Have you ever had food poisoning? The infected intestines bloat stomach so much that you can’t burp can’t fart. It’s painful and you feel useless. Very much like a loveless broken marriage poisoned with resentment, and a lack of love and respect.
We make grand wedding party plans; the outfits, hair and makeup. You think about the cutlery, the cake, the fonts on your wedding invitations. We focus on everything that goes into making your wedding day perfect. How many of us really get down and plan for a great marriage? I never did. Especially after I came to Christ, life’s little truths starting bubbling up to me.
Are you feeling wounded and helpless, also? The last few years I found a few ways that helped my marriage heal. It is not as easy as popping an antibiotic for food poisoning though. If you want to bring joy and love back into your marriage like I did, then this is the post for you.
Little Everyday actions that Poison Your Marriage
Knowledge is power they say. So the only way to control problems is to find out the triggers, the pattern. Afterall, where will you put the bandage if you don’t know where the wound is!
Taking your spouse for granted
Whether arranged or love marriage, you assume it will be happily ever after, right? Since I knew my partner for over six years before the wedding, I assumed he knows what I need and it will just happen like in the movies. I took him and myself for granted because people change, they grow as the age. We need to keep up with those changes or we “vibe different”!
Backseat Drive, all the time!
Its only after living together, the rose-tinted glasses wear off. The truth of who you really are, who your spouse is, is reflected and revealed back to you. You want to take total control of your spouse’s life. Don’t hang the towel on the door, switch the lights off; don’t take this road, take the other route. Slowly but without realizing, you sit there and turn into a nag that nobody likes to be around.
Wonder why constant “requests” are falling on deaf ears. You are only trying to help your husband become better, right? But he is not listening! Repeat the request 87 times over and over, each time with a little more hate inside, and now you’re officially nagging. The bible says Proverbs 21:9:
9 It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic
than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
Insulting and belittling your spouse
By this time, you don’t care who is listening or watching you both fight. You say mean things and insult your spouse (even in public or at parties!) to get his attention. Does this work for you? It did not work for my marriage. We cannot expect a husband to be loving to a wife, who doesn’t respect him. To fix a loveless marriage, admit that men and women are wired differently; their needs are different, the way we think or perceive are different. Unless otherwise established, men and women in a marriage may not have the same inner values too.
Crazy Cycle in a Broken Marriage
You already know what a loveless marriage looks like. From fierce fighting, breaking dishes mid-fight, rolling over to days with deafening silences. No sex for months! Living each minute on edge. That hate and anger rushing to the shore as soon as you see your partner’s face. It just gets worse everyday. The crazy cycle is like a dark hole and you keep sinking deeper and deeper until you think you can’t take it anymore. The stories of lonely wives and frustrated husbands all likely start with a crazy cycle; a result of little everyday things you do, perhaps even unintentionally. I learned this concept from this book by Dr.Emerson Eggrichs.
Right Actions Lead to the Right Feelings
How can you respect a man who doesn’t love you? He doesn’t deserve my attention. Why should I go wax my body and feel pain to look good for him? He doesn’t even care. You know who cares? God cares about you. I am inspired by Romans 12:19-21, and this is what it says in my study Bible. When someone hurts you deeply, instead of giving him what he deserves, Paul says to befriend him. Why does Paul tell us to forgive our enemies?
- Forgiveness may break the cycle of retaliation and lead to mutual reconciliation.
- Making the enemy feel ashamed and change his or her ways. (the movie Fireproof!)
- By contrast, repaying evil for evil hurts you just as much as it hurts your enemy.
- Even if they never repents, forgiving him or her will free you of a heavy load of bitterness.
Forgiveness involves both attitudes and actions. If you find it difficult to feel forgiving toward someone who has hurt you, try responding with kind actions. When appropriate, tell this person you would like to heal the relationship. Lend a helping hand. Send him or her a gift. Smile at him or her. Many times you will discover that the right actions lead to right feelings. The book Love Languages helped me identify how I like to feel loved, how my husband prefers love, how children like to feel loved also.
I do it for God, because He loved me first. This kind of obedience always brought blessings to me at least. See “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” — Luke 11:28
3 Reasons why Christian Obedience Brings Blessings
Article drawn from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, 2nd Edition, NIV
- Obeying God in small matters is an essential step in receiving God’s greatest blessings.
When I’m too busy trying to control my husband’s behavior, I miss many opportunities to do things right myself. After 10yrs of marriage, I now have stopped commenting on his driving skills. I am conscious about what I say to him, especially in front of our children. I have decided to stop making sarcastic remarks. No, he will not get any more snarky comebacks from me. My silence was confusing for him at first, then we both noticed we are fighting less. We are more courteous to each other now, marked with pleases and thank yous too! Like Romans 12:10 says, “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
2. Our Obedience always benefits others.
After 10yrs of marriage, I have finally accepted my role as a wife. After 7yrs of being a mother, I realise how important my position is as a mother. On my stressful days, my whole household is stressed also. The energy in the house is so tense, even the baby! Now, when I remind myself of Romans 12, my obedience of forgiving and doing the right things for my family benefits them so much. My house is clean, everyone is joyful and relaxed. This God’s blessing, in turn, is enjoyable for me!
3. When we obey God, we will never be disappointed.
I was deeply moved when I read this verse from the Book of Ruth 1:8 “And may the Lord reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me.” Kindness is difficult at first. For example, after the night’s terrible fight, it took everything to ask my husband in the morning, “are you hungry, can I make you something?”. He would say no, because he doesn’t eat breakfast anyway but I know he noticed that I asked. It gets easier with practice but truly, only good peaceful days followed for me.
Wife needs LOVE, Husband needs RESPECT
God has revealed so many wonderful things from the Bible already. The love and respect connection is one of the wisest commands for coping with a loveless marriage. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33 (ESV) Go ahead, ask your husband “which would you prefer, me saying I love you or “I respect you”.
It took me 4yrs to read this book (oops!) So glad I did now though. The author shares what to say, think, and practice love and respect in your loveless marriage. There is also an inventory for husbands and wives. I especially loved the section dedicated to workaholic husbands. There are separate chapters for men and women. Great book! Get it now. See more of my favorite books here.
I’m happy that God is revealing His truth to me in other special ways too, making my marriage and, my life better, my children’s lives better one day at a time. He can do this and more, for you too. Let me know if this post helped you in anyway. Leave a comment below.
Thank you for reading!
This is my first blog in this series.
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