Working at marriage

Working at our marriagesJason and I have both been working at our marriage.  And you know a happy marriage does take work.  That doesn’t sound very romantic, but actually it is!  Think dancing in the living room to ’80′s love songs ha ha!  And by working I mean consciously, actively putting God first and each other before ourselves.  The problem is that if it’s not a conscious and active decision, things just start sliding on a downward spiral and before you know it, you don’t even realize how selfish your living has become.  Two selfish people will never equal a happy marriage, at least not by biblical standards. 

One of the things I asked my husband was not to be so critical of me on issues of little importance.  He really didn’t realize how critical he was being.  And so as we’ve talked about it, we have become more aware.  Also I think it’s important to note, it’s not good enough to just not say anything.  If we keep thinking critically about our spouse eventually it will all come out.  We have to think differently.  We have to dwell on their strengths and be thankful for them! 

And so it is in this context that my husband and I went to pick up donuts to take to church last Sunday.  We were running late so my husband ran in and came back with two dozen.  “What kinds did you get?” I asked.  As he began telling me, I questioned his choices.  “What?  Raspberry filled?  Lemon filled?  People don’t like those.  You should have…”  Actually what I was really thinking was that if there were any left over I don’t like those.  I replayed the conversation in my mind.  Who cares?  Who really cares what donuts he picked out?  How silly is that!  I realized that this was an example of how I don’t want him treating me. 

I apologized right then and there.  “I should have said, ‘Yum those sound great.  Thanks for running in to pick them up.  You’re awesome!’”  Because he is, and he had actually picked up mostly ones that I like!  How much better would our marriages be if we responded that way to our spouse instead of like I did at first? 

I’m linked with A Proverbs 31 Wife and Messy Marriage.

8 comments to Working at marriage

  • This really resonated with me. My husband and I are working hard to put each other first and think less critically as well.

  • frieda

    Right. I’m still working on it after 52 years. But it is worth it!

  • Hi Esther, I’m stopping by from #UBP14 and love your site. My husband left suddenly when I was 5 months pregnant with our fifth little boy. I tried to be a supportive wife but didn’t always succeed and spent a good deal of time replaying every nasty (or worse – thoughtless) word I ever said to him over our 17 years together. You offer such good advice here – pick your battles and don’t sweat the small stuff! I am so happy for you and your husband and work you put into loving each other. What a gift to yourselves, your children, and to God!
    PS and your children are just beautiful! :)

  • I totally did that to Howard last night. He came out of work and I had the debit card. He hadn’t eaten dinner, but Benjamin and I had been out to dinner. He asked if I would be mad if he went back in to get some dinner for himself and I said of course not. Well, by the time he came back to the car he had three bags of groceries and I made the crack that he can never go into the store and just buy one thing… He heard that as I was mad even after I told him I wouldn’t be mad. My tongue is way too sharp for its own good sometimes!

  • I love it when God shows me what I’m doing so that my marriage is better. (God seems to do that to me a lot!)

  • So good…so very good. Help me to let kind words come out of my mouth!! ♥ Visiting from Kendra’s…I am your newest follower!

  • So true!! I find myself judging my husband sometimes…it’s awful…because immediately his biggest fan! And he is mine! Such a good post!

  • […] was reminded of this yesterday when I read about my friend, Esther, working on her marriage and as with all couples, Howard and I are continually working on our marriage as well. From her […]

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