Nice to meet you, my name is Robyn. I’m a daughter of The King, my husband’s wife, my kids’ mom, and my dogs’ human. I’ll tell you at the onset that my view of marriage and its purposes are not trendy or popular. I’ve named my site UPwithmarriage for two reasons. First: marriage came from God, it was His idea. Therefore, it can only be fulfilled according to His purpose -He is UP above us. Second: the life of a marriage is more important than either of the spouses -it belongs UP above each of us.
Upwithmarriage draws on our combined marriage experience of 29 years, both the worst of times and the best of times. The story that follows will give you some context of me and Darrell.
While at a marriage conference years ago, we were asked to do a quiz that was designed to reveal to each couple which one of you was the Woodpecker and which was the Turtle. Each couple turned over the quiz and leaned into each other in shared quiet talk as we each made our way through the quiz. We heard quiet whispers and lots of spontaneous laughter as the allotted time came to a close. The conference leaders asked the group a few pointed questions; more laughter and knowing nods came from various locations around the room. Then there was a pause, followed by this question, “There are always one or two couples that have two Woodpeckers in a marriage, where are you?” Slowly one couple put up their hands. We were that couple.
What I share comes from the struggle that is found in the real life conflict that is promised in marriage*, followed by the brokenness that has led to (and is still leading me through) humility. I am not going to tell you that if you follow a simple formula all your problems within your marriage will magically disappear, or that if you follow my advice your spouse will morph into exactly who you think they should be.
Getting married was the easy part. Staying married is hard – sometimes, really hard. But so is anything in life that is of value. I can make one guarantee though — The level of difficulty you experience is not equivalent to the benefits. The rewards are far greater!
Why this blog
There’s all kinds of information out there on how your marriage should look: What you should be doing, what he should be doing, and if you both follow the “shoulds,” you can arrive at, Happily Ever After. Sometimes you do, but sometimes…. you don’t. Sometimes, in spite of the best intentions, all that happens is a steady movement to that place in marriage called, the worse. When you find your marriage sitting here, you really only have two options: Stay or leave.
The beginning of marriage, the wedding, and honeymoon are the easy parts – I mean, who doesn’t like a party! And endings? Finishing is great because all the work is done! It is in the middle that we find our deepest conflicts and biggest struggles. If there is ever a time when we want to give up on our marriage, it is in the middle.
I write to those women that choose to stay. Not because they are masochists, but because like me, they have suspicions that marriage is not what it seems on the surface: there is something more. The world sees the perspective of living happily ever after and says, “If you aren’t happy, make it happen for yourself: leave him. You deserve better.” For those of us that hold on, there is something inside us that pushes back against that mantra.
On a more personal note, the nature of my subject matter might lead you to think that our marriage is full of strife and struggle with no light of Christ or hope or happiness. It’s not true. Darrell and I have a great marriage! I came across this quote from markmerill.com that perfectly captures our walk: “Your marriage will shine the brightest after you have travelled on the darkest roads together.” That’s us for sure! And it’s the underpinning of upwithmarriage: -dark roads. No one ever leaves their marriage in good times, it’s always during a season of struggle, conflict or offence.
I’m working to equip wives who’ve already determined to stay. Anything I write presupposes that you are not wasting any energy on the decision to leave but instead, focusing all you’ve got on God.
*1 Cor 7:28