“Anything in life that truly matters can be boiled down to relationships.” – Gary Smalley
“What’s the weather like today?” We sometimes may ask ourselves that question when we come home to our spouse when we are not sure what their mood is like that day.
In the same way, the “weather” changes now and then in our marriage. Sometimes, it is pleasant. Other times, it is not as pleasant as we would like it to be. As with every important relationship worth nurturing, our marriage experiences changes and growth. Each shift in our marital relationship brings with it unique joys and stresses in the marital relationship:
- Breezy: In this weather, everything feels cool and pleasant. Possibilities abound, and couples often have a sense of excitement and joy in their relationship. This burst of energy is often accompanied by a sense of hope and optimism for the future. This weather is common to newlyweds, but can also be experienced by couples who have been married for a number of years, including those experiencing a newfound freedom because their children are gaining independence or have left the nest of their home.
- Sunny: What it feels like most of the time in a tropical country like Singapore – bright and hot! This weather is marked by increased activity and fun, as couples could be busy with building a career and raising a family. The busyness can bring greater satisfaction and connection when the couple intentionally works towards a common goal.
- Overcast: The skies are gloomy. This is when the marriage experiences a time of melancholic slowdown and the couple feels distant from each other. There is a heightened sense of detachment, and one or both parties may feel unloved and unappreciated. However, overcast skies may not always bring a thunderstorm, but can be seen as an invitation to stay indoors with each other to reflect on how to turn things around toward the positive.
- Stormy: It’s a thunderstorm no one wanted to get caught in. Marriages in this weather are marked by harshness, rejection, and disappointment. There is hardly any affection or connection between spouses. Winds of coldness or thunderous conflicts may often occur in the marriage. Couples in this weather of marriage carry a strong sense of hopelessness.
What weather is your marriage in?
In your marriage, you may rotate through these different kinds of weather in a certain order a few times or you may find you and your spouse experience the shifts in weather with no specific order.
No matter which weather your marriage is in right now, Gary Chapman encourages us all: “The reality is that every marriage is still in process; no one has the perfect marriage.”1 Even if your marriage is in bad weather right now, do not give up hope. The weather can still change as you and your spouse continue to work on your marriage.
Marriage, like the weather, consists of a process of changes; there is no permanent bad weather. With the right tools and a supportive community, we can have a better marriage than we do now.
Get a sense of where your marriage is at by taking the quiz at www.family.org.sg/MarriageQuiz.
The quiz serves as a tool for you and your spouse to take an honest look at your marriage. You may have different results, and that may be a good starting point to understand the assumptions or expectations each other has of the marriage.
No matter how long we have been married, we have a part to play in the state of our relationship with our spouse. Good weather can be maintained or become better, and bad weather does not mean it cannot turn for good. Every effort we put in contributes toward growth in our marriage.
Living out your vows “to have and to hold, till death do us part” is not just a dream, it’s a possibility. And in the journey, you also encourage other couples to do the same.
How’s the weather in your marriage? Understand more about where your marriage is at now, and the practical steps you can take to keep your marriage growing and thriving:
In every kind of weather, you can make your marriage the best that it can be!
© 2021 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.
Share this article with someone you care for today, and you might encourage them in their journey. Share instantly on WhatsApp Mobile or on Telegram.