The Stranger in the Bed


So today, here’s the question I want to ask: have you ever been at a low point in your marriage? How did you turn it around?

It was a Friday in early 2004.

I won’t go into how frustrating a time it was that the school system was unable to deal with a troubled boy, how patient my employer was with my frequent disappearances to handle emergencies, how this situation impacted our other children…

but I will tell you I felt distraught and I felt alone.

Alone?  Why would I feel alone when I had a husband by my side?

Because we were dealing with the implosion of our family in very different ways.

Retreat. Turn inward.  Immerse yourself in work. Minimize the problem.  That was Mike’s way of coping.

Resent. Over-extend.  Immerse  yourself in guilt and shame.  Try to control the problem.  That was my way of coping.

Neither of us were coping in a way that was conducive to our relationship.  We lay in bed at night, backs to each other, both having so much to say and fall asleep to silence.

When we did speak, it was throwing “You don’t do this” and “You should be doing this” statements around instead of leaning into each other for the support both of us desperately needed at the time.

We spoke of the D word.

Then a Pastor reminded us that this situation was not either one of our doing.  That we had become so focused on the problem we had lost sight of part of the solution- coming together and working as a team.

It took getting some time away together, re-focusing on our marriage as a priority, and some good old-fashioned marriage counseling…but we got through it.

By the grace of God we got through a difficult time.  We did not know it then but that period of trial in our marriage was preparing us for far more difficult times ahead.  Times that we would be able to withstand because our focus was back on our team.

Mike+Melissa+God= A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  Ecclesiastes 4:12

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  1. You know this is a FABULOUS post! Too often we are told that a marriage is 50/50 and I firmly believe a marriage is 100/100. If you aren’t both in the boat, someone is always waiting to jump ship. Thank you for sharing this with us! ((HUGS))

  2. Great post! So much truth in it.

  3. Very vulnerable post that most of us can probably identify with from some point in time. I am glad you made it through. I love your team of three. I will remember that.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear that you went through such a hard time. I appreciate your honesty. I think the main and best point was that you worked through it and came out on the other end. Marriage is work, and it’s hard when stress beyond your control adds to trouble at home, but I’m so happy to hear that you worked it out.

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