There is something special about brand new. When something brand new comes in your life there are special feelings that come with it. A new car, a new house, new clothes, new tools, new appliances, all share in common that special feeling.
The same can be said about a new marriage. There is excitement and hopeful anticipation for what the future will hold. You don’t know everything this new journey will encounter. But you believe the two of you together can conquer the world.
A brand new marriage, whether it’s the first, second, third or whatever, feels like a new start. There is no bad history, bad memories, or bad feelings between husband and wife. They can take everything they know about life and relationships and apply it to this new marriage. And everything should work out just fine.
We see this happen over and over with celebrities and other people around us. But then, what happens when bad stuff starts happening in their brand new marriage? Will it be time to move on to another “brand new one?”
Bad things can happen at any point in a relationship. During the dating period. On the wedding day. During the honeymoon. Or, in the first year. My wife and I had a terrible argument with her parents on our wedding day. We didn’t plan for that and we didn’t plan for all the other things that happened in our early years.
The idea of brand new wore off quick for us. And I know it does for many others as well. Sooner or later real life happens and what was brand new, what was perfect becomes flawed and tarnished. It’s like a brand new car you’re so proud of that gets its first scratch or ding. After that first incident, you no longer think of it as a new car. It begins its steady decline into the world of used cars where they all have some scratches and dings.
But what if from the first incident, you took your car in to have the damage repaired? You would have restored it back to its original condition, “as good as new.” And what if from the very first incident your marriage encountered you could do the necessary work to repair the damage? Again you would be restoring your marriage back the condition it should be in.
Every time you do what you have to do to repair or restore something you are increasing the value of it because you have invested more into it. Now with a car, the actual market value may not be increased but the value it has in your eyes will be increased. The same is true in marriage. Any time you say “I’m sorry” you are making an investment. Every time you set down to talk through some difficulty you’re having you are increasing the value of your relationship. Every time you get some form of outside help to help the two of you overcome an issue you are doing the work of restoration.
But what if your marriage is suffering from years of neglect and damage, wouldn’t it make more sense to just start over with someone new? Wouldn’t it be better to take what you know now and apply that to a new relationship where you can start over with a clean slate? After all, that’s what a lot of people do.
Again just like if your brand new car got damaged over and over and instead of repairing the damage when it happens you neglect it and little by little your damaged vehicle becomes less and less valuable to you. And then before you know it you’re thinking of getting rid of the old piece of junk and just buying a brand new one. Only this time you promise yourself you will take better care of the new one. This time, you will make sure to stay on top of all the repairs you know your new car will eventually need.
What if you took that old “piece of junk” car and you did a complete “frame up” restoration job? What if you took time, money, and energy and invested in making that car as good as new again? If you did that, don’t you think that car would be more valuable to you than you ever thought possible?
This same idea can be applied to an old house, a desk, a bicycle, or even a marriage. When making such an investment into the restoration of something, you will find you have put more than money, time, and energy into to. You will find you have made a huge emotional investment into it as well.
When you do the work of restoring a marriage that has become badly damaged the value of that marriage will be much more than it ever was when it was new. After you have really invested so much of yourself into the restoration you will do everything within your power to keep the marriage strong.
So marriage restoration is so much better than a new marriage because of the work that goes into it. When the two of you put everything you have into correcting problems and making your marriage work you will find there is beauty in your marriage that not even the best of wedding ceremonies can compare.
Question: Why is marriage restoration so hard?