Riding the Roller Coaster

Marriage can sometimes feel like a roller coaster ride. Unfortunately, we are easily influenced by circumstances and emotions that often temporarily affect our feelings. If we allow our feelings to direct our course of life, we will never get off that roller coaster.

Come to think of it though, Rick never boards that roller coaster. His ride tends to be straight and level with no surprises. Of course, feelings never get in the way of his actions or decisions. I suppose my roller coaster tendencies may be due to the fact that I’m:  A. female (and usually directed by my feelings)   B. hormonal most of the time and  C. from a family of roller coaster riders.

Now I know that when I drop to the lowest lows of the ride, I can easily get caught in a party of SELF-pity. Those times don’t occur as often as they used to, but I don’t understand why they occur at all anymore. Sometimes I wallow there for a full day. I guess that’s the part of being human that drives me crazy!

I turned my life over to God 25 years ago, but I still experience moments of “forgetting” how to handle my SELF. I know the answers and how to deal with it, yet I can’t always pick myself up to apply them.

Rick and I have had a marriage ministry for over 20 years, teaching classes and holding seminars.  I know our material backwards and forwards. Do I always apply it?  NO!  Sometimes I hold on to my “righteous indignation” (usually when I’m tired, ill, or hormonal) and only want to lash out because it feels good. I hate how it feels afterwards though. (Thank God these days are now few and far between.)

There are days I look at my life and say, “There’s got to be something better for me.” Life can sometimes be a great chore. It can get you down. Marriage can be a great chore -- even to someone like me who supposedly knows all the answers to the keys for a successful marriage.

How do we get off this roller coaster ride? First of all, you realize you are only human (and a woman). We were made with these tendencies to keep one foot in the world and listen to everything it tells us. That’s where we get in trouble in the first place.  We tend to let our feelings be our guide.

Second of all, you have to stay close to God. You have to stay close to your spouse. When you fail to do either, the old enemy (Satan) will quickly build a wall between you and them with garbage the television, the radio, the Internet and yes, your friends may tell you.

Third of all, you concentrate on being keenly aware of the moments you fall into your SELF. Following your selfish desires is a sure way to stay on the roller coaster. It will also keep you from a relationship with God and your spouse (as I’ve said many times before.)

When it occurred to me that I ride this roller coaster all alone in my marriage, I realized that it might be me that’s perpetuating it, not my marriage or my life. I have a wonderful marriage and a wonderful life, yet I still face these mountains and valleys. I’m learning to just hang on for the ride and not take it so seriously. The ride will be over in no time. Hmmm, maybe I can learn something from it.


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