When Differences are Hard on a Marriage


My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12

You have heard, “God has a wonderful plan for your life.”  Well, in my marriage, I found my husband had a wonderful plan for our life too.

When we exchanged our marriage vows, we both meant it when we said we would commit to each other from that day forward: In sickness and health, rich or poor, till death do we part. It was the part about loving and cherishing I had to learn more about. My dreams and goals did not always line up with my husband’s. As a result. I struggled with humility and resisted putting aside my plans to minister to and walk with my husband.

When we got married I realized there were some major differences between us: 

  • I was a morning creature. He was a night owl.
  • I liked to talk about problems in the morning. He’d rather wake me up at night after I’d gone to sleep to share his concerns.
  • He woke up stressed in the morning. I felt the pressures of life more at night.

Some of my husband’s responsibilities included taking care of the cars, yard, home maintenance, etc. He completed his jobs.  My jobs included taking care of children, meals, and laundry. I never finished my chores.

I worked from 7:30 a.m. till 3:30 p.m. as a teacher during the day. Much of my husband’s work was from 7:00 p.m. till 10:00 p.m at night.

Our differences were hard on our marriage and on each of us as individuals. We needed to bridge the gap our uniqueness created.  It was vital that we create time to talk, resolve our issues, and find ways to take care of mutual needs.                                                                                                                                        

We wanted a godly marriage. We both tried to put the Lord first and our marriage second. We wanted God to be glorified in our attitudes and actions. We both prayed, read the Bible and served the Lord faithfully. And while this was a good foundation, there was still work to be done to have the marriage we both wanted.

Here are some of the things I did to pursue a more godly marriage: 

  • I changed. The Lord said to me, “If you want your husband to change, you have to change first.” I was to put aside my annoyances and God would take care of my husband in His way and time.
  • I learned to communicate, making time (without interruptions) to share and listen. I started conversations at times that were non-stressful for both of us.
  • I made a schedule that included both of our needs and desires, a schedule  that worked for our busy life events. I was sensitive and intentional about the things my husband wanted to do and I made them a priority.
  • I developed the ability to cooperate and became a team player, walking by my husband’s side instead of always pursuing my agenda.
  • I humbled myself to follow his leading and look at things with his perspective. I put away my strong-willed desires.

My hubby changed too:

  • He respected my schedule.
  • He worked at communicating everyday when we both could talk and listen.
  • His was willing to change and that blessed me.

And there were a few things we agreed upon going forward. We still today keep these same guidelines for sharing with each other and it has made our marriage is stronger:

  • We set up a mutually good time to communicate in the middle of the day.
  • We stopped talking during our stress times. I would not talk to him about challenges before 10 a.m. and he would not speak about problems after 8 p. m.

My husband still has plans for our life, but I don’t fight him the way I once did. I come by his side and trust the Lord for His perfect plan to work in our lives together. God’s plan is for me to obey Him. I obey Him by honoring my husband in humility and love.

When conflict comes, I ask God to show me His way instead of my way. <<Click to Tweet

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

Elaine L. O’Neill currently lives in New Jersey with her husband, Dennis, and their two grown adopted children. She has a passion for prayer, teaching, missions and parenting. She is an excellent communicator, has a strong Biblical foundation, and loves using her gift of teaching to inspire people to pray, share their faith, become strong disciples and grow spiritually. Elaine is a Bible teacher, speaker, writer and children’s worker. Her  blogs are found at www.elaineloneill.com.

photo credit: @sage_solar via photopin cc
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