Friday, June 19, 2015

Marriage Musing


June is the month for weddings.  In fact, my husband and I were married 23 years ago this month.  It has been quite the adventure.  As we watched our wedding video this week, I saw a much younger version of me- one who still had a lot of growing up to do and many things to learn about marriage.    I look in the mirror today, and I see an older version of myself that still needs some work.  I love being married to my husband and consider him not only my Prince Charming but my best friend.   That said, marriage takes work.  So I thought I would share today two things that are helping our marriage work during this season. 

1. Keeping the Communication Lines Open

Once Big D started youth group, we had a built in date night.  This was time when neither of us did any work.  Instead it was a time to talk, just hang out and maybe eat out or watch a movie at home.  This year date night doesn't happen every week so it is important for us to take time to talk before going to sleep each night.  When we are apart, emails and Skype help keep us on the same page.   This can be challenging when we are in different time zones but is worth the extra effort.  

For us, I have found that hints don't work.  If I have an expectation, I need to tell my husband even if it means I know what I  am getting for my birthday.  Also for us, emails work great if I need something done since it can be red flagged and not forgotten.  With lots of details involved with sending a daughter to university and a son to boarding school, dropbox and email have helped us not let things slip through the cracks.

2. Not Taking Offense

This is one I am still working on.  Have you ever been in a conversation with your spouse and all of a sudden you start getting defensive over something they said?  Or maybe you say something that wasn't meant to be mean or accusatory but your spouse took offense?  Many times I can take offense when there was no harm intended.  My quick words derail the conversation because my feelings were hurt.  James reminds me to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.  When I do these things, I will not take offense over things that I do not need to take offense over.  

In the book, Keepers of Salt, Debby Davis has a chapter on how not taking offense is one of the best ways to keep covenant.  Marriage is a covenant relationship.  When I chose to not get angry or be offended by something my spouse says,  I am keeping covenant with my husband.  It is so easy to react when what I really need to do is listen, respond with grace and the intent to understand.   It is still a work in progress but is making a difference in my relationship with my husband.  

What things are helping you make your marriage better?  


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