When you give someone your heart, whether a trusted soul, a significant other, or a spouse, those people hold the greatest power to hurt you. All of a sudden their words and actions have way more weight than what anyone else’s do.
When I started dating my wonderful husband I knew I had to learn to learn to become a good “fighter” because I knew my words and actions would truly affect him. In past relationships I used to just bottle frustrations up until I exploded and the had the fight of the century. My other route, I would be super passive aggressive and either give the silent treatment or use the the famous women’s line “you know what you did wrong” (which now makes me cringe when I hear it uttered from anyone’s mouth).
I knew from the start that we had to set the right “culture” for our relationship. We needed to set standards of what was acceptable and what was not (more on that in a future blog post). I needed to know his needs in those frustrating moments and how I could be there to comfort, support, and love him in those moments while trying to work out an issue.
I felt like there was so much to learn to cultivate the type of relationship I wanted, so I turned to books and the wisdom of my closest circles. Then in all my research and reading I found two of the most encouraging steps to fighting… Let me explain.
A) I am a SAFETY NET to the people I love. This means that no matter what my friend or husband tells me, I am to react to it love and kindness (even if I have to brace myself and take a few deep breaths). For example if your husband admits he fantasizes over sexual image (or breaks any boundary you have) or if a family member says something that feels offensive, you react in a way that displays love, forgiveness and emotional safety. This doesn’t mean that there is not natural consequences, new boundaries, positive confrontation, or a deeper discussion that takes place, but it means that the relationship revolves around forgiveness and calmness. My relationships must revolve around loving, accepting, and forgiving (stole this way or life from my church)… This creates a culture of openness, trust and honesty in your relationships.
B) Now that the problem is out there, I have to fight with urge to fix the PERSON. I want to fix my husbands flaws, then I realize that I didn’t marry a “fixer’ upper” but an imperfect person that I have a perfect connection with. Billy Graham’s wife said it perfectly: “It is not my job to make Billy holy (perfect), it is my job to love him.” When I feel loved and accepted, I want to step up my game and show the same love and dignity my beloved shows me. I need to believe my most loved will react the same. So now it is time to team up AGAINST the problem. It is not me vs. you but WE vs. THE PROBLEM. My friend/spouse is not the enemy. When we make people villains or look at them as problems, we easily make a dangerous hole in the relationship and create room for bitterness and unnecessary hurt. Instead, we need to sit down and come together and talk it out and come up with a plan if necessary.
These two simple concepts I have had to jackhammer into my head so that when these tough moments come, I react the way I have planned and not out of the emotions of feeling in the moment. Feelings are fickle but love and kindness always win.
So good. Those are words of wisdom I wish I knew in my first year of marriage. 🙂 It is a “we” and “us” deal when we get married, yes! And man are we accountable for that! My most recent word from the Lord on my relationship with my husband (married 9 years in 2 days) is that my relationship with Ral has more to do with my relationship with God than it does with Ral. I didn’t see that or like that at first but God revealed to me that what I speak into our marriage and into Ral’s life is first linked to who I am… If I am a Christian, God’s kid – it’s gotta show in my conduct! How I interact with Ral shows what I believe and what I’m about. 🙂
Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to respond! It sounds like you have some tried and true relationship advice yourself! I love your last line that says, “How I interact with Ral shows what I believe and what I’m about”. That is so inspiring to me! Thank you for support and sharing your wisdom
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“Feelings are fickle but love and kindness always win.”
I love that, Gwen. I also love the idea of teaming up against a problem, instead of splitting up and fighting each other. Massive, massive difference! Thanks for having the guts to share!
Thank you for inviting me to visit your blog via instagram! I could not relate to this blog post more. I think i need to take those points into consideration haha!
I’m glad you and your husband are happy. Maybe i could be a fixer-upper to my boyfriend 😉
Much love ♡
Hi Lauren, thank you for taking the time to reply! It is humbling you relate to these thoughts so perfectly! Thank you for thinking we are happy, we most certainly we have to constantly work on our marriage which is the whole total fun of marriage! Thanks again for reaching out and your support.. Wishing you and your love all the best!
So ready this I must say I felt like this was wrote to me. I am praising God for sending you to my instsgram and that you commented so that I could now follow your ig & blog. Thank you for writing this. my fiance and I have been through so much. so constantly trying to improve our relationship and family. Plus I am laws wanting to better myself. I believe everyone always has room for improvement. thank you! I love all of what you said but really love “feelings are fickle but love and kindness always win”
I also used to hold my feelings in and then we would have a massive blow out.
Wow! I am so humbled by your response! Thank you for sharing your journey with me.. It is so nice to partner up with others who are always trying to self improve! Thank you again for the support
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I love your blog and everything you write! I do this in my marriage. It’s difficult when a person has been through a difficult or abusive marriage the first time around but it is so worth it to humble yourself and truly love another person as an action and not simply a word. Thank you for your post! Very inspiring!
Hi, this is me luichan.ph via Instagram. I honestly can’t relate to this story since I am still single but I really like it, it will serve as a preparation for me in the near future❤️. I really like what Billy Graham’s wife said, “it is not my job to make Billy holy (perfect), it is my job to love him), wow, that’s very heavy and inspiring! 😀 the message is not only for couples but for all kinds of relationship. Would love to get wisdom from your blog about marriage, I know one day I can only say, “thank you” for sharing these things with me. God bless as you continue to share your insights. 😊😉👏❤️
Hi there. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond! I thank you so much for the support ✌️ I definitely try to make my blogs about all relationships but use my hubby as an example! I can’t wait for your love story to begin and it will be so magical and special because it will be YOURS 💕
Yet, claiming it! Thanks sooo much! 😊❤️🌻