I slammed the door as I rushed out with hot tears running down my face. I’d hastily thrown a few clothes into a bag before I marched out to drive home the point I WAS leaving!
That was early in my marriage and I learned so much in that one night!
Sometimes in the heat of the moment we can forget we’re fighting FOR each other instead of against each other. Fights have a tendency to pull the defensive side of me out. I’m guessing I’m not the only one there, right?
The desire to prove I’m right, even if I don’t know what is right in the moment, used to trip me up on a regular basis. It led to way to many hard feelings I wish I could take back. But, I love that God can use everything for good and those early arguments taught me SO much and I’d love to share a few of those things with you.
- Our feelings don’t dictate the truth
The reason we were fighting and felt I needed to leave is because I was convinced hubby loved his cows more than me!! Now this probably sounds like the goofiest reason for a fight ever. But I’d just about bet you’ve had one for a similar reason. It came down to the feeling that his work was a higher priority than me. I know I’m not the only spouse to struggle with that feeling am I? It also didn’t help that I was 3 months pregnant with our first son and an absolute flood of emotions right then!
Just because I was feeling it in the moment didn’t make it the true though. We were in the heart of calving season when this happened and my hubby was worn out with trying to keep up with everything and I was feeling it extra hard because I wasn’t being as much help as normal with being pregnant.
In the moment it weighed heavy on me but once the heat of the moment passed I realized the enemy was trying to steal, kill and destroy our marriage over something I knew wasn’t true.
- Our spouse can’t want us to be in the marriage more than we want to be in it.
This next statement might sound strange but I’m SO grateful my hubby didn’t chase me down in the moment. I know that sounds backwards but hear me out. In the moment I wanted him to pursue me. My young heart desperately wanted him run after me and beg me to stay. He didn’t do that!! I was so angry when he didn’t come running after me. I sat in my pickup and cried hoping to somehow will him out the door.
When he didn’t come and I settled down a little I walked back in the house as I really didn’t want to leave. I wanted to feel loved. As I tried to state my case for how wrong he was he wrapped me up in a gentle hug and said something that’s stuck with me ever since. “Laura, I want you with me forever. But I want you to WANT to be here and if that’s not what you want then I love you too much to try to talk you into staying.”
Folks, I was a puddle in his arms right then!!
It’s when it became super clear that I had to WANT our marriage to work. I couldn’t manipulate or coerce love.
- Don’t let the sun set on your anger
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit this is NOT always easy!! My grandma gave me some sage advice when I first got married and this scripture was an important one.
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27 (NLT)
No matter what we’re feeling or what’s going on we made the conscious decision not to go to sleep still mad at each other. Sometimes this has meant walking away and calming down and then coming back together before we go to bed. Other times this has meant hashing it out until we come to a point where at least the anger has subsided.
I’m not sure many marriage counselors would agree with this next statement but I’m going it share it anyway. We’ve been known to say, “I don’t really like you right now but I still love you!”
I’ll be the first to admit we don’t have everything figured out when it comes to marriage but we just celebrated our 26th anniversary so we’re stubborn if nothing else! 😉
What are a few of the lessons you’ve learned through marriage? I’d love it if you’d share with us!