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When was the last time you heard a girl talking badly (even if she was talking truth) about her husband? Was this girl a friend of yours? Or were you part of a larger conversation and you didn’t know her that well? Isn’t it an awkward situation to be in? I always find it so weird when I’m stuck in that- I never know what to say! I don’t want to feed into it, but I don’t want to disregard everything she’s saying. However, I do take some mental notes such as: “do not repeat in your own marriage.”
Mikey and I made a few promises to each other before we got married and then in our wedding vows. They were definitely unconventional and just things that we thought would be strengthening to our marriage. Among the many things we promised, we decided we’d only speak well of each other in public. It doesn’t matter how upset we are at each other, we will not give in to speaking ill of each other. We ought to be each other’s greatest fans, after all!
One thing is to open up to a counselor or mentor and have an honest discussion about things that hurt you or a problem in your marriage. It is something totally different (and may I add, unacceptable) to have a flat out guy-bashing session with your girlfriends; meet-ups that end up in comparing stories about who’s husband is ruder, grosser or annoying is just inconsiderate and disrespectful to your husband- no matter how he treats you. Would you like him to do the same to you?
I do understand that speaking to someone about problems is beneficial and even necessary at times in our marriage. Before marriage, someone told me to be careful who I open up to regarding our marriage. I was advised to go to the person who’d be least hurt over what happened and have the most sensible mind to respond. For example, if I go to a person who is close to me and doesn’t really know Mikey, they’ll simply take my side and say he’s wrong…always. It may be because they are just on my side and love me or because they don’t want me to be hurt by anything he did. However, if I go to someone who knows us both, our personalities and wouldn’t be hurt for my sake, that person would be honest to tell me how to go about what just happened. That person might even tell me, “hey Sophie, you’re the one that’s in the wrong here.” They wouldn’t just take my side in order to make me feel better, but they’d speak truth into my life. Those are the types of friends you want in your marriage relationship; people who aren’t afraid to tell you that you are the one who is wrong and needs to change the attitude. (I would also suggest not having many of these friends- maybe just one or two who you can really trust.)
There have been days when Mikey and I have had a discussion and just don’t get along or agree on something. However, life does go on and there are places we have to be. This is why we made those vows I mentioned. In order to not get carried away in moments like these and talk to anyone who we cross paths with about how upset we are, we (try to) put a smile on our faces and head out to the event. We try to hold hands and be together and engage with other people instead of sulking. To be totally honest, after we do all this, we get back in the car and things are pretty much back to normal. We’re fine, and not upset at each other anymore. We realize it was something so petty we were arguing about or that maybe it was something greater, but we approached it the wrong way or with a wrong attitude.
Try what we tried. Move on for a bit and have a good time. Don’t find the first person you can talk to about your problems. Try to work them out between yourselves! And then, if necessary, go to someone else. There are so many bigger problems couples deal with because they go around telling their issues to others. That just leads to gossip. Don’t feed into it. If necessary, take some time off the subject. Pray and then come back and talk it through again. Time makes a difference and is so necessary, especially for us women whose emotions are involved. And you know what? You may come back and realize you are just as upset and the problem didn’t go away. That’s fine. That is when you take things a little more seriously. You pray more, fast more, and talk more. And if still nothing- then go speak to a counselor or a close mentor. But give your marriage time to work and heal. Time does wonders.
You are not stuck. Your marriage does not have to get stuck either. Work on, pray over and dedicate time to your marriage consistently. Learn to love each other better, go out on dates, and listen to each other intently. Spend some time in the Word and ask the Lord to remove whatever may be clouding your vision and allow you to be clear in your thoughts. You are a team and you have the power to pray together and get through any issues. The blessings of sticking it out together will be greater in the end. And the joy you’ll have even greater than that because you worked through something together!
I challenge you: don’t husband bash. I would venture to say when you do, you’re putting down a great man who has faults like you and I do. Give him grace and forgive him. Practicing this has definitely been something that has strengthened our marriage. I realize that in times of being upset, I may say things that are complete truth- but things I will regret later. I’m glad I haven’t done that and I pray it stays that way. I’m praying for you too, dear sister. You can do this! 🙂