Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sweetheart, there's something I wanted to talk about...

In marriage, they say, communication is crucial. We must be able to be open and honest with our spouse. We need to have the freedom to talk about issues in the relationship and have open, non-threatening discussion on needs that require attention. But, when you do, what's your motivation? I think such an ignored concept is even more key than the communication itself. "Well, am I supposed to just take all the crap that my husband/wife flings at me and the disrespect they show me by their carelessness?" No...""...YES! (ala, Night at the Roxbury) And that is a contingent yes. In whose eyes are they behaving that way? Is your honey not wearing that special teddy that you like (at night when it is just the two of you) and you've asked her a hundred times? Do his socks (and stinky underwear) still end up on the floor after you have asked him umpteen-bajillion times to pick them up? Do these knaw on your raw nerves?

Might I suggest asking yourself a few questions before you bring this up and get angry? First: Are such issues grounds for divorce? If that one isn't obvious, no one can help you but you. Figure it out. Second: Has harping/nagging/flicking crap (even playfully) been my main mode of addressing this issue with my spouse? Third: Are such issues important enough to cause the turmoil in the relationship that I have, if I have chosen to over-emphasize the issue? Lastly, and most importantly: What's my motivation here? Is picking up socks or wearing that special something going to contribute to my spouse's wholeness? Will it make them a better person? Will it make them more effective people for Jesus Christ?

If we are upset and seeking these things to an extent that causes strife in our husband-wife relationship, I suggest you take the servant's attitude approach. Turn the other cheek. Don't get me wrong, if you are reading this, and you feel convicted about being lax in an area your spouse considers important, figure out a solution to make yourself successful and more aware of their needs (set a daily cell phone alert or tie a bow around the knob on your comfy pj's drawer to remind you, or something creative). But maybe, just maybe, you'd free them up to meet your needs more if you were more focused on loving them than looking out for yourself in the relationship. Maybe you need to develop and understanding with your spouse that you will ask them to do this every day because it is important to you, but you will not do so in a nagging/frustrated/angry way. Eventually they will learn. And I believe that most spouses do want to please if given the opportunity and proper training (that goes for wives just as much as it does for husbands). Now, get out there, and start looking out for number two!

Braving Life Outside the Bathroom With You,
PS I'm currently the featured guest blogger over at "Niki's Other Awesome Blog" http://sexloveandmarriage.blogspot.com The long promised and awaited "Why Men Look" post is there.


Delia said...

I believe that's what goes wrong in a lot of marriages, people are too busy putting themselves before their spouses. Sadly though, many people don't realize it until it's too late.

I'm going to go check out your guest blog post now.

Chelf said...

I like that you know about the Help-Meet name from the Bible.

I don't want a man to walk in front of or behind me, but a man to stand beside me. Mostly so that I can stand beside him. Yep, Arm Candy, that's my hubby!

I also think that most couples forget that marriage takes three, they leave God out of the equation. He needs to be head of household, even if you can't claim it on the taxes...

R said...

I have found in my marriage that if I harp on stuff (even in my mind) that the problem gets worse, not better. I tend to think a woman that gets on her husband for leaving the toilet seat up or leaving his socks on the floor is a control freak. It is just difficult to tell a control freak that. You are right, the only thing is to look at what you can change as an individual to serve your spouse, and pretty much the rest falls into place. I don't know how it does, but it always does.

I do think it is good to address things that are serious though, don't get me wrong. There is definitely a way to do it too; we must not be immature or flippant about it.