I can’t decide what to tell you first: why he’s evil or why he’s a genius. I suppose I should just take them in that order.
He’s evil (which I mean in the most endearing way possible) because he puts these in our cupboard:
Ready to see why he’s a genius? Here’s how he softened the butter when he realized he forgot to plan ahead and soften some at room temperature for his cookie-making:
On a more serious note, I figure if I’m going to write a blog based on the idea of intentional living, I should tell you both sides of the story about my marriage. My husband is funny–as a little brother, his teasing and sense of humor define a significant part of his personality. But it’s not all laughs around here all the time.
We love each other.
We are committed to each other until death separates us (which I don’t even like to think about–the death part, not the commitment part). But we hit rough spots and don’t always know what to do. I mentioned in #7 of this post that we had a discussion about where we want to be in 10 years. We agreed on most of it. But on a couple issues–specifically his desire to have kids and my change of heart on the whole offspring issue–we didn’t agree completely. Not only that, we didn’t even know how to start a productive discussion about it. We didn’t fight. We just realized we were at an impasse.
Instead of writing “irreconcilable differences” on a legal document–which we were nowhere close to doing!–we decided to seek a mediator. For the past few weeks we’ve been meeting with one of our pastors to talk things through. It’s gotten some messes out in the open, as well as highlighted some areas of success. It’s felt good to engage in this preventive measure for the health of our marriage.
It got me to read a book I’d been hearing about, Love and Respect, which introduced me to a simple fact that is forcing me to re-evaluate my approach to my husband. He wants me to respect him even more than he wants me to love him. Whaaat? I thought “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:9). Apparently my lovey actions don’t inspire him after I’ve behaved in a way that makes him feel disrespected.
For a girl who is often impatient, sometimes frustrated, and always eager for answers in her marriage, it came as a shock that my methods were the very thing causing him to feel overwhelmed and unable to explain his perspective. This book made me cry because I recognized our conflict pattern in its descriptions, and I also recognized my part in starting those patterns over and over. My constant desire is to “get everything out on the table” so we can decide what to do. But sometimes the force with which I’ve sought to identify the problem–because I love him and want to get on the same page–has been the very wedge between us because I’ve come across as disrespectful. Oh, ouch….
I didn’t read the part of the book for men, but he is reading it now. We’ve already talked a little about it. I think this is the start of something really, really good, even though it’s not easy now. I hope in 10 years we look back and say we ended up right where we wanted to be…gazing lovingly (and respectfully!) into each other’s eyes.
For more on this topic, check out Kelsey Williams’ post on “The “S” Word.”