I rarely talk about my marriage on this blog. I rarely talk about my marriage in general. My hope with this post today isn’t to just vent about my current struggles, but to provide encouragement and insight to other’s who may also be in a difficult season in their marriages.
If you aren’t married, I still think the distance that can form between two people in a friendship or other family relationship is still something that we can identify and take similar steps to heal.
I don’t like to refer to my marriage as “struggling” or “in a difficult season”, I rather just gloss over it and say that it’s a rough patch, and if we ignore it long enough it will just go away of get better on it’s own.
But friends, thus far me choosing to ignore the elephant in the room hasn’t been working. In fact it has created more separation and greater division.
Because we aren’t on the same page in one area, we’ve now picked out and pointed out ALL the other areas we also aren’t connecting. In an open conversation (that was long overdue) we both were able to vocalize and express our concerns and frustrations in a healthy way.
There was no accusatory tone or accusatory “you”
There was no blame, (If you did this, then I would do this)
There was an admittance of two major areas where our expectations have not been met for a long time.
In my case I was holding it against him and in his case he was stuck in comparing who I am now and who I was when we first got married (or even started dating)
Things were going so well, until I decided that I had done everything that I could do and it was now “up to him”.
Up to him to come meet me halfway
Up to him to change
Up to him to come to the conclusion that I think he should
Up to him to shift his priories
Up to him to start valuing me and appreciating me in the way that I demand and expect to be valued and appreciated (ouch, this one stings, but it’s what I had been holding against him without even realizing it)
I could keep going, because unlike the title of this post, “It’s not you, it’s me” I made it very clear to him that,
“It’s not me, it’s you”
“I’ll wait for you to figure things out on your own”
“Let me know when you finally see what I’ve been trying to tell you”
“I don’t know what else I can do or say, now it’s up to you”
Whew. Let me start by saying that at that time I really thought I was doing and saying the right thing, I didn’t know what else I could do except just wait for him to come to the conclusion that I wanted him to and do all of these others things that I thought he should be doing.
I was convinced that I was right and he was all wrong. I took 0% of the blame and 0% of the responsibility.
But then, as the days went on God slowly convicted me that it doesn’t work that way. I started watching an online marriage conference titled, “Wives of Integrity”. Initially I started watching this (no joke!) to confirm what I already thought to be true and to find some ways to nudge my husband or make him see things the way I see them.
Instead God does what he does best, He gently opened up the possibility that it isn’t all up to him. I started to feel convicted, and the more conference videos I watched the more confirmation I received.
He opened my eyes to my:
critical spirit and harsh words and harsh tone
inflexibility (even though I thought I was being flexible and understanding)
I needed to humble myself. Not only did I need to take responsibility for the part I played in the disconnect and distance that was happening, but I needed to go back to him and admit my wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness. (ouch and double ouch!)
So I served myself a big slice of humble pie and approached him the other night. In humility, I set my flesh and my pride aside. And I told him that I was wrong before.
It wasn’t all on him. I had my part to play too. I was going to step back from nagging and demanding and trying to fix him or change his mind and allow God to do a work in his heart (but not in the way where we both just waited for him to have an epiphany, but in a way that I could encourage his growth instead of demand it).
I was going to continue to support him, to love him and to be his safe space.
I was going to encourage him and focus more on the positive and less on the negative.
(I say “was going” because this is what I had to backtrack to in order to tell him) The truth is though this is my vowel to him moving forward.
And as we celebrate 6 years of marriage this weekend, in my current posture of heart I feel humbled, and I feel hopeful that the best truly is yet to come!
A marital relationship is one of the most important relationships you have (next to your relationship with God) but it’s not the only one that matters. So what relationship do you need to serve yourself a slice of humble pie and revisit what you could be doing better?
Remember you are on the same team, and are working towards the same goal. Resolution.
I know I normally have scripture verses scattered throughout my post, but I’m going to post some below related to some of the areas God revealed to me and what scripture he used to speak to my heart.
I pray this post and these verses are enlightening and encouraging as we learn to navigate and cherish these precious relationships God has given us!
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 1 Peter 5:6
Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. Proverbs 21:19