Dear Wife and Husband,
I have read your words and listened to all your pain poured out on paper. Though it has been a very short time since you both said, ‘I do’, I am not surprised that troubles have already lined up at your door. Living with family has drama but living with a man or woman, who was once a stranger, is taking drama to another level. After seeing heaven in the eyes of your beloved, it is a shock to the system to wake up to the rude reality that they are human and you are both still on Earth. When you thought of your spouse as a dream, it was all in your head and though you shared those dreams you didn’t really have the same image in mind. Husband your image had straight lines and Wife yours had a fibrous, root like pattern. Husband you thought of goals and accomplishments. Wife you thought of influence, impact and relationships. Both of you had dreams before you married and both of you were very involved in pursuing those dreams. Now you are married but the acceleration towards your personal dreams has not changed nor declined. I read your frustrations and words of anger at each other and, in summary, what you are both saying to each other is, “It’s either my way or hit the highway!” What makes this so sad is that your dreams are one and the same. You’re both saying the same thing you’re just speaking in tongues. Husband you are speaking Manish and Wife you are speaking Womanish.
As much as you have both coloured your words with sentiments of love and commitment, your final actions do not reflect that unity. Wife has already decided she wants what she wants and is asking Husband for spousal support because it will happen whether he is on board or not. Wife states her growth will be of great benefit to the family in the long run but forgets to ask at what cost to the love and to the relationship, which is currently falling apart. Wife currently does not feel safe and secure and she now wants to take her life into her own hands. Too many words have been said to injure her and her walls of self-preservation are up and they will not come down for anything less than an apology or tenderness that does not pursue sex.
Husband says he has investment plans. He has already started purchasing plots and has a personal vision, though it is very commendable, it cannot be cast in stone and only have a spouse ‘invited’ to get on the bus and take a ride to paradise. Even God requires us to partner with Him for our own salvation. Lest we confess and ask Christ into our heart and allow him to lead us down the path of salvation, we cannot be saved. Rescue comes by repentance, repentance means to turn away from a bad deed and change your behaviour in order to change the outcome of your life. Einstein says it best, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Even in allowing a cure to heal you, one must dedicate their life to changing behaviour and following a Doctor’s prescribed guideline. Yes Husband, as hard as this may seem to you, your vision must be edited so that your Wife will own it. She is your partner and not your passenger.
Wife you hold a grudge like a weapon over your Husband’s head but it is not working for either of you. So try forgiveness and see where it takes you. You will find in forgiving your husband, you too will be liberated from the tentacles of bitterness. Husband, you look down on your wife as if she is a vindictive immature young girl and yet you seek skills of a woman when it comes to sex and intimacy. Remember intimacy is ‘into-me-see’, if you have her misunderstood then how could you grow close? How can you run if you don’t know how to walk? Husband the greatest act of seduction, is for your wife to feel safe and secure in your embrace and in sharing a life with you. Your Wife must know you will be there for her and never desert her. A woman, during the act of sex, opens herself up, like a flower, and allows a man into her. When she feels taken care of and protected, there is nothing she will not try for love’s sake. But frigidity, discomfort and pain during sex, often comes because of hurt, neglect, injury and verbal/physical abuse. Words of love, praise & kindness spoken to a woman are like raindrops in a desert, they bring life to her. Be careful how you use your words Husband. I know when you are wounded your tongue runs ahead of you but try to rein it in and be the master of your own lips. You too Wife, women speak more words than men, so let those words rain life giving waters into your man. Remember, ‘nature abhors a vacuum’; if you don’t speak kind words to your spouse, someone else will and the sweet rains of a stranger’s kind words will move a thirsty heart. Yes, its takes two baby!
Both of you are so hurt and both of you are at fault. Now, let’s stop the running AT each other and the pursuing personal dreams and partner to make a team. You don’t only have children who are growing and cannot wait for you two to work things out, but you both have a covenant that needs to be honoured and also taken care of. Marriage is a living thing that needs to be nurtured for the benefit of all parties concerned. It will take sacrifice! When you both said, ‘I do’, you actually also said, ‘I don’t’ to any individualistic pursuits or activity that doesn’t have the full support of your spouse. Two cannot walk together unless they agree. Both of your selfishness will do no good. Your children will only know what you show; though they are young they are absorbing all your words and body language like a sponge. Their young brains are developing very fast and you are writing information into their system, which will take a psychologist or psychiatrist years to edit. Please open your eyes to the couple you can be after you both lay down your weapons. You are both bleeding emotionally and it’s not just affecting your health but it’s affecting what both of you are claiming to fight for, your marriage.
Now. Here’s a little exercise. Before you say or do anything to your spouse, please ask your self this (taken from 1 Corinthians 13:3-7, The Message) I have simply replaced the word Love with your names. Do you really love? Are you acting in love?
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Husband/Wife never gives up.
Husband/Wife cares more for others than for self.
Husband/Wife doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Husband/Wife doesn’t strut (boast),
Husband/Wife Doesn’t have a swelled head (not proud or stand on only what they believe is right)
Husband/Wife Doesn’t force itself on others,
Husband/Wife Isn’t always “me first,”
Husband/Wife Doesn’t fly off the handle (easily angered),
Husband/Wife Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others (you did this, you betrayed me, you hurt me)
Husband/Wife Doesn’t revel when others grovel (make them beg and feel nothing or good when they do)
Husband/Wife Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Husband/Wife Puts up with anything,
Husband/Wife Trusts God always,
Husband/Wife Always looks for the best,
Husband/Wife Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
If you are not LOVING in a marriage, you are only HATING. Saying, I LOVE YOU, means nothing if it is not backed up with actions of love. Love-making is not possible without acts of love. Love-making is the final product of deeds of love done throughout the day. If you both lay down your wounded pride and choose to just treat each other with kindness, you will go far as a couple. Scripture commands that husbands love their wives as Christ loved the Church, he died for the church (Wife you are very good at using scripture to beat Husband, so don’t use this to have things your way). Scripture also says that the wife ought to submit like the church does to Christ. Love is a two way street, otherwise it’s not love but a parasite and cancer.
Remember if you cannot love each other then you would both be ‘terrible’ parents to your children, and you will make a counsellor very rich in the future and lawyers too. Stop making war and make love by seeking peace and the good of the other. Don’t wait for Husband or Wife to make the first move of love and forgiveness but do it for you and your future. If these lessons are not learned now, you will carry these deadly character traits into every relationship. Change NOW! If you have read this wishing your spouse would understand what is written and not rebuking your own attitude then you have only allowed pride to read this. Read it without thinking about your spouse. Use the words to operate your own heart and character otherwise we will not get anywhere. Even David prayed, “Lord search my heart and if there be an evil way in me lead me into the way everlasting” and Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living”. Examine your own actions and like Shakespeare wrote, “To thine own self be true,” you cannot hide the truth of your own actions from your self. Let love be the motion that drives all your emotions and though your heart is wounded, lead it into healing and into loving.
As we continue this journey to healing. Remember, learn to listen to each other. If you are listening and thinking of what to say next, then you are deaf to what your spouse is saying and you will make no peace or love. If you keep looking for failure or a way to use their words against them, then you are still not listening but seeking ways to injure your spouse. If you cannot wait for them to shut up, then you cannot move forward. The only way forward is for each person to identify their wrong, own it, seek forgiveness and change. As long as you run away from owning mistakes then you will never trust each other and trust is the glue in any relationship. Remember, communication is to all relationships what blood is to human life. Speak to your spouse not the neighbour or the boys at the pub or the ladies in the office. If you must vent, pray. If praying still doesn’t drain the poison then turn to someone who will not take your side but someone who will speak truth to you. Do not speak to family because they may form a negative attitude toward your spouse and there is a high possibility that you will season your story so that you come out as the victim. At best, speaking to a mature spiritual leader or marriage counsellor is the most advisable thing to do. You need someone who will uphold your marriage and support you in honouring your vows. Having too many voices pulling you and your spouse in different directions is dangerous and that is what will happen when you both turn to friends and relatives. Remember if following another’s advice finally breaks your marriage, you are the one who will be left with the pain. Ultimately this is your battle and it is a battle for your heart and soul. No one comes out of a broken marriage unscathed. Remember, after the dust has settled and you finally see your faults, say sorry. Sorry is a great word when it comes from an honest and humble soul. Sorry is the greatest tool of disarmament. It does not make the speaker weak but instead it builds a bridge to reconciliation. Whatever happens do not give up on your marriage.