Sergio & I were married young. He was only 20 & I was 22. We dated off & on for less than a year and engaged for only 5 months. It was a whirlwind of an adventure. We grew up fast that first year of marriage.
We had no clue what we were doing.
Sergio and I
were are highly, overly-passionate adults.
We fought passionately.
We made up passionately.
We didn't really know how to respect each other.
The word "submission" was not in my vocabulary. I was a strong, independent lady who thrived off of freedom. I learned quickly that this doesn't work well in a marriage.
From the day we said, "I Do", we promised that the word "divorce" would not be in our marriage vocabulary. And for the most part, we've stuck to that promise.
But, it's been difficult. In our almost 12 years of marriage, we've had our share of difficulty and have matured greatly. Thankfully, we rarely fall back into our "younger" habits of communicating.
Except for today.
I became quick to anger, spoke harshly, and went back into my old habits that disrespect my husband.
My attitude lit a candle of filth that filled up our lovely home.
It wasn't pretty.
I was, by far, the ugliest girl in Nashville by my words & actions.
He deserves so much more.
But, how do I become a better wife?!
So, like any other question I have,
I opened up my Bible, I asked Google. (It's okay to laugh!)
I read a million articles on 'How to be the Perfect Wife' (Pah-leaze!), 'How to be a Good Wife', & 'What a Good Wife Does for Her Husband'. The lists were exhausting, but a few had some good 'food for thought'.
Here's what I've either learned or been reminded of this afternoon:
- Fight Right! Don't let anger take over because it may cause you to speak words that you'll later regret. Even when you don't agree with your husband, you need to respect his opinion/viewpoint.
- Humility! When you're wrong, ADMIT it. You need to learn to respond to arguments and remain rational so you can recognize & apologize when you've made a mistake.
- Be Understanding! You may never agree on certain issues. That's okay. It's not the end of the world when you can't agree on an issue. What makes a huge difference is how you resolve and come to a conclusion.
- Talk to your husband, not about him! When in a discussion, speak your frustrations to him respectfully. Do not mock him or make fun of him. Do not talk at him, but to him. Express your needs in a gentle way.
- Send "I messages"! Instead of accusing him of not meeting your needs, focus the conversation on yourself. For example, "I feel less important when you don't arrive home on time as promised."
- Listen to him speak before responding! Listen to what he says and graciously repeat back what he has just said to you so that he knows you are hearing him correctly. We all have our filters that can alter our view on a situation. Our counselor from a few years ago called this the "Drive-Thru Method". You pull up, tell me what you need/want, & I then repeat it back to you EXACTLY as you've said.
- Avoid passing judgment! After he is done speaking, offer any solutions that may help in meeting your need. Be realistic and kind when speaking.
- Give each other the benefit of the doubt! For the majority, your husband loves you and wants you to succeed. Don't be quick to think the worst. He isn't out to get you, but to help you. Honor him in that.
This is not an exhaustive list, but rather a good place to start (after reading your Bible, of course!).
Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go light candles to fill our home up with the mixed scents of love, humility, and apology.