Be in Love – Life offers many challenging seasons, which make screaming, crying, and running away appear rational. The season of school is not unlike the many trials that lay ahead: they require being stuck together with love glue! The late night papers, exhaustion, limited time together, and financial stress has a way of bringing out our not so lovable parts. There must be a commitment to loving each other in the good and not so good. You may get frustrated and hurt, but at the end of the day you just love that smoking hot college guy so much, you can’t help but forgive!
Accept your role – The poison of complaining and seeing the grass greener somewhere else is always slipping into your morning coffee. Your man is going to school, and less able to carry your complaints and burdens. Some of you might be working night and day to pay for that hubby to sit around and listen to professors yak. Some are like me, changing diapers and taking care of home life. Some of you are also college students, which can make grades and the divide of household chores a competition. The only way to survive is to become a warrior princess. It’s time to “woman up”, accept your role during this season, and get your big girl pants on! You have to see your marriage as a team of people working towards a goal. Take care of what you can, while praying and encouraging your spouse to take care of what they can.
Keep the dream alive – When the going gets tough and the tunnel seems to stretch for miles, you must keep the dream alive. The light at the end of the tunnel must be regularly gazed at and discussed. Life gets difficult and it’s easy to be discouraged, so you have to refocus and ask, “why are we doing this again?” You know how it is. You haven’t really been able to “talk” for days, and you finally have a day off in sight. To your dismay, that blankity blank professor just assigned your husband a paper with a several-thousand word minimum. You can feel the melt down coming on, and you are ready to beg your husband to quit school. There is no question that it’s time for some happy day dreaming. You must have a vision and a purpose, to give meaning to those sacrifices that are endlessly required. Of course those visions and dreams will change over and over again, but you still need a working dream to get you through the homework overloads.
Learn to use new love languages – You spent lots of time dating, but now that you are married you see each other less and have much less money to spend. How on earth do you relate? The usual things that make you feel loved are just impossible, so you try some fresh ways of keeping the romance alive. You do things that can feel like torture…Like sitting quietly next to your husband while he studies. He feels supported and loved, even though you are dying of boredom and about to burst with all those pent-up thoughts. Instead of getting to whisper sweet nothings, you write loves letters on sticky notes and stick them in lunch boxes and in the pages of text books. You wake up early to make a protein filled breakfast on big exam days. You pay the bills, do the shopping, and keep his underwear clean so he doesn’t have to. It’s not exactly a Nicholas Sparks romance, but you are making sure he feels cared for.
The time you do have together…make it good! – So you finally have some time together! A precious hour that doesn’t require studying, speed eating, or brushing your teeth. It is so easy to just unload. You finally have his listening ear and you want to let him know about how awful he has been the last week. You are ready to engage in a full-out complaining session and then remind him just how lucky he is to be married to you! It’s true, you do need to unload occasionally. And it is so unfair that you don’t have his attention the way you did before the semester began, however, this is your time together. You don’t want that one hour of one on one to be a fight. This takes lots of prayer, planning, and grace. You both have to prioritize information and emotions. Keeping those sacred moments positive (and honest! I’m not suggesting fake and unsatisfying conversations) takes a lot of energy. Your daily thought life leaks like a faucet during these times, so thinking about what you are thinking throughout your day is a great way of protecting your relationship.