Todays topic is a controversial one……
I want to teach you how to ruin the love in your marriage.
Wait…..what? Do I have your attention?
You see, I was recently reading one of my favorite blogs that was speaking of the subject of showing love to your spouse in marriage. I read it line by line…with tear filled eyes.
It hit me hard, like a sucker punch to the gut. The kind that will take your breath away. Like most people I read it, thought about it. Made a decision to apply what I learned and then just like that…..I let it slip to the back of my mind, where it was lost in the clutter of life. Later that week I was listening to a podcast and the speaker was talking on marriage, and to my surprise it was the exact same topic I had read about. The pain of the sucker punch hit me like a ton of bricks. Evidently I needed to hear and pay attention to this message.
You see. Marriage is easy when you first get married. It’s just you and your love getting started in life. You can take on the world. At least it seems like that until time gets in the mix. Then it just takes a few things to interrupt how you began. Let me give you some examples; Add a few kids the mix, the stress of a new job or job loss, a sickness, or just the plain busyness of our schedules. For instance: soccer practice, violin practice, martial arts practice, volleyball, church, homeschool, school programs, bible study, basketball and date nights……wait. What is a date night? What happens when we ignore the number one priority in our life (under Jesus of course)? Our Spouses….I will tell you. You get a Marriage fail. You wake up one day and realize that you no longer know the person laying next to you. It is a sad story that happens way to often in todays society.
I am going to tell you about some small, but not always easy, ways to prevent this from happening. I’m also going to tell you how I have failed, and failed miserably over and over again only to have to apologize and start over with my husband. I also want to tell you that this is ok. If you realize you’ve messed up or neglected, now is the time to change that.
For the sake of your marriage.
I love lists. I know….I’m sick. Its my Melancholy personality. Those little white 8.5 by 11 sheets of goodness written with do items outlined by A. B. C. or 1. 2. 3. List help me feel I have more control over my life. I am an obsessive list checker and maker. It makes me feel so accomplished to mark the checks off my list. Like I have conquered and controlled my destiny. But what happens when that list doesn’t get checked? When things don’t go as planned? When a kid gets sick? When your dog rolls in poop and and spreads it through the house (yes, this happened). For me, it sends me into a spiral. I am continuing to rely on Jesus to give me strength through these days, but it isn’t easy. These days happen more often than I would like. These are the days that my husband is neglected by me.
Ill tell you some of the specific examples I have done that have almost ruined the love in our marriage.
My husband travels. He works so hard to give us a good life. When my children were younger he would come home from a trip and they would run to their daddy. You would think that I would run toward him also and throw my arms around him and tell him how much I missed and loved him. But I was tired. I was mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. I would literally say something like “Glad you are home, Ill be back in an hour.” In an effort to replenish my exhaustion I felt I needed a break. Instead of telling him how much I appreciated him and how hard he was working, I was building resentment because he got to leave the house and I had to stay. Nice huh? Well, trust me. I am not proud of it. What I did not realize is that he hated taking his business trips. He did not like being away from our kids, and me. Even though he would get to travel to some cool places, these places were just another hotel room to him. He was tired of living out of a suitcase, running through airports, sitting in Ubers and taxi cabs. He was out making us a living but was homesick inside.
Fast forward to now, my children are older. Life is still hectic because now instead of having toddlers and babies, our schedules are crazy with home school, sports, events, church, work meetings, etc. He still travels. When he gets the chance he always takes us with him. However he still works hard and sometimes his trips last for a week. He walks in, arms open…..excited to be home. The kids still rush to him and the hugs and kisses begin. He finishes loving on the kids and he walks into the kitchen and I am fixing dinner. He comes over and wraps his strong arms around my waist, and he kisses my neck. He smells amazing. He tells me he loves me and he missed me. My dinner is 30 minutes later than it supposed to be, school books are still scattered all over our table that we are supposed to eat dinner on, and one of the kiddos has to be at practice in 45 minutes.
So what do I do? Do I turn around and fall into his strong embrace and tell him I missed him to. Do I tell him I love him and I am glad he is home?I would love to tell you that I did…but then I would be lying. 🙁
Instead, I continue to chop my vegetables for dinner because I am late late late!!! But he understands that, right? NO!
Here’s the thing. I have a very forgiving and understanding husband. And he does understand. But that doesn’t make it right. It is in these times that we need to understand that our kids aren’t going to die without dinner before practice. The could eat a snack. And besides, how long does it really take to hug and kiss your husband and give him a few words of affirmation? It takes only a few moments…..
This is where we as women. Or at least me FAIL. This is a small way to ruin the love in your marriage. So what is the remedy? How do we fix this?
Good thing I travel with my own answers. We just celebrated 17 years of amazing marriage. I love my Prince Charming. We have come so far and have many more years together to look forward to.
One of the books that helped my husband and I was a book our mentors gave us. It has taught us so much. If you haven’t yet read the Five Love Languages I highly encourage it. Prince Charming and I discovered long ago that we are complete opposite love languages. What this means is that we show and feel love in different ways. I feel and express mine through quality times and acts of service (to find out what that is you need to read the book) while he feels most loved by words of affirmation and physical touch (settle down, this in non-sexual touching. Get your head out of the gutter). But, just because you have opposite love languages doesn’t mean you can use that as an excuse as to why your spouse just doesn’t get you. It is supposed to be used as a tool for improvement. For you to actually change the way your express your love towards your spouse and use his. I know, change is hard. I feel that all men need words of affirmation. The long and desired to be affirmed, especially by their wives. Sometimes when you aren’t affirming them, then they seek other areas to be affirmed or start feeling like failures, neither are good.
So, I ask you, are you going to take the time to make little deposits into the love tanks of your husbands that add up to a lot over time? Or are you going to make continual withdrawals so that over time there is nothing left? I challenge everyone today to hug or kiss your husband. Say something empowering and nice. Tell them how much you appreciate them. Let the house go. I am right there with you working on these things also. Lets show the world and your own children what a great marriage looks like. This is something that is not too common in our world today. Let’s be world changers by starting and showing love in our own homes.