What’s your romantic story of when you met your husband or wife? Yours, like mine felt at the time, like the romance of the century! A good-looking porter carried my bags to the lift, when I was on holiday in Surfers Paradise Queensland, some 37 years ago. As the lift doors closed, his pearly white smile contained in a dark face and curly haired halo, literally swept me off my feet. All these years later, this weekend we are just about to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary. There’s been a lot of water under that bridge—of kids, finances, sickness and other things that life brings. So why does it have to be so hard?
I think God, in his blueprint for marriage contained in Ephesians 5 of the Bible, wanted us to look for Him in troubled times that are often found in relationships, particularly in marriage. So that’s where I went when I was in difficulty. What do you do? Complain to your spouse? Talk to your girlfriends? Bottle things up and go into the shed? Go for a drink with mates and talk about the footy? These might help to some degree but at the end of the day we have to work things out together. As a couple. But that’s a bitter pill to take if there’s communication challenges, as there often is. Perhaps we need to lighten up a bit but we also need to listen to the Words given to us by God, particularly when he talks about loving and respecting our wives and husbands. Seems simple doesn’t it? Then why isn’t it? Because we were made differently, what we need is different.
A few months ago, I did some online group coaching for wives where we examined things like: self-care, empathy, friendship, boundaries and influence in marriage. The wives, after five weeks, were all able to say ‘I think I can do this’. From things being lighter in the house, being more at peace, finding it easier to communicate to improve things, difficulties seemed to be lessened.
One of the major problems in marriage seems to be awful or problematic communication – which I call the rotten egg – in marriage it smells and pervades everything! As a result the whole kit and caboodle in the marriage seems to stink. A lot of my first 20 years in our marriage felt like that to me. As I told my husband what he needed to do he just distanced and zoned out. If your wife complains, never seems happy and you don’t know where that understanding, compassionate, caring bride has gone, maybe you need to make some changes. Or if you’re a wife and wondering where Prince Charming has gone and who this person is you’re married to, then maybe each of you need to look no further than yourself. How are you communicating? What is the message that your spouse is hearing from you in your complaints or distancing? Maybe through those words or actions they feel they’re just not good enough for you!
Love and respect, which the Bible tells us to do, is about the little things like listening and understanding spelt EMPATHY. It’s about respecting the efforts of our spouse, the jobs around the house such as taking the garbage out or whatever else is done. All should be appreciated.
Marvellous marriages for Happy Hubs is starting soon and maybe you need to sign up husband or at least get some information about it. Or wife, maybe you could respectfully suggest that your husband look at it.
Remember that rotten egg of problematic communication starts right here within me and within you.
Love and Hugs,
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