The devil is always working, and he works the hardest on marriage in my opinion. Marriage is a major threat to a large portion of our society right now, and yet (again, my opinion) it’s what is needed to save the world from destruction.
This came to me late the other night as I was listening to a favorite podcast. The Married couple hosting the show said, “The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference.” So what does that mean exactly? Indifference is the lack of concern for something/someone, it is the feeling that something/someone is unimportant. Indifference is a major threat to your marriage, but do you know how you become indifferent about your husband, or wife? How did you get to this horrible place far away from your spouse? Most of all, how do you repair it?
“The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference.”
I’m guilty of romanticizing everything. I live in a dream world most of the time, and it is very difficult to understand someone who thinks differently than I do. To clarify, I respect a difference of opinion, but I usually can’t place myself in anyone else’s thought process, especially when I’m passionate about a subject. I have several passion projects in my head, by the way. In romanticizing my world, I fell in love with a certain marriage, the Huckstables to be precise (The Cosby Show), and when I didn’t see my husband reciprocating in the “appropriate” way, I felt hopeless. Now, I knew life isn’t a fairy tale and I knew hard work would have to be put in, but truthfully I never understood the extent of the hard work. You might notice I wrote that sentence in past tense, but this is still a struggle I’m battling right now.
How do we, as humans, interpret a marriage we can’t understand? I’ve felt unloved and I’ve felt as if I wasn’t good enough for him. I’ve felt lonely while he held my hand, and I’ve sat and wondered why in the world would God bring us together? All of these feelings I’ve felt weren’t coming as much from my husband as they were coming from the devil and his handy work. I just felt we were drifting apart. Now I’ve written on this before here, but I didn’t understand this fully then, so of course I’ve felt this way again more recently… too recently.
You can look at my blog, my photos, and my Facebook and believe I have things perfectly in order, but it isn’t true. I try hard to get it all together, but I can’t be perfect at everything. Some days I’m a better mother, some days I’m a better wife, sometimes I’m great at cooking and other times cleaning is more my thing. I vary day to day. Each day I try to do something to better myself, but sometimes that doesn’t happen either. I just give myself grace. I know I can’t do it all, all at once, all the time. So I make mistakes, I slack off now and then. I’m human, and sadly for me, that means I fell into Satan’s trap again.
This little piece of advice is powering through a new marriage struggle of not feeling as if my husband wants me the way I am. I was feeling like we were drifting away from one another. It all felt hopeless, but blaming our surroundings, our busyness, our lifestyles, etc. is the better route, instead of blaming our spouses. The devil knows how to reach us, and he does it with instant gratification, temporary pleasures, and becoming indifferent.
We have to make it stop! As wives/husbands we’re called to take back our marriage. Don’t settle for a mediocre marriage. Just because everyone goes through it, doesn’t mean you have to too. People might argue, “It’s okay, your husband is busy, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you, he just has a lot on his plate right now.” I find that hard to accept, if he is indeed too busy, then can’t he make a sacrifice somewhere else. Why is he sacrificing our relationship? (We know why right? Because we tend to hurt the ones we love the most.) Both men and women are busy, and busy separate lives take you away from your unity! If you have to be busy, at least be busy together. Working together is good for your marriage, still trying, but really good.
We’re familiar with the phrase, “Fake it ’til you make it.” but can we say we do this with our marriage? If you don’t know how to come together genuinely, then make it up as you go. Do the action first, without the loving feeling, and go from there. I get pretty fumed when my husband puts the dishes in the wrong place. I hate how he always leaves something on his plate at dinner. It feels pathetic for me to put a grown man’s clothes away for him. We both sleep in our bed, but yet I make it alone 97% of the time (percentage is estimated but not too dramatic). Having these feelings causes me to grumble when I do the chores. It fuels my resentment for having a husband who thinks a woman’s place is in the home. Disclaimer: He does NOT feel that way, but that’s where I take it in my mind. So, the first thing for me to do is act lovingly as I put away his clothes. I may say something along the lines of, “How wonderful it is to be married, I’m so happy to have someone to look after for the rest of my life.” The first few times may feel sarcastic, but the more you act our of love, the easier it is to feel the love. Your feelings will actually follow your actions eventually.
As I’ve mentioned I’m working on this too, I’m going to stop with these two bits of advice. This is advice I’m following, but there could be more out there to add. If you have any to share, please do!