I pride myself on being real… I want my readers to understand that I need direction too! My marriage is far from perfect, but works because God is at the center! Both husband and wife have to WANT to do better. Marriage is definitely not rainbows and sunshine, no matter how great the people involved. God intends marriage to glorify Him and we cannot do that unless we have respect for one another. Here are some helpful tips on how to handle the valleys in your relationship.
1. Hold Your Tongue: I come from a home where I didn’t hear a disagreement from my parents until I was in college. They just are not “yellers.” I attribute this to why their marriage has held strong for 27 years! I would be lying if I said I never have raised my voice or said something negative to my hubby, because I have…especially early on in our marriage. My husband is so laid back that he always thinks before speaking, which means he has NEVER disrespected me with his voice. He chooses to stay quiet until he figures out exactly how to react to the situation. I could learn so much from my parents and my husband! My outspoken personality improves continuously, but I have created some very stressful times when it was really unnecessary. Before you decide to raise your voice or say something out of spite, try and think about the outcome. What’s the purpose? Will this help the situation? If you can’t think of any positive that can come of your words, then keep them to yourself. The only time you can positively raise your voice would be praising our Heavenly Father, not cutting down your spouse.
“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” Proverbs 21:23
2. Take Responsibility: We are human. We get our feelings hurt. We make mistakes. We say things we know we shouldn’t. The only way out of all this negativity is by owning up to your human ways. There have been many times in my marriage where I have been the one in the wrong, but I fought tooth and nail just to be the one in the right! As I look back on these silly situations I now realize that I made mountains out of mole hills, when all that needed to be said was “I’m sorry. I love you.” You will learn from your mistakes only when you own up to them first.
“A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.” Proverbs 28:13
3. Sacrifice: I am going to be honest, 9 times out of 10 my hubby sacrifices something instead of me. He lets me pick what restaurant to eat out, he tells me to go ahead a buy something while he puts his items back, etc… The idea here is at times where your spouse least expects it, sacrifice something out of your day to show him/her how much you care. The moments after a heated disagreement can be the most precious. Sacrifice your pride and extend the olive branch first. Show your spouse that no matter the opinions, your love for one another matters the most. This may be more challenging than the initial argument, but it will prove to your spouse that you are willing to put him/her before yourself. Once they see that you are putting effort forth, they should be more willing to resolve the dispute.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4