I’ve noted before how tough the first year of marriage was for me and Jacob, because we just seemed to fight constantly. I don’t mean any knock-down drag out fights by the way. There was no physical abuse or verbal abuse. Nobody threw anything at one another or threatened to move out. But, there was an undercurrent of disagreement and discontent that permeated our married existence. That first year was TOUGH!
In hindsight, we really brought most of it and maybe all of it on ourselves. I can certainly say without hesitancy that I was a difficult woman to live with and the proverbial “decay in his bones.”
I know I’m not the only one who has had a time of discontent in marriage. In fact, since I work with couples, I can say that conflict in marriage is an all too common occurrence. The good new is that you really can protect your marriage from heavy conflict. So, if you’ve been getting closer to the “we fight all the time” mark, read on to discover why that happens and how NOT to let it happen to you.
Why couples fight:
While there can be many “reasons” for conflict in marriage, there is an overwhelming “umbrella” reason for the conflict – expectations.
I’m a big fan of natural alternatives to medication and getting our bodies back to the way God designed them. Your cells are constantly trying to achieve homeostasis and toxins disrupt this process. How does this relate to marriage? Well…couples can have a host of relationship toxins that cause turmoil making it near impossible to have a happy marriage.
Here’s an interesting thought. Some people have lived with sickness or illness for so long that they don’t even realize they could be healthier. They just accept their poor health. The exact same thing can happen in marriage. Some couples have been hurting or upset for so long that they cannot even fathom they could have a happy marriage.
So how do you get rid of toxins in your relationship? First, get the bad out, then get some good in.
Rid Yourself of Unforgiveness:
One of the most damaging things to a relationship is a lack of forgiveness in either spouse. In fact, even if only one spouse is struggling with unforgiveness the relationship is likely to either fail or be pretty miserable.
This post was originally shared on coreycarlisle.org/ as a guest post for him. It has been edited slightly to no longer reference Infertility Awareness Week which was occurring when it was originally shared. Check out Dr. Corey’s page for more articles on marriage and sexuality.
Being the girly girl that I am, I typically write for the wife or the couple. It is rare for me to write only to the husband, and in fact this may be the first time. Makes you feel pretty special, doesn’t it? Today husbands, this post is specifically for you and all about how to really help your wife during the journey of infertility.
To do so, I’m giving you the completely female look at infertility so your wife will make a little more sense right now. But, let’s be honest. Sometimes we females just don’t make sense, not even to ourselves. Your need to search out the great mysteries of the beautiful wonder you call your wife is actually quite similar to our need to search out the mysteries of God. So, the most important point in this article is to remember just that – God has designed you, your wife, and your marriage to help you understand more about Him, His undying and all consuming love, and his eternal grace that is very much alive in the present.
And now, let’s take time to really think about the issue of infertility and how your wife is being affected. For most men, “trying for a baby” simply means having sex with no protection. But, for many women, trying to get pregnant includes looking at fertility charts online, joining groups about trying to conceive (TTC), changing the diet, exercising, and making sure she seduces you while she’s ovulating. We women have a tendency to make everything a chore and work ourselves to the bone. Trying to have a baby is often no different.
At some point, the emotions start. Now, like I said before, we women don’t even fully understand ourselves. We may feel like we need a good cry just because if feels good to do so. I understand this will never fully make sense, but please trust me when I tell you that it really can feel amazing to purposely watch a sappy movie, curl up in pajamas, and cry while downing some chocolate brownie ice cream.
This is a guest post from Dr. Corey Carlisle. Corey is a deeply curious observer and investigator of human relationships and sexuality. His passion is to help others experience the good and the beautiful in these areas. Corey works as an ordained Christian minister, licensed marriage and family therapist, and certified sex therapist. Connect with him online at www.CoreyCarlisle.org.
“Why can’t my husband pay more attention to me? After we got married it seemed I was no longer a priority. What can I do to help him turn more toward me?”
This is a common complaint from many wives. They long for their husband’s attention, presence, and love, and cannot understand why he will not give it to them. They are left wondering: Why does work, or working out, or hanging out with his friends seem more important than being with me?
It is helpful to remember that in many cases, your husband’s attention elsewhere has nothing to do with you personally. Men find great delight in accomplishing their life purpose and can easily adopt a one-track mind in order to complete their mission. This is often true whether the mission is spiritual aspirations, moving up the corporate ladder, or simply keeping up with the yard work. They are driven to accomplish tasks and are weary of any distractions. This is how God has designed them.
As such, your husband’s focused attention elsewhere is not a rejection of you personally. He is simply trying to minimize distractions and is likely not aware of how much this hurts you.
Nagging him to spend more time with you, scolding him for not, playing a guilt trip, or demanding he be more attentive rarely produces the quality time desired. In fact, these behaviors actually increase the likelihood of him turning even further away from you.
What can you do to help him turn toward you? Here are three tips.