Kate says . . .
There are times in every marriage when frustration mounts or hurts develop to the point where we want to say to our spouse “THIS IS SERIOUS!!!” As Brad shared in his post, “Delete the D Word” we feel the need to get out the gigantic highlighter and make our spouse aware of how serious we are. When things get tough, many times we don’t know how to express our concerns, and it comes off in a moment of frustration and the ability to hurt, in the word – divorce.
Yes, it communicates something is wrong, but it also impacts your marriage greatly hurting the safety and security of your covenant relationship. So what else can you to when you feel the need to get out the gigantic highlighter with your spouse? What can we do that will express our concern and at the same time our desire to grow through this challenge together?
1. Remember you are on the same team
You two are becoming one flesh. You have a marriage that is covenant between both of you and our God. Even though you struggle at times, you are on the same team. You might just need to remind yourself of that when you do struggle. It is not him against her, it is you two (one flesh) against whatever troubles come. And they will come, the Bible is pretty clear about that. The enemy wants you to think and deal with struggles as if you are two separate people, that is where selfishness comes in. Stop and remind yourself, “we are on the same team and God has got our backs!”
2. Be physical
While yes, sex is a good way to bond a marriage that is not what I meant today. 🙂 When we are upset and trying to get our point across, trying to highlight the serious issue we see, we tend to put physical distance between ourselves and our spouse. If you think about it, many times during an argument, you grow physically further and further apart as the argument continues.
Change that habit and show that you are on the same team. Sit down next to each other and hold their hand. Or approach them and put your arms around them and just hug. Touch truly breaks down walls and speaks volumes, not to mention brings you both back to focus. Don’t believe me? Give it a try. It’s awfully hard to be mean, push your agenda, throw out your passive aggressive remarks and even raise your voice, when you are holding hands.
3. Stop and pray
This is a tough one. I know it, but it is tough because it is truly a good thing to do. Right during your argument stop and ask your spouse to pray with you. Sit next to each other, embrace and cry out to God in your confusion and frustration. Praying together is one of the most vulnerable and intimate things we can do as a couple. That alone causes us to resist. When you stop and pray together, God as always, will meet you there. Never underestimate the power of praying together, especially in times of confusion and hurt.
4. Use Word
I know when our kids were younger and they would be frustrated do something silly and we would say “use your words”. We wanted them to express what was wrong or what they needed. As adults we sometimes need to learn that lesson as well. It is hard to say what we truly feel and sometimes we don’t even know what we feel. Even so, expressing yourself in open, honest, and non-threatening ways can truly help you both. Instead of using the D-word say things such as:
- I’m scared
- I feel vulnerable
- I feel misunderstood and want to be able to express myself so you understand
- I don’t like the pattern WE are setting here
- I want our marriage to grow and move forward even if we are struggling right now
- I don’t know what to say, but I know we are both upset and hurting
Don’t be afraid to share what is on your heart, in a non-pointing fingers way. With the goal being, you two growing together through this. It can change how you both talk and respond, even when it is hard to put words to our frustrations and emotions.
Choosing to close the door on the D word is a good, good thing. I am thankful that Brad and I closed that door long ago (though it wasn’t always closed in our marriage), because we tackle what has to come in such a different way. We also have an assurance in our commitment to each other!
What are other ways you would suggest to express hurt and confusion, highlighting the seriousness without using the D word? Do you and your hubby throw the D word around and if so, how has that affected your marriage? Leave a comment and let us know.