better or worse

5 Ways to Persevere in Your Marriage for Better or Worse

Most couples promise to love their spouses for better or worse. You don’t even have to be married to be familiar with probably the most well-known part of the standard wedding vows. I have to admit I can’t remember much of the other parts of our wedding vows. But, for some reason, that “for better or worse” sticks in my head.

Although most couples used that phrase in their wedding vows, I’m not sure they really knew what they were saying. My wife and I have definitely experienced both, and I’m happy to say that we’ve made it through. It hasn’t been easy by any means, and I’m sure there have been couples that have called it quits at the slightest experience of “worse.” It’s probably easier to do than to fight through or to persevere.

Persevering is how I’d describe it for us during those times. My wife and I have gone through financial despair, homelessness, communication issues, and even in-law conflicts. But that is the commitment we made, and we would not let anything tear us apart.

Here are 5 ways to persevere and to honor your promise to love for better or worse:

  1. Remember your promise. Sometimes just remembering what you said you were going to do is enough to help you through. Even if it’s not enough by itself, it is a great starting point.
  2. Remember the moments. In the interview my wife and I did with Mark and Susan Merrill from Family First, the parent organization of All Pro Dad, iMOM, and the Family Minute with Mark Merrill, Susan mentioned the counsel she got to look around at the scene on their wedding day. Remembering moments like this can help you push through.
  3. Have help. One of the biggest things that helped us through the hard times we faced was the close friendships we had with other couples as well as their counsel. Without them being there for us and with us, we may not be where we are today–together.
  4. Don’t accept anything less than a fulfilling marriage. [Tweet This] Sometimes it just takes buckling down and not accepting anything less than the best. It’s not easy, but closing off other options will force you to work for it.
  5. Depend on God. All of the above is great. But without prayer and faith in the promises we found in God’s Word, our marriage would be nowhere or nothing like it is today. At the end of the day, that is the best thing we have is our commitment to God and to one another.

You may be faced with tough times, but don’t give up. This is a season and things won’t be like this forever. Keep that in mind and don’t lose hope. My wife and I have persevered as well as other couples. And you can do the same too.

Sound Off

What are you willing to do to persevere through the challenges you are facing in your marriage?

Jackie Bledsoe

Jackie Bledsoe is an author, blogger, and speaker, but first and foremost a husband and father of three, who helps men better lead and love the ones who matter most.

  • Joe Smoe

    My wife and I have been married for 22 years and have four children. We have been through the ups and downs through the years (exetreme jealousy, financial, miscarriages, exetreme illness) We are currently at a cross road… I have been totally anti divorce, and she has held that over my head through our entire marriage, threatening to leave on a regular basis. She grew up in an alcoholic & physically abusive household and until recently denied counseling. She has brought the kids into every issue and argument. I have been the sole bread winner and she has refused to work outside of the home. She has refused to further her education/training (100% paid for). She has signed a seperation agreement, and I have struggled on what to do. Somewhat I have been in denial wanting things to be different for our children. I have placed myself first and the wholeness and happiness of the kids second. I have told her that I am no longer afraid of divorce and ready to go there. I will no longer foster the mental, physical, and emotional abuse. We started counseling last week, however I realized that there is not a silver bullet there now… I believe in “For better or worse” however I am struggling getting over many of these issues… Not to mention that I have been hospitalized numerous times in the past several years, and after one of several surgeries, she left me for dead and refused to have anything to do with me.. I am not perfect, but I am struggling here….

    • Layla

      Joe – Wow. So sorry for the turmoil! As I read your post, I almost get the sense that having grown up like she did, she may be trying to maintain control (from never having control) to minimizing pain (because there was so much). I DO want to tell you that God sees everything that is going on. He loves her and He loves you. Why don’t you invite Him in to your home and marriage and ask Him to heal your family? Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I’ll be praying for you!

    • Jeremy

      Joe, I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I’ll be praying for your health and your marriage. I encourage you to pray for your wife.

    • Amy

      Joe – I am so sorry to hear about your struggles in your marriage. Here is an article from another one of our platforms that may provide some advice: http://www.markmerrill.com/10-strategies-to-restore-an-ailing-marriage as well http://www.markmerrill.com/forgiveness-its-not-what-you-think. I pray that you and your wife are able to find restoration and healing.

  • Paul_Sp

    Nothing to disagree with, but rather vague and “macro” in places. Not sure how much help this is when facing specific odds between husband and wife.
    Just remembering moments, your vows, and that there will be tough times, may not help much with unresolved issues.

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