I sat down this afternoon to play a little Candy Crush saga do some intense blog research. As I do with many things in my life, I tried to think about how this game relates to working on a marriage.
- It takes three candies to clear a row. It takes three to work on a problem—you, your husband, and God.
- Some levels you complete lickety-split. Some marriage issues can be dealt with quickly.
- With other levels, though, you may have to try, try, try, rest, try, try, and try again before you accomplish what you’re after. Some marriage challenges require a lot of time, effort, and recharging to successfully address.
- Completing a level can happen while you’re not even looking at that area of the game. You might be so busy working on one area that you don’t even realize that what you’re doing there has a ripple effect further on down. This happened in our marriage. I thought I was working on sex. Lo and behold, every area of our marriage is better. Who knew?
- Patience is necessary. ‘Nuff said.
- Sometimes you say things you shouldn’t. I imagine we’ve all spoken thoughtlessly to our husbands at one time or another. Or maybe that’s just me.
- If you don’t keep at it, when you finally go back to it, you’ll still be stuck where you were—and you might not even remember how to work with certain features. In marriage, sometimes you may want to step back for a while just to pull yourself together or work on other things. Maybe it means to back away from intensive counseling. Maybe it is even a separation with the intent to reconcile after individual healing. This is fine—but don’t be surprised if you have to get reacquainted with some issues and strategies when you go back. It’s just part of the game work.
- There’s a learning curve. You knew this about marriage, right? Or were you like me, all rose-colored lenses, sure that the problems I’d read about in magazine articles would never happen to us. After all, we were in love. We were stronger than that. What’s to learn?
- You can look and look and still not see a pattern or a solution—and then suddenly, you will. For many years, I simply didn’t see that my sexual control in our marriage was truly hurting our husband. I really didn’t. I knew he was upset, but I didn’t know he was hurting. And then suddenly, I knew that he was—and I knew that I needed to change my approach to sex.
- Sometimes you have to line things up to make them happen. The striped candies will not decide to scoot into the right path all on their own. When you face a marriage challenge, you may have to spend some time laying the right foundation in order to clear the problem.
- You might wish you could decide how to arrange all the pieces—but you can’t. You have to play the game you’re given. You might wish things were different—that your husband didn’t have a porn problem, that you weren’t abused as a child, that you didn’t have an emotional affair, that neither of you brought sexual experience to the marriage. But you have to respond to the realities of your situation if you’re going to make any progress.
- If you fail a level, you’ll see a broken heart—but a failed level is not a lost game. Try again. Although a marriage may be broken beyond our ability to see our way forward, that doesn’t mean it is beyond God’s ability to heal.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net