An Article from Amy Boutan
The 5 mistakes we made are not as fun to write about or to share. I am not thrilled about covering this side of things especially since Paul was so nice to me in his article that he wrote last week. It was not intentional that I got assigned to write about the things we did wrong, just as we were reflecting on our marriage and discussing our mistakes it just turned out that way. We know that many marriages out there are struggling. Our hope is that perhaps giving some tips on what we have done well and then pull the curtain back on where we struggle, it might be encouraging and helpful to some couples. I have divided these up in areas between the both of us. Where we each have contributed to the mistakes made: (Because I am writing this, I will start with Paul) :) 1. Paul: Slow to plan dates and vacations. Going out regularly has helped our marriage, but as Paul shared in his last article, most of the planning has been on me. We have discussed this and Paul is stepping up in this area and actively researching possible fun dates. I appreciate his efforts, so when a Paul comes up with an idea I try to go along with it and do not critique or make changes to the plan.
2. Amy: I am slow to forgive and get over disappointments. I need to be quick to forgive, accept God’s plan changes or His “no’s”. When our vacation was cut short due to the storm and flight cancellation there were a lot of tears. Then there was lots of blaming. I blamed Paul, God and anyone else I could think of. The last day and a half had a dark cloud following us. Which is a bummer because we only had a total of 4 days vacation. I have found that I regularly need to devote a lot time in prayer to help me to adjust my attitude, accept God’s sovereign will and trust that His ways are best.
3. Both of us: we were slow to deal with some medical issues that were negatively impacting our sex life. When we finally discussed it, addressed it and got help; the result was wonderful. We have said that we wish that we would have gotten medical attention earlier. We did not need to have 10 years of meh. The sexual relationship in a marriage is important and meant to be throughly enjoyed. We are glad that we finally dealt with this problem. (We are not going to get more specific, so don’t ask.)
4. Paul: Has struggled with allowing the needs/demands of the church to interrupt family time. We regularly get calls at dinner, in the evening, on the weekends and on days off. This has caused a strain because Paul is torn between the care for the sheep and for his family. We have had to establish boundaries. The church is better off in the long run if the pastor’s marriage and home are healthy. We have done a better job of letting calls go to voice mail and addressing them when it is not interfering with our precious family time.
5. Amy: I have the tendency to pick at Paul. The quantity of “nit picking” is directly related to my time in God’s Word. With all the pressures Paul faces in serving in the ministry, I do not need tear him down and make him feel like a failure at home. Life is better for everyone when I choose to be encouraging instead. When I can control this issue, I feel better and Paul is happier. I have also found that our kind and loving Heavenly Father will quickly put me in my place if I don’t humble myself. Either I humble myself, or God will do it for me. God’s humbling is very thorough and more painful. Bottom line, my suggestion for the unmarried; choose well when selecting a spouse. I chose a wonderful man and have a great marriage because of it. To the married, be prepared to forgive a lot and be humble enough to own your mistakes. Hopefully, you will end up laughing a lot along the way.
If you are interested in reading Joe and Margaret McKeever's "Ten Mistakes in 50 Years of Marriage" click this link: https://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/joe-mckeever/our-top-10-mistakes-in-50-years-of-marriage.html