Me: "If you've got relationship issues, don't go hang out with your best guy pal. You'll end up KISSING him!" (I was right.)
It is easy when newly married to assume you are an expert on all things pertaining to love and ignore your own issues. Mike and I goof up but I will say that both of us are sensitive to the other's needs and are determined to make things right.
In the film M.J. did not feel Peter Parker listened to her or valued her feelings. She became quiet and internalized her disappointment. With the tension building, she sought release in a guy friend.
It's so easy to give your husband the silent treatment.
Mike can tell you that I often become silent. He's learned to read my face. When I think that I have successfully planted a blank expression on my countenance, he points out that it's my angry face. (I should really practice in a mirror.)
But I'm not silent to punish Mike.
If I'm quiet or reserved more often than not I am thinking of my own sin. And what I personally can do to make the situation better. I'm not in a bad mood. I'm just concerned. I may not even be able to communicate my thoughts much less what it actually is that is bothering me at that point.
Mike, longing to right any wrongs, is quick to list off possible reasons I might be troubled. No ... no ... no ... yes, maybe, I suppose you're right.
Then we are able to work through the problem. We apologize to each other for specific wrongs we've done to each other and come up with a concrete plan to fix the situation. Too often people merely say "Sorry" and leave it at that. What are you sorry for? What will you do to make it right?
It's not my job to play the Holy Spirit for Mike nor is it his responsibility to play the role for me. I made the decision before I got married that I will not nag Mike. Many commentors have balked at my choice to not make my blog a venue to reprimand husbands for their failures.
Are you the type who apologizes by saying, "Honey, because you've been such a hard person to live with and because of your many bad habits, I have not been a good wife."?
Can you not recognize your own sin?
Linda Dillow, author of Creative Counterpart admonishes wives to :
- Learn to totally accept your husband. You, too, are a sinner. Christ accepted you.
- Get rid of the plank in your own eye.
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
- Give your rights to God.
Ruth Graham wrote: I pity the married couple who expect too much from one another. It is a foolish woman who expects her husband to be to her that which only Jesus Christ can be: always ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, and making more than adequate provision. Such expectations put a man under an impossible strain.
- Discern positive qualities.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
- Ask your husband's forgiveness.
Matthew 5:23-24 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
- Verbalize your acceptance. -
Ephesians 5:33 (Amplified) And let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband--that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him: and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly!"