Archive | Marriage

How to Combat Marital Malaise

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“Why am I so exhausted tonight?” my husband asked as he collapsed on the hotel bed. We’d taken a few days off to celebrate his birthday and recover from a very busy month at work.

I yawned in response, “We cheated on the diet twice today. Remember?” For 4 months, we’d towed the line and eliminated sugar and bad carbohydrates. Our new-found dedication to healthy eating began on a rainy day in February when I drove my husband to the ER. A sore throat had morphed into a cold that quickly escalated into pneumonia. He’d felt a little off for days, but his immune system had gone on vacation. The doctor explained that his blood test had revealed off the chart high blood sugar. His whole body was polluted by an invisible infection.

I’ve learned not to ignore a tickle in my throat. It’s my body sounding an alarm. When I start to feel a little off, I no longer take it lightly. I take action.

I am starting to recognize the warning signs in my marriage as well. Some days, it seems like a marital malaise has invaded my home. I can’t pinpoint the poison, but the health and vitality of our relationship is in danger.

When I slow down to examine and address the root cause, it usually stems from one of these pesky tormentors….

I’m sharing “How to Combat Marital Malaise” at Start Marriage Right.  

To read the rest of this post, join me here.

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Be a Peacemaker

Be a Peacemaker | 3dlessons4life.comPhoto Credit

 

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1, NKJV).

I turned around to face the sink as my husband brushed by me into the garage. I wanted to discuss when we would sit down for dinner, but he was busy working on a project. His curt response cut me to the quick.

“Don’t worry about me. I’ll fend for myself this week,” he retorted as he disappeared back into his man cave.

The tears welled up in my heart as I thought about the load of groceries I’d just stuffed into the refrigerator. I’d spent several days menu planning, and now he was telling me he’d rather eat cereal alone.

My tears quickly turned to icy anger. We’d exchanged vows just four weeks earlier, and now I wondered if I’d made a mistake.

As I wrestled with my rollercoaster emotions, my oblivious groom stepped back inside to grab a piece of equipment. He saw me standing at the sink and nuzzled up in my ear.  I felt completely suffocated.  I wanted to throw the dirty dishes at him, but instead I responded by excusing myself to gain my composure.

Both my husband and I grew up in homes where the philosophy was “he who screams loudest wins.”  Neither of us wanted to have a marriage established on selfish animosity, so we began studying the Scriptures to help us learn how to resolve conflict in a healthy manner.

In Chapter 5 of Song of Solomon, we find the lover and his bride at odds. He comes to the door, and she initially responds with indifference, rather than affection. His response is all grace. He doesn’t batter down the door and demand his way. He doesn’t insult her or point fingers.

“A gentle answer makes anger disappear.” Matthew Henry expounds on this sage advice by stating: “A right cause will be better pleaded with meekness than with passion.”

The child of God is called to extend God’s grace to others. Rather than react in the flesh, we are to turn to prayer and ask God for His strength and wisdom to respond in the Spirit. Rather than attack, we should affirm one another.

Don’t push back, choose to be a peacemaker.

Choose to Be a Peacemaker | 3dlessons4life.com

 

 

Let’s Talk:  If you are married, what advice would you offer to a friend facing conflict in her home?  

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“Be a Peacemaker” was originally published at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale’s Daily Devo and on You Version as part of the reading plan The Secret: How Do You See Love.

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I am sharing “Be a Peacemaker” and joining like-minded sisters at Give Me GraceSpiritual Sundays, Faith-Filled Friday, Fresh Market FridayBlessing CountersTell His Story, Coffee for Your Heart, Three-Word Wednesday, Intentional TuesdayPurposeful Faith’s RaRaLinkup, Rich-Faith Rising, Testimony Tuesday, and Moments of Hope.
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The Perspective Shift

The Perspective Shift | 3dlessons4life.com

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Last winter, my husband caught a cold, which ultimately lead to a shift in my perspective. At first, I was slightly irritated that he’d diligently worked all week with a wracking cough, but then decided to cancel our weekend Valentine’s Day plans because he suddenly needed to rest. We spent two days watching television on the couch in our pajamas while he drank lots of fluid and took over-the-counter cough medicine every four hours.

My husband does not slow down, so I should have known that a crisis was coming, but all I could think about was how I was missing out on flowers and a nice dinner at an expensive restaurant. My grumpy attitude soon took a backseat when I realized that my man had completely lost his appetite, and his cough was so debilitating that he hadn’t slept in 48 hours.

We ended up at the emergency room just three days later. Bruce was struggling to breathe, and I watched in alarm as an IV was placed in both of my husband’s arms. He had a killer case of pneumonia.

I sat in a chair next to his hospital bed for two days without sleeping until my sister in law drove two hours to come and make me go home. When I crossed the threshold into my house, I had new eyes to see my surroundings.

I picked up empty water bottles off tables and dirty socks from the floor and prayed that my husband would get to come home to sit at the table. I hoped with all my heart that he would return and leave lots of messes all over the house for me to clean up. I walked to the washing machine with his over-stuffed laundry basket and told God I loved to do my husband’s laundry and wanted to continue to wash his dirty clothes forever.  All over my house, I saw evidence of my husband’s hard work and sacrifice. He might not have gotten me flowers on Valentine’s Day, but every day he worked tirelessly to provide for our family.

I am thankful for the perspective shift that God allowed me to experience. I’ve come to understand that every day is a gift from God to be appreciated and never taken for granted. Now, I cherish simple things like sitting on the couch and holding my husband’s hand as we watch television.

I’ve determined to cultivate an attitude of gratitude for the simple joys in life. If you need a perspective shift like I did, here are some suggestions on how to combat a grumpy attitude in your marriage…

I’m sharing “The Perspective Shift” over at Start Marriage Right today.  

To read the rest of this post, join me here.

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When Money is the Monkey in the Middle of Your Marriage

Monkey in the Middle | 3dlessons4life.comPhoto Credit 1 & 2

 

We were standing in the aisle next to the ice cream freezer at Target when I realized how marrying your opposite can create matrimonial chaos.

I had a hankering for cookies and cream ice cream, but my man was balking at the price. He wanted to know why the size of the container had shrunk while the price had escalated. He huffed and puffed and refused to put the container in our grocery cart.

Seriously? It’s just ice cream. Who cares how much it costs? A girl needs her chocolate fix.

I went home hungry and confused that evening. This was the first of many epic battles over the way we would spend our hard earned dollar.

I grew up in a home where I was the spoiled only child of doting parents. If I asked for a toy, a sparkling new doll always appeared under the Christmas tree. My husband was raised in a family of four where mom stayed home and cut coupons to make ends meet. He wore hand-me-downs and rode a bike purchased at a garage sale.

Money was the monkey in the middle of my marriage. Thankfully, over the course of the last five years, we’ve learned to “play nice” and tame the taunting wild beast called the budget…

 

I’m sharing “When Marriage is the Monkey in the Middle of Your Marriage” over at Moody’s Start Marriage Right today.

To read the rest of this post, join me here.

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