I wish I could share all my nitty gritty problems with you, because I’ve learned so much about being in any relationship by the problems I’ve encountered with my husband. But part of being a good spouse is being Loyal to your husband and family. Being loyal means not telling everyone all the crazy things they say or do. Not talking about their faults or putting them down. This idea goes for your children as well… even if they’re not around please don’t talk about them being horrible (I’m working on this, and it’s incredibly hard. Incredibly worth it, but oh so hard!). So make a vow right now to be loyal to your own husband.
It is Okay to be Counseled
The hardest part about being loyal is that sometimes you feel the need to get your frustrations off your chest. Still, it isn’t worth it to talk to someone else about your husband unless it is your counselor. Talking to an unbiased party is helpful especially when they aren’t allowed to talk about your situation with others. So don’t be afraid to get some therapy, either as a couple or individually.
What is NOT okay is to use your friends and family as a counselor. I’ve made this mistake too often. What it does is create friction between that person you just vented to and your spouse. Most people feel the need to do something to help you, and when they can’t, they blame your husband for THAT trouble in their life. Seems odd, but it’s absolutely true.
I even got into the habit of using my Mother in Law for a counselor because I felt very confident she would walk away from our conversations still loving her son. But that too is a terrible idea. A mother doesn’t want to hear about the things she can’t control especially when it comes to her son’s “faults” (air quotes because they’re just undesirable behaviors… sometimes we don’t all agree on what’s bad or good). Mothers and Fathers don’t intend on train their children to be rotten towards anyone else. So you can see that vented causes frustration with your audience… no matter who the audience is.
Being loyal is important for obvious reasons, but there are some not so obvious reasons as well. Husbands have a strong desire to be respected. Respect to men seems to be the equivalent of Love from a woman’s perspective. And because respect is such an important attribute for men, they’ll also see your loyalty as a form of respect. In a sense, they’re right. It is respectful not to talk about them behind their back, but that’s not the only form of loyalty I’m talking about.
If you’re being loyal, then you will be refraining from talking poorly about the man you love. With less words of disdain and more words of praise you’re attitude will change towards your husband. See, it’s easy to go down the slippery slope of listing all the things he has done to make you feel disrespected or unloved. But we have to remember a few things here:
- If we look at our own actions towards our husbands will we find things they could “vent” about us?
- Will listing out the painful memories make them go away or make them more profound and prominent?
- We may want to change our husband but ultimately we can’t. The only thing we have control over is ourselves, so that’s where we begin.
I’ve touched on that last point before in an article titled, “During Hard Times, It is Okay to Choose You… I Did.” But I want to touch on it once more.
Change Yourself Not Your Husband
Okay, well I hated this one when I first started working on my relationship. I can see so many faults in my husband that he needs to fix that would make everything go much smoother. (And while I can see that speck in his eye, I’m totally disregarding the log in my own eye.) It’s even harder when you’ve already changed so much of yourself already, but honestly there’s always something we can do to improve ourselves. There is absolutely nothing we can do to change anyone else except be an example of what God wants us to be. It is as simple and as difficult as that. Persevere my friend!
Just attempt to do something better or to present yourself better by 1% each and everyday.
The Power of Silence
A friend mentioned this to me, and it’s been ringing in the back of my mind ever since. Jesus didn’t force his ways down anyone’s throat. He didn’t have to prove He was right to know He was right. He could be silent and hold the same power. So that means when our spouses don’t trust what we say, or think we’re doing something wrong, or even when you’re battling for power, you can be quiet and confident. It’s easier said than done. Especially for me, I struggle with the confidence part.
I can become extremely passionate on certain subjects and when it comes to an idea my husband and I disagree upon… I take that passion past extreme. It’s one of my major flaws. I’ve not quite masted this, but I’m a work in progress. My silence sometimes feels like stifled energy but with a little pray for humility, I can manage.
Develop a Habit of Praying for Him
My husband doesn’t know how often I pray for him, or pray over him when he’s asleep, but I do. I pray for his
- Health and safety each day.
- Ability to find strength when he struggles.
- Generosity to spread farther each day.
- Love for God and for his family to power him through each day.
- Heart to soften.
Here’s a website I keep up on phone to help aid in my prayers.
Be Reasonable With Your Expectations
I have told my husband numerous times that I will NOT settle for a mediocre marriage. I don’t compare our marriage to anyone else’s, and I work hard on what matters to our relationship and our family. But, I will admit that in saying those words I have created some unrealistic expectations for he and I. For instance, I expected him to be on board with that sentence. While I assume he too doesn’t want a mediocre marriage, we have different perspectives on what that means.
Keep these few ideas in mind when looking at your relationship. You are not your parents/grandparents and should not expect to start up right where they are in the present. I truly believe I expected much of my fears and emotional issues to fade because my husband was my better half. Not a good idea to assume you will be happy with everything (or even that you should be happy with everything). As mentioned already above, only you can create complete happiness for yourself.
Talk, Talk, Talk
My husband probably hates how much I talk things out, but I’m trying to be communicative. Our marriage prep indicated we had communication problems from the get go. So I talk, and talk, and talk, so as to not hide my thoughts and feelings. I’m certain I talk to much, but I have no advice on how not to do that as of yet. The point you should take on here is, to communicate instead of seeing your husband as a mind reader… even with the “obvious”. What is obvious to women is absolutely NOT obvious to men.
So don’t bank on:
- He should know that would upset me….. He doesn’t
- Who would say that sort of thing to someone they love?…. He did and he has no idea it hurt you.
- Why does he keep putting the spoons in this random drawer?… Because he doesn’t sort the same as you.
Do you catch my drift? Don’t assume they know, because they obviously don’t. Key point, when you decided to communicate, be extra loving! Extra, extra, extra loving! As in writing a schmoozey email to a coworker or to someone who doesn’t know your character.
Above all, just love him. While it’s that simple, it’s also very much THAT difficult. These tips can get you started, but you’ll have to dig deeper, and you’ll have to find your rhythm with your husband. Show love as St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) would show love.