I’ve heard that a few more couples that I have known for a long time have separated or divorced. It always bothers me when I hear that a couple has given up. I wonder what went wrong; what happened. I’m not a nosy person. I just like to learn from others’ experiences, what not to do, so to speak.
I made some mistakes (about priorities and such) in our marriage when the children were young. Thus when the children were all in their teens, I was reaping the results of those mistakes. Things were difficult and frustrating much of the time. That’s when I diligently sought out helpful resources.
I learned that I could not change anyone but myself. This meant that although I thought Michael should stop or start doing such and such, I could not change him; I could only change how I reacted or responded when faced with frustrating things.
For a time period it seems that I was constantly hearing “you can only change you” from a variety of resources. No one else is responsible for your attitudes and actions or reactions and you are not responsible for any one else’s.
As I’ve been contemplating this post, I’ve been hit anew with some frustrations with my beloved and once again realizing that I can only change how I react or respond. Of course that doesn’t mean that we should discuss these frustrating situations; it just means that I don’t have a right to behaving inappropriately, no matter how frustrated I become.
I wish Michael and I were one of those couples that seem to be perpetually in love with each other, all goo-goo eyed and gushy but we’re not. Thus we have to be more intentional. We use the Love Nudge app to give us reminders. It helps a lot to remember things like “leave a note” or “give a gift” or whatever you tell it to remind you.
Last week I’d folded a pile of my clothes and was sorting them on the bed before Michael got ready for work. Later, after he’d left for work I went in the bedroom to do something and saw a note left on top of my folded clothes. It was just a short little note but it made me smile and feel loved! I felt like I’d won the lottery marrying him.
Of course, we are not always like that. There are days, like the last few, where we just can’t seem to get on the same page, where we just seem to be rubbing each other the wrong way with every move we make or word spoken. Those are the times that I have to be VERY intentional and very cautious with my actions and words, so that I don’t add to the frustrations. Even when it feels like I can’t speak my mind, there is a way to do it and be heard. That’s when I turn to prayerfully writing a letter to him. Many times when I write a letter, God won’t let me say what I want to say but rather apologize or something; it always turns out to be what is needed at the moment. I’m able to say what I want to say and feel heard, even if he doesn’t really read it. At least I tried and prayed about it.
I hope this can be an encouragement to you to keep trying and take responsibility for your attitudes rather than telling him what he should or shouldn’t do/say and above all, PRAY.
Until next time,