Tag Archives: marriage health takes seeing yourself

One of Those Dumb Fights

We were doing so well! We have been enjoying each other and the time we spend together. And then suddenly in 3 minutes time it all went south. Now we’ve had 24 hours of alienation. How can such stupid fights do that? It was just emotions and timing–really, that’s all.

We had worked well together all day, in and out of each other’s presence. I wasn’t pushing to get things done. There was a lot to do after the intense heat for a week, but I took my time and played a lot as I was working outside. I was not that tired.

I was finished on the outside, and came up the stairs from the lower garden. I had my hands full–in one of them was a large dustpan full of dirt and petals and dead leaves. I caught my toe on a step and down I went on the brick steps, the dirt in the dustpan going all over me and the steps I had just swept–not all of them–thank goodness–only four. I tore the nail on the big toe, skinned my shin and bruised my hip that I landed on. But I got up and swept it up, “Walk it out” playing in my head. Then headed straight to the shower. My husband was in the house talking on the phone–didn’t even know what had happened.

When I told him, he was concerned, and told me to sit down and let him fix the cantaloupe. But I didn’t. I didn’t feel too bad. Had washed off the blood, done hot and cold rotations and used my essential oils.

But then he said, “I told you not to work so hard, you were too tired.”

My response was wrong but honest, “I don’t need to be shamed. I need some compassion.”

He left. And I didn’t know he was angry till I saw him sitting outside and I went out and sat beside him. He didn’t talk to me. So I asked if he was angry and he called me a name and said that I tell him not to overdo it all the time.

He was right and I knew it, and it didn’t even hurt my feelings. I said, “Thanks for telling me.”

We went to bed silently. I slept immediately and woke up an hour later when he turned off the light, went back to sleep, but an hour later was awake for hours. So I woke up late the next morning, after four hours of sleep, tired, sore and slightly disoriented. I didn’t know where he was emotionally so I didn’t go back to bed at 7 like I usually do. (I was enjoying early morning on the patio with Jesus.)

If I had, we may have bounced through it because when I first woke he asked how I felt. But, of course, I didn’t think of that then.

Soon he got up, and I asked if we were going to read together (The best thing we have done for our relationship.) He said he didn’t have time–a joke–it was Saturday morning.

When I tried to fix it later, he was too far into resentment and attached something else he wasn’t happy about.

I knew then that it was going to be a day or two. Blew that! I thought. A beautiful morning, and probably the whole weekend, had just been wrecked. And I went back to bed alone. I didn’t sleep, but I definitely felt better both physically and emotionally afterwards.

I realized that the best thing about my relationship with Jesus is that these things never happen! He is always there. He always loves me, no matter how I mess up, what dumb things I do or say. And if distance comes in all I have to do is run back. I never have to worry about if he’ll be upset or take me back. He is always ready and happy to restore the relationship–no hurt feelings get in the way. And my explanations He already knows and understands.

He just loves me so amazingly! That carries its own conviction to look at my stuff. Love is very convicting, you know?

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On Making a Marriage Good

Today is our 27th anniversary. We have almost twice as many good years as bad ones! So to those of you struggling in your marriage: It can get better–even good. It depends on these two things: you have to be willing to look at yourself honestly and be willing to change. Plus, you have to be willing to see what isn’t yours and not take all the blame, just your part.

Or said another way, you both have to want to make things better– a win-win for both of you. If you are connected to someone who doesn’t want to make things better, or won’t look at him/herself, set a certain amount of time to step back and pray that they will  see the light and themselves. If it doesn’t happen, get out. You can’t change someone else, only God can. And He has to have permission. If God can’t get permission to work, then only stay as long as you clearly hear Him telling you to. If He can’t change your mate, you aren’t going to!

Do not stay in a toxic environment, it will make you toxic unless you live in close relationship to God.

Having said that, when I told God I wanted to leave a few years after we were married, He told me, “Stay put. You’ve got things to learn.” I was obedient. And now I’m glad. I’m glad for the stability it gave my kids, and for what God did in me and in our relationship. I learned to depend on God, and to look to him to get my needs met. A year later my husband decided to leave and God took him in hand and completely changed our relationship. I’ve written that story here before.

Before that it seemed like an impossible situation, causing more stress than I could handle. But I was contributing. I was very defensive, and very good at blaming, and very good at hiding from seeing it. (And I thought I had learned how to step back and let him be him and do his own thing and experience his own consequences before I married him!)

What I didn’t know, even though he regularly told me, was that I didn’t know how to love. I have made some progress, but truly, I feel like I’m just learning to see myself now, over 20 years later! When what you feel inside is different than how you act outside, you often miss it. And it takes the grace of God to see that.

It takes being loved to see that you have had no idea how to love. And nobody can love you like God. He is so gentle and so kind  and so funny it is amazing. He will never shame you, never leave you. He is always there, always listens, always cares, but He is honest. When He confronts, it heals, and even though it hurts like you’ve never experienced, it’s a good hurt that brings change, and doesn’t last long. He’s completely for you, completely trustworthy, completely good. He’s wild about you, and He’s totally worth the risk of whatever you think you might lose. Nothing compares to being loved by Him (and there is three of Them who love you like that for goodness sake!)

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