In this episode:
Does life feel too crazy to keep your marriage strong sometimes? This episode includes tips for busy couples who want to hang on when life makes them dizzy. That "marry"-go-round can pull us closer together or pull us apart!
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Highlights from "Practical Marriage Tips for the Crazy Life
- If you've ever hopped on a playground merry-go-round, you know that when someone spins it as fast as they can, you’re at the mercy of the person doing the spinning. You could not hop off that thing without risking injury.
- Sometimes life and marriage feel that way too. I like to think of it as not a merry-go-round but a marry-go-round. Most of us don't start out on the marry-go-round. Although some start out on kind of a slow spin. Then it ramps up from there.
- Today, I give some tips for holding on when life makes you dizzy.
- Make time to relax.
- Make time for each other.
- Cling to each other over others.
- Make a reminder list for what you love about your spouse.
- Get on the same page. Remember, you're a team.
- Spend time in the same space.
- We need to be on guard and know that at all times we're committed. It's not just when life is crazy. It's not just when life is easy. We're always committed to one another.
- Discuss what makes your relationship sometimes feel like a marry-go-round. Now, you might list these separately and then compare, or you might just name them off together as you go. Talk about what makes it feel like it's spinning like crazy.
- Then compare. Which of these challenges do you both have in common? Did you both identify some of the same things? Or are they different?
- And then take some time to discuss if you could make a change. What would be a first step that would help you to slow down the ride?
- Another set of questions: First, ask if you think you're too busy. on a scale of one to 10. With 10 being the most busy and one being the least busy. How busy Do you feel your life is right now as a couple. After you've identified that, then ask what, if anything, could you change right now?
Winner of the Christian Market Nonfiction Book of the Year 2021
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Episode Sponsor: Classic Marriage: Staying in Love as Your Odometer Climbs
In your marriage, breakdowns, meltdowns, and blowups aren’t a big surprise along life’s road. There will be moments where you haul yourselves back to the relationship garage for repairs. But like a trusty old truck, your classic marriage has lasting value. In Classic Marriage, you’ll find inspiration, honesty, and humor from the front seat of thirty-plus years of adventure with Michelle and Phil Rayburn. They share their story along with tips to get under the hood and keep your marriage going for the long haul. Work on your communication with tune-up questions in every chapter. Plus, Phil adds his witty commentary in pop-up comments throughout the book. The multi-award-winning Christian marriage book has been endorsed by many top relationship experts and counselors. Learn more at ClassicMarriageBook.com
Is life too crazy for you to have any time with your spouse lately? What do you do about that? I often talk about productivity, but relationships really matter. So today, I want you to focus on what you can do to grow the communication. When life spins a ground like a playground, right? I'll give you some questions to discuss at the end, where you can work on your own communication. And if you're somebody who's listening today, and you're not married, I'd love it. If you'd share a link to this episode with a friend who is if you've ever hopped on a merry go round on a playground and then hit someone spin it as fast as they could. I want you to step back in the recesses of your memory and feel what that's like. And now think about how it feels when your relationships are that way. This is episode number 127 of Life Repurposed.
You're listening to Life Repurposed, where you'll find practical biblical wisdom for everyday living, creative inspiration and helpful resources. Grow your faith, improve your relationships, discover your purpose and reach your goals with topics to encourage you to find hope amid the trashy stuff of life. Thanks for joining me today. I'm your host Michelle Rayburn. When I was brainstorming and trying to come up with a topic to talk about in this episode, I knew I wanted to cover relationships, because it's really close to Valentine's Day. And it's often a time when we're thinking about relationships. And I was thinking about things you don't say to your wife like, "You have pandemic patootie." Yeah, no, that kind of ranks right up there with answering the question, "Does this make my butt look big?"
So I wanted to have a more productive topic. And I decided that this is a good time for us to talk about what it's like when life spins like a playground ride, it's the perfect time to have an episode about making your relationship better. So let's dig in. If you want your spouse to listen with you this time, this will be about long enough to listen to on the way to dinner together. And then I'll give you some questions to discuss at the end. So it might be one that you want to put pause on right now. And pick up again when you're together so that you can listen it. Now if you're not married, I'd love it if you would share a link to this episode with a friend who is or you can listen in just for the fun of it. But I'd love to have you helped me get the word out there for someone who could use some help in the middle of their busy life.
If you've ever hopped on a playground merry go round, you know that when someone spins it as fast as they can, that there's this Oh, just go back in the recesses of your mind, listen to the squeak of the rusty metal. feel what it's like to have somebody spinning it faster and faster and faster, until one lap blurs into another and recall the Dizzy head that you get from being on the verge of puking. Your arms are like rubber bands that have lost their stretch and they're about to snap. Remember feeling at the mercy of the person doing the spinning, you could not hop off that thing you I remember pleading, please stop the ride. I get injured if I let go. So all you can do is hang on.
Sometimes life and marriage feel that way too. I like to think of it as not a merry go round with an m e r y. But a merry go round with an MA RR y. Most of us don't start out on the merry go round. Although some start out on kind of a slow spin. You know, maybe you started out your marriage was some challenges already with college or schedules or blended family, or all those things that go along with the challenges of everyday life. Or maybe you had part time work or two jobs or your extended family added some stress.
Most couples start out with a plan for advancing their careers and buying a home living a relaxed or suburban or rural life putting away some money for retirement. So there's a lot on the ride as it gets going. And then they don't expect companies to close and layoffs to happen, or health crises to come or taking care of parents or a child with special needs. We don't sign up for bankruptcy or lawsuits or car accidents, cancer or affairs. These things just happen. And when they do happen, the ride spins out of control. And this is on top of all the over commitments that we already kind of bank up along the way as marriage continues over the years. Some people can hold on and survive and others let go. And just like on the merry go round ride, there's bruises, pain scars, all the things that come from jumping off that ride. With each push light spends even more. We all have different circumstances but the push is there just the same. And marriages can fall apart sometimes when it's too difficult to get past the strain and the stress. So I want to talk about some things that have helped Phil and me with surviving the ride for 32 years. Before I do that, here's a word from our sponsor of this episode.
This episode is sponsored by classic marriage book.com Is your marriage ready for the long haul? In a marriage there will be hours of maintenance work tinkering, breakdowns, meltdowns, blow ups, cute photo UPS wear and tear overhauls, memories, vacation celebrations and repairs. There will be moments where you haul yourself back to the garage for work. Like a trusty old truck. A classic marriage isn't perfect, but who can put a price tag on it. In this book, you'll find inspiration, honesty and self deprecating humor from the front seat of adventure with Michelle and Phil. Tips to get under the hood and keep your marriage on the road to a long future. Tune Up questions in every chapter to work on your communication tools to cool overheated emotions and repair broken hearts. You can find more at Classic marriage book.com and find out how to get your copy of classic marriage staying in love as your dominant clients and the downloadable discussion questions that you can do together.
Okay, let me share some tips for coping.
The first tip is to make time to relax. I remember when our son was an infant, and he was at the peak of his colic, I would leave him with Phil sometimes for a few hours so that I could go to town. And I soon realized that if it only involves shopping, this would just add to the stress because it stressed our budget. So I started going to the library, I would sometimes sit and look at books there. And other times I would check out a stack to bring home but it was a time to relax. Maybe it's going for a walk on a quiet path. But I looked for ways that would not add stress because of poor habits, but things that just would give me some time to relax, my husband would also relax by going hunting, and going out in the woods and enjoying some peaceful time there. So the first tip for coping is to make time to relax.
The next tip is to make time for each other, this is going to take some effort, because life is already out of control. We've established that if that's you, even if it's only a short amount of time, it's important. So let's imagine your time is spent caring for a parent in your home. And at the end of the day, you're exhausted and have very little interest in anything but unwinding in front of the TV. And some sleep. Even 30 minutes spent in conversation about your day without the TV on can bring you closer together. It might mean you have to just step outside on the porch for a few minutes, it might mean that you go for a short walk. But if you can't leave the house, it might even mean being creative within the house. When we had little kids at home, I couldn't just leave the house, you can't leave your sleeping toddler and go for a walk or leave a screaming child. So I remember when Phil would come home from work and while he took a bath, I would sit on the toilet lid and tell him about my day and about caring for our preschool children. So I know it sounds like I cornered him in the bathroom. But it was just an opportunity for me to still have an ear with the bathroom door cracked on what was going on on the other side of the door and keeping an eye on kids, but making time for each other. So it might take some creativity.
Another tip is to cling to each other over others. Now this one sounds obvious, but when life feels like it's spinning, grabbing each other and holding on tight isn't always our first response. Sometimes we grab for other relationships, or for unhealthy coping, or we start to war with one another. It takes some work to really talk through sometimes, to say we're in this together let's cling to each other first. And together we're going to survive this ride.
Another tip is to make a reminder list for what you love about your spouse. One of the things for me when life gets crazy is that every little thing about my husband irritates me. Even if he's being as sweet as ever. It's just that way I just am. When you're stressed you sometimes are a little more irritable. So I have a list of things that I like about my husband that I've kept tucked in my Bible, I don't even remember when somebody had me fill it out, I think I was at a retreat. And every so often it falls out during my devotion time. So it's great to have that list there for when I'm frustrated with him for something that probably isn't his fault. So I would encourage you to make a reminder list of what, what you like about each other. And then put that somewhere where you can grab that in those moments when life is really spinning like crazy.
Another tip is to get on the same page, it's really important to talk about the details that are taking place in your life. And to discuss how to handle the circumstances plan those next steps and problem solve. Remember, you're a team. And rather than playing against each other, shoot for the same goal.
The last one that I have for you, the last tip is to spend time in the same space. For the first half of our marriage, we lived in small houses, and there was a country song I loved. love grows best in little houses. And it's a true song about the fact that sometimes when you have fewer walls to separate and not so much space, you're forced into proximity together, and you have to work things out.
We live in a bigger house now. And it's a strange house. It used to be a church. So we have this old church attached to a ranch house. That was the parsonage for the church. And so there are many times where my husband's in one corner, like in the basement of the old church part working on a project where I can't find him in the house. But when we were in our little house, we knew where we were all the time. So like I said, when you're forced together by proximity, you work things out, you talk more you sit closer together, you do life together, you don't have separate rooms that you can go to, to just pull away.
So the more separated we are and how we live, the more intentional we need to be about being together when life is crazy. I've discovered that crazy is a season. So it's kind of like spring, summer, fall winter, it doesn't stick around forever. But we need to be prepared. You've probably heard of couples who say they drifted apart or they grew apart. And I think of this like that centrifugal force on a spinning merry go round. You know how the faster that merry go round spins, it pulls outward more because of that force. And so many couples during that really busy time of life, when a lot of things are going on, they're spun away from each other by the force of everything that's going on, I am here to encourage you that it is possible to hang in there through the worst of everything. And then only like, it's possible for you to get to a point where you realize that when the spinning stops, you don't have anything to say anymore.
So even though you can hang on, is sometimes it's the chaos that keeps us hanging on. And when we don't have the chaos anymore, we realize we don't have something in common. And there could be apathy about your relationship and really no desire to stay married. So we need to be on guard and know that at all times we're committed. It's not just when life is crazy. It's not just when life is easy. We're always committed to one another. This is similar to what happens when some parents have kids leave home and then they face this empty nest. And empty nest syndrome is a real thing. All of our efforts might have gone toward launching our kids and celebrating their achievements. And then when the time comes, it's just the two of us what happens is we aren't sure we even know each other anymore.
I want to leave you with some questions that you can discuss after you turn off this episode. This is all about you figuring out where you are in your relationship assessing how crazy is it right now? And what do we need to do in order to survive this ride on the merry go round. So these are a couple of questions that are taken out of the tune up time in the classic marriage book. And that's actually today's resource. It's the sponsor of this episode. It's the classic marriage book, staying in love as your odometer climbs is the subtitle of that book, you're going to find that book at Classicmarriagebook.com. And I will link to that in the show notes.
My husband Phil and I released that book. I think it was in 2020. So these are a couple of questions from the tune up time there for you to use now as you wrap up this episode and go out on date night. So I'm going to give you a little bit of a musical interlude here so you know we're going into those questions. And then you can hit pause and then you'll be ready to go when it comes time to have your little chat together. Now if you want to get those questions in a format that's printable, or you can have it on your phone. You will also find those free downloads at Classic marriage book.com. So here we go on some questions.
First, I'd like you to discuss what makes your relationship sometimes feel like a marry-go-round. Now, you might list these separately and then compare, or you might just name them off together as you go. So, go ahead and talk about what makes it feel like it's spinning like crazy. Then I want you to compare, which of these challenges do you both have in common? Did you both identify some of the same things? Or are they different? And then take some time to discuss if you could make a change. What would be a first step that would help you to slow down the ride?
Now let's move on to another set of questions. First, ask if you think you're too busy. Now the easiest way to do this is on a scale of one to 10. With 10 being the most busy and one being the least busy. How busy Do you feel your life is right now as a couple. After you've identified that, then ask What, if anything, could you change right now?
That's just an introduction to some questions that come out of the classic marriage book in relationship to what to do when you're riding on the merry go round. I hope you've enjoyed this episode.
I'll be back again next week with a guest Have a great day. You've been listening to life repurposed with Michelle Rayburn, checkout tips, resources and inspiration at Michelle rayburn.com. To get the show notes for this episode. Each week I share links to everything mentioned in the episode, graphics you can share and guest quotes. I also invite you to join the life repurpose Facebook community for weekly conversation with others on the journey of discovering the repurpose life before you go. Which friend needs to hear this episode. share a link with a note to invite them to listen and thank you for listening too!
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