Whenever a sin or breach has been committed against a marriage, whether it's a breach of trust, a breach of confidentiality, or breach of respect, you must allow a period of "settling." Settling is the process of re-establishment and re-adjustment to life after the breach. There was a life that existed before the breach in your marriage; and now there’s a new life that will exist after that breach. But in order to enter that new life, you must be willing to go through the settling process.
Settling takes time. That’s why I'm incredibly perplexed whenever I hear about couples ready to end their marriage after one year. Even after five years of marriage, you haven’t even begun scratching the surface of oneness. My wife and I have been married over 18 years, and we’re just now feeling like we’re starting to tap into the awesome power of oneness at a very surface level. The trials and failings that we've experienced over the past 18 years have brought us closer together. Our disappointments, frustrations and even our disagreements that we've experienced over the past 18 years have brought us closer together. This is all part of the settling process.
Settling does not happen just because you say “I do.” You don’t become one after saying I do any more than you renew your mind by accepting Christ. When you say “I do” to Christ, you begin a process of conforming into his image and becoming one with Him. When you say “I do” to your spouse, you likewise begin a process of conformity and oneness with the individual that you're marrying. It begins with a change in name, and progressively transitions into a new way of living and thinking as a collective entity.
In Old Testament times, if a man got married while serving in the military, he was required to stay home for that first year of marriage in order to “bring joy” to his wife (Deuteronomy 24:5). By spending quality time with his wife so early on in the marriage, it helped to advance the settling process. This is critical to process of becoming one.
If you find yourself struggling within your marriage, don’t spend all of your efforts and energies trying to get out of it. Allow the process of settling to take root within your relationship. Confront the truth head-on, no matter what it is. Then ask yourself what you can do to help settle things down so that progress may continue. The journey of two individuals "becoming one" is one of the greatest mysteries in all humanity. But the time that it takes to become one isn't a mystery at all. Oneness demands a period of settling, and settling takes time.