“As much as I don’t understand you, you don’t understand me.” And he was right.
My husband and I celebrated 2 years of marriage this month. And this was a conversation we had recently.
I saw my husband’s hobbies as him avoiding time with me. I thought he was choosing to spend time away from me, but he explained how activities such as softball, because they allow for fellowship and physical exercise, which are a need for him. I failed to see this.
I did not feel like a priority on his list. Which was not true.
Until we had a conversation, I wasn’t able to see how softball really benefits him. It wasn’t about him not wanting to spend time at home with me. (He does always invite me along.)
Communication Isn’t All About You
I’m reading Boundaries in Marriage by Cloud & Townsend, and I’m starting to see how my husband’s actions aren’t always about me. And how communicating our expectations to each other helps us see their side.
Communicating our needs and viewpoints is part of growing in marriage and any relationship. I would say I’m great at communicating. My love language is quality time with a bent towards conversing. Once you get me to start talking, it can be hard to get me to stop. But communicating in relationships is more than simply talking about ourselves.
The Bible calls us to be “quick to listen” and “slow to speak.” (James 1:19) We communicate even when we are listening. Are we really listening well if we are holding our phone in our hands? Or if the TV is playing in the background? If we are preoccupied, our attention won’t be on our spouse and what they are sharing.
We wives tend to assume our husbands know what we need or want when the reality is they usually don’t have a clue. This is why clear communication is imperative.
We don’t know what they faced in their day, and they don’t know what we faced in ours. Both have unique challenges, so listening with an open mind is helpful to hearing about their experience. No interrupting or assuming! (I’ve been so guilty of this.)
The Real Reason Why Marriage is Hard
Marriage can be hard, because this is a fallen world. The enemy hates seeing a couple growing in unity and becoming a picture of Christ’s love. This is the cause for many struggles in marriage. If we acknowledge that there is an enemy who is against us, we can see that our person is not the enemy. We aren’t fighting against our spouse. We may be in disagreement, but we are fighting against a common enemy.
The best news is that we have a God who is on our side and will help us through every struggle. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
Anytime I struggle on my own, I see it affecting my marriage. Opening the door for honesty allows for these struggles and strongholds to be broken. When I surrender my pride and share my struggle to my husband, there is freedom. We are a team. My husband is always there for me, and ready to pray.
For the unequally yoked marriage:
But I realize this might not be everyone’s situation. “For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife… How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband?” (1 Corinthians 7:14-16) I am going to make a leap and say that this applies if your spouse is a new believer or a stagnant believer. You are an example for them to follow in the faith.
Find freedom in that the Bible never says the husband has to be the spiritual leader. It simply states that he is the head. (1 Corinthians 11:3) You, wife, can still respect his headship even if you are further in your walk than him.
This, of course, doesn’t mean you are alone in your walk. Find friends and a mentor who can support you when you feel like your husband can’t. Ask for prayer and be praying for your husband always. God is on your side.
For the soon-to-be married:
Because we are very much shaped by our spouse, marriage isn’t to be entered lightly. Contrary to what wedding magazines and Instagram accounts want you to believe, it isn’t the wedding that makes the marriage.
The perfect venue, dress, and cake aren’t the ingredients to a perfect marriage. Although wedding details can be fun, coming into marriage humbly and prepared as possible will benefit a marriage much more.
I’m so thankful for those who shared this with my husband and I in our engagement period. I’m so passionate about sharing this with any engaged couples!
Marriage can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. With surrendered hearts, we can selflessly lay down our own assumptions, inferences, ideas, and desires for the other person.
Marriage doesn’t have to be viewed as hard or difficult. Yes, there is always room for growth, but there can be so much joy in sharing a life together honoring God.
God bless // love brits