Hard Times in Marriage Often Reveal the Most Shine in the Diamond

Do you know what this photo depicts? If you answered, “The reason your marriage might not make it, Jodie,” then; winner, winner, chicken dinner! Because you’d be correct.

Erik and I can do hard together. By God, you’d better believe me when I tell you we have. But this kind of hard, working cohesively together to hitch the trailer to the truck? Nope. No can do. This brand of hard trips us up every time.


Last time we tried, a good Samaritan type fella standing off to the side and watching me implode in my failing efforts to send Erik the right signals felt compelled to intervene in our mess of an attempt to get hitched. “Oh, hon, let me help you all with this.” Which he proceeded to do and finished in mere seconds without any steam coming out of his ears or red-hot rage spreading across his face. And so Erik and I are still married.


We’re going to have to do this together again and again though, there’s no getting around it. We’re no good at doing this together though and apparently, there’s no getting around that either. This kind of constant struggle, not just with the truck and trailer but with all the difficulties in marriage, if I’m not careful can lead to me thinking we’re just not good together, period.


In my frustration, I come away from this kind of struggle sure we each picked wrong. If we can’t hitch a trailer without feeling the need to retreat to our own corners and hire divorce lawyers afterward what good are we together anyway? How can we do the really hard things if we can’t do this low to medium hard thing without combusting?


Each time the hitching is done though and I begin to calm the bleep down, I remember this is exactly what marriage is like. For everyone, everywhere. There will be challenges we’ll come up against that will test our coupledom to its core. There will be tasks one of us excels at and the other stinks to high hell at. There will be instances when we end up working against each other despite our initial efforts and desire to work well together.


Even though, there can still be love. A love that sustains hearts and smooths ruffled feathers. A love that trumps all that threatens to break it down. A love that reminds us though we’re not always going to be good at everything we face together and sometimes we’ll plain fail each other, we’ll still be good together, good for each other as long as we keep deciding to be. As long as we keep viewing our struggles as just inevitable bumps in the road, not sinkholes that give way to the mountainside.


Working together to get hitched up may continue to feel like one of the most challenging and frustrating things Erik and I attempt to do together, but it also serves to remind me we always get ‘er done eventually. And after the doing, no matter how challenging, the ire always fades away, the love always remains and this is true across the board for every test we’ve ever been put to.


There hasn’t been a test yet we haven’t passed. We’ve had to do several retakes and source plenty of extra tutoring along the way but the extra effort just proves the strength of our commitment to each other and our enduring ability to do hard things, even if we do them the hard way.


Written by: Jodie Utter

For more of this kind of imperfect muddling through, I’d love to have you join me in this community of Utter Imperfection by signing up to receive my blog posts via email and following me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.


Jodie Utter

5 thoughts on “Hard Times in Marriage Often Reveal the Most Shine in the Diamond

  1. Lord if I don’t think–every time Simon and I have to complete some mundane task together– that the sky is going to fall. I wonder all the time how people so opposite of each other could’ve chosen each other–not once but SEVERAL times. I think that you’re right, though, it’s all part & parcel of being married…a not-very-easy task, by the way. It’s a journey, for sure. But I’m better because I picked him. Sometimes more frustrated, but still better.


  2. What you write is the God’s honest truth! My husband and I have been married for 21 years now and some days it feels like it’s been 100 and sometimes it feels like it’s just flying way too fast! I’m blessed because he has just as warped and dark a sense of humor as I have! It’s the little things that are just between the two of you — those little inside jokes that no one else understands — that sometimes help you get over the bigger things! And every once in awhile you get a little hitch in your getalong and just have to work things out the hard way!


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