Sometimes all we need is a new or unique way of looking at our marriages; a new perspective that shines a fresh light on the issues we’re facing, the problems we’ve had and the crises that come with every marriage. Every couple took the vow to stay together “for better or worse” not knowing just how hard marriage really can be sometimes. Life is hard. Life as a couple is hard. But this refreshing new way of looking at marriage can not only give you a new perspective, it just might help hold your marriage together when times get tough.
In her blog post “The Marriage Jar” on Huffington Post, author Kerry Lyons shares that she and her husband of ten years have gone through the deaths of in-laws, the loss of a brother and the birth of identical triplets. They never imagined that life could be so hard or that it could place so much stress on a marriage.
But she explains that a friend’s wedding, and the story of “The Marriage Jar” has given her a unique and beautiful way of looking at her marriage.
It was a simple ceramic jar — rustic, yet beautiful in its Italian craftsmanship. He called it a “Marriage Jar” and on that day, the day these two became one, the jar was full; but the priest cautioned that as the years pass, the worries abound, the wonder dissipates and you may suddenly find that jar only half-full. Or less. And then, you’re faced with a choice.”
As Lyons explains, the choice is to either watch your marriage jar (and your marriage) continue to leak or you can do something about it and save your marriage from going completely dry.
You can watch passively from the sidelines as your marriage jar leaks or you can vow to replenish it regularly; to keep a close eye on it; to treat it tenderly. To value it. Cherish it. Nourish it.”
How do you do that? What fills the marriage jar?
Kindness, thoughtfulness, appreciation, nurturing and encouragement are just a few things that can fill a marriage jar and keep it full.
Choose your words carefully, especially when you’re angry.
Take time to really listen, especially when you’re distracted.
Allow your spouse to be right, especially when you’re convinced that they’re wrong.
Talk about your concerns, especially when you want to keep them to yourself.
Say “thank you”, especially for the little things.
Be grateful, especially when you feel cheated.
Your marriage jar was full when you got it. It can be full again, if you pay attention and commit to doing the things, both large and small, that will keep your marriage jar, and your marriage, full of life.