Two Sentences That Changed Our Marriage

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Remember your vows?  Like the ones where you said all of the things about how much you loved each other?  About how you would be there through thick and thin?  The betters and the worse?  All the sick and all the health?

Remember when you gushed over how you would love and honour and respect and cherish and basically be a drooling mess over each other for like, a bazillion years?

And remember when you were writing those vows and speaking those vows and you believed with all of your beautifully delusional heart that this was true?

Yeah, me too.

And then, like, 6 hours later I got really sick and I’m pretty sure my husband was thinking that running to the pharmacy to grab ALL OF THE MEDICATIONS  was not exactly the wedding night he had planned.  While I’ve never actually asked what he was thinking in those moments I can surmise that it was more along the lines of, “Are you kidding me?”  than, “Don’t worry baby, I cherish your dripping nosed, disgusting cough and phlegmy self.”

Cause, we kind of forget the promises that we made every now and then, don’t we?

I mean, perhaps I’m the only one who forgot them 3, 648 times between year 1 and 7 alone?!

Because while I SAID in sickness and health, what I really meant was in health and I’m probably going to be kind of mad at you when you’re being a sick baby.

And while I really did mean for better or worse when I said it,  I just didn’t really understand the gravity of  how much worse it was going to get.

By year 4 we sort of forgot about the cherishing and all of that pushing-the-hair-back-out-of-your-face-before-I kiss-you swoony stuff because there were babies.  And we were tired.  Come year 5 we were practically tripping over the babies that were everywhere and the honour and the respect got shelved and the words, “Isn’t it YOUR turn!” became the modus operandi, and even if it wasn’t said out loud it’s what both of us were thinking in our black and sin stained hearts.

By year 7 we were a mess. I know.  Classic.

It’s not that all of the vows were completely forgotten and more that we didn’t know realize care to put in the time that it took to make each other believe we remembered them.  We got selfish.  We got frustrated.  We could hardly believe that this was what we’d become.

It took some time to see but we did.  (Thank the Lord!)  We finally came out of the fog and we realized that this wasn’t what we signed up for.  This isn’t what we said we would be.  This isn’t the picture that came to mind when we remembered our gussied up selves standing at the front of the church with eyes looking deep into each other and longing for that proclamation of man and wife and that kiss.

As we started the process of repairing the damage that had ensued over time, (with all of the therapy and techniques we could find!)  one thing we realized was that we weren’t quick to trust each others words.  We learned that though we were saying things that were meant to be taken well, the other wasn’t hearing them that way.

We quickly came to the realization that quickly was not a word to be used when fixing years of damage in a marriage.

We were a mess.  We were trying and failing.  We were talking but misunderstanding.  We were reading into words and actions.  We were each bringing our brokenness to the table and the slap happy patch job was not holding us together.

It was in the midst of this season that we discovered 2 sentences that forever changed our marriage.

Think I’m being dramatic?  I’m not.  These 7 words, literally, changed everything about the way we operated, the way we communicated and the way we reacted to what the other was saying or doing.

This was now our mode of operation.  The way we saw everything.  It still is.

First of all, we decided that we loved each other and we agreed that we loved each other (two different things, people!) and we acknowledged to each other that we understood the love that each of us had for the other.  This wasn’t us just saying, “I love you,” but recognizing it from the others perspective.

So our first sentence was,  You Love Me.

Next, we grasped that because of the love that we had and recognized in each other we truly wanted good for each other. We never meant harm in the way we spoke to each other even though sometimes it came out that way and we never intended our actions to be purposefully hurtful even though sometimes that happened too.

So our second sentence was, You Want My Good.

You Love Me.  You Want My Good.

Marriage.  Game.  Changer.

Because when your spouse says something that you interpret as harsh or condemning you simply remind yourself that they couldn’t possibly mean it that way because they love you and they want your good.

And when you feel frustrated by your spouses actions or they seem to belittle you in some way, you just remember that it can’t possibly be what it seems because they love you and they want your good.

(Of course, this only works if they really do love you and really do want your good.  Which we did!)

Instead of looking for ways that the other was being hurtful and buying into the lie that they intended it, we started to view each other through a lens of truth.  My spouse isn’t trying to hurt me because they love me.  My spouse isn’t doing that to make me angry because they want my good.  My spouse isn’t ignoring the crying baby so that I’ll have to do it, because they love me.  My spouse isn’t snoring so loud on purpose because they want my good.  My spouse didn’t mean that the way it came out because they love me. My spouse didn’t mean to brush me off because they want my good.

And sometimes we are frustrated and we do sound harsh and we get whiny and nit-picky but we can be quick to realign ourselves because we want our spouse, the most important person in the world to us,  to know that we love them and we want their good.

We have a million faults and our spouses do too.  But when we look through a positive lens, when we trust that their love and intentions are only good,  we can see their beauty much more than their ick.  It’s what I want my husband to know from me.  That I love him endlessly and I only want his good, even when I mess it all up.

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2 thoughts on “Two Sentences That Changed Our Marriage

  1. Amazing!!! This is truly one of the best posts I have ever read (& I’ve read a lot!)! Thank you for writing this! I only just came across it. I hope & pray that one day I can share your post with my husband & that he will be open to hearing it & want to follow these tips. I know I can get offended & some days are better than others but I try to think of how I can love that person like Jesus would. My husband is always offended – by everyone. He’s constantly telling me how someone – a family member, friend, stranger, someone at church, even our pastor, has disrespected him, insulted him, offended him, with the littlest things. I’ve often been with him when these so-called events happen & I try to make him see that he totally took it the wrong way, but then he just blames me for not taking his side. You can probably see then how every little thing I do or say enrages him, as he proceeds to tell me how I’ve wronged him. Early on in our marriage, which was only last year, I would often said “I have your best interest at heart, I love you, so before you react, please ask yourself if I would offend you on purpose? I didn’t mean it the way you thought, that’s not what I intended.” It worked sometimes. Now there’s just no talking or reasoning with him when he’s angry. He will often insult me on purpose, so perhaps he thinks if he can do it & get away with it, then I must be doing it as well. Many blessings to you as you reach other wives with your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. S.L. – Thank you for popping by here to read, I’m glad you did! I pray you can find hope and rest in Jesus and that your husband would find the same. I’d love to refer you to a website that I sometimes write for. Family Life Canada (familylifecanada.com) has so many resources that I think are so helpful! I encourage you to head over there and read the rich content they provide.

    Like

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