fears? What will be able to bloom in your marriage? We’d love to hear from you. Comment below or join our FB group, Confident Wife