Beth’s Story

My Marriage Mess

Early in my marriage, my husband and I knew that with each passing day, we were making a bigger and bigger mess of our marriage. We were young, and perhaps naive enough to not know how to change it.

Since we were both Christians who were active in our church and growing in our faith, we were confused about why we were struggling so much. So we decided at some point to seek out a marriage counselor.

Through those counseling sessions, God began to pull back the layers of our marriage, revealing to us not just the mess we had in our marriage, but also the mess we had in our heads and hearts. We somehow believed that it was our spouse’s fault for the mess we were in!

It wasn’t until we were able to admit our own contribution to the mess of our marriage and humbly surrender that mess to God, that He was finally able to do His redeeming and renewing work in our marriage.

We are still a work in progress. But I have to say, God has brought us so far from those dark and messy early days. Now our marriage perspective is not based upon what we can get from each other or whose at fault for the latest mess.

We’ve learned how to forgive one another and accept one another as the broken, sinful partners we are. And we’ve learned to surrender our messes daily to the only One who can enable us to love each other as He loves us … with a Big, God-Sized Love!

My Background 

I have a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling and have counseled women and married couples for over 25 years. I’m also actively involved in leading the women’s recovery groups in our church, where my husband is Pastor of Care and Recovery.

I received my certification as a Board Certified Christian Life Coach through American Association of Christian Counselors in the Spring of 2012. You can find out more about my life-coaching services by clicking here – Hope Renewed.

My Family

My husband, Gary and I have been married for 28 years and counting! We have three handsome sons, Jordan, Graham and Braden, as well as, our newest family member, Sarah, Jordan’s new wife and our “daughter-in-love!” I just love living this messy life with all of them and especially with the One who redeems all of our many messes—Christ!

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Thanks so much for visiting!
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  • John Wilder

    We are in a similar business. I too am a Christian and Baptist. I would love to chat with you and talk shop. I would also love it if you would consider reading and reviewing my Kindle book entitled: SEX EDUCATION FOR ADULTS SECRETS TO AMAZING SEX AND HAPPILY EVER AFTER TOO. It is Bible based and based upon the premise that churches are doing little to address people’s needs in conflict resolution or in the mandated ministry in the NT IN Titus 2 where it says that the older women of the church are supposed to teach the younger women of the church how to love their husbands so that the Word of God is not blasphemed.

  • Hi Beth, Joe Pote sent me over to meet you! 🙂
    So much I can relate to here…hubby and I have been married 29 years, and we definitely had a messy time of it for far too long. We also sought marriage counseling, in addition to individual counseling, and learned to take responsibility for our own parts of the problem. Not an easy thing to do!!
    Love your honesty and straightforward attitude!
    Keep it up!

    • Wow! 29 years, Denise! That’s sounds like such a long time! And yet my husband and I are just a couple years behind you. It seems like only yesterday that we were all “messy and mad” all the time! ha! Seriously, I’m so grateful for the way God has refined us and redeemed the messes we’ve made as a couple. And I know that if you like Joe’s blog, then we probably see eye to eye on a lot of things. 🙂 Being married for this long gives us a huge advantage that other newly wed couples can’t even comprehend! Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend.

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  • This is beautiful and so similar to my story. My husband and I have been married just two years, but recently spent about 6 wonderfully healing and helpful months in counseling. I am excited to read through your posts and learn more about the messy and real parts of marriage in this space!

    • I’m so glad that you and your husband started early to address issues in counseling, Lauren. My husband and I waited till we’d been married about 5 years and had one child and one on the way before we sought the help of a counselor. It was a choice (going to a counselor) we made off and on at several different intervals in our marriage of now 28 years. So I hope that you and your hubby continue to grow closer and keep that door open for continued counseling when life throws you a curve! And I’m also excited that you found Messy Marriage. Your words of encouragement are greatly appreciated and I hope you do continue to visit and utilize the “been-there-done-that-and-learned-better” lessons that I pass along to others. 😉 Nice to meet ya!

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  • Sheila Qualls

    I can relate. We’ve been married 30 years. I remember the days. I am amazed at what God can do in the hearts of people. But, I don’t know why! Our marriage sounds a lot like yours in the beginning. My family of origin sounds a lot like yours in terms of how my parents related. We came to Christ in our marriage. We have 5 children (only 2 at home), and I started blogging a couple of years ago in hopes of encouraging wives and moms. I’ve been there. I know how it feels when it seems like you’re doing all the right things, but nothing works. I blog at Real Moms Don’t Judge. . We Just Suggest. I love your message!

    • Ursula Roach

      Good Morning Mrs. Steffaniak and Mrs. Quails,

      I have been married for 14 years and I am at the end of my rope with my marriage. I try to stay positive and try to continue to keep the faith that our marriage will stand the test of time. It’s getting harder everyday. We are both broken in this marriage. It is easily said that’s done to forgive and forget but I know that I am holding on to a lot and I think I have let go of the hurts but they seem to resurface. We have 2 handsome boys and A beautiful daughter. How do a person keep continuing to live in a broken marriage when I feel like my husband has a lot to do with why I changed so much towards him. I see success stories all the time when I’m reading about testimonies related to marriage. I don’t think that my marriage will survive much longer.

      • Yes, Ursula, that’s one of the main ways I brought healing to my heart and marriage–by processing through my hurts and forgiving my husband through the power of God’s love and grace. I don’t say that as some pat answer that involves only a decision to forgive. I say that, meaning it took a lot of hard work, tenacity and leaning into the Lord’s comfort in the losses and pain I felt in marriage for many years and still continues whenever my heart is pricked, especially in an area that has been repeatedly wounded. If you don’t deal with these hurts aggressively with the help of the Lord and a good Christian counselor, they will most certainly resurface and discourage you from persevering in your marriage. And I don’t doubt that your husband has a lot to do with and maybe more to do with the demise of your marriage than you do. BUT that can never be where you land, otherwise you land in a place of victimhood and self-pity. That, along with any unforgiven grievances, will serve to strangle out any ounce of love you might feel for your husband. You must realize that you are powerless to change your husband or convince him of his wrongs. You must surrender him to the Lord and then ask the Lord to guide you in what you alone can do to make your marriage better and bring healing to your heart. This is a process and commitment that is not for the faint of heart, but thankfully, through the Lord, we do not have to grow weary. He will strengthen you too, if you will let Him. You are in my prayers, dear friend! Thanks for being so candid here.

    • Ursula Roach

      Sorry for misspelling your last name Qualls