Monday, July 30, 2007

married for one month, part 4

The Borg asked:

What strategies are you both going to employ to get through the difficult times when neither of you seem lovable?

Christine responds:

Mike and I both had problems with this question.

Perhaps it was with the word lovable. We tried to think through instances when we would find ourselves unable to love the other. The reason none came to mind was not because we are still in the honeymoon stage and we just think the other person is absolutely marvelous and can do no wrong. No, I think we accept each other as human and continue to love each other because ... we love each other. I may not feel like making dinner after an evening of gathering together immigration paperwork, but I do it because I know it blesses Mike.

I'm not saying that neither of us have given into annoyance or haven't hurt each other at some stage. But we are very quick to seek forgiveness because to hurt Mike is to inflict misery on myself.

If anyone could answer this differently, I'd be interested to know if you have strategies for such situations.


Ruth said...

I think there will probably be times in your marriage when personal sinfulness rears its ugly head, and tiredness compounds that ugliness, and you will find the other person unlovable - those little irritating habits suddenly seem like huge blemishes on your existence!

However, like all sin - you seek God's forgiveness, you pray for patience and you remember Christ's example of sacrificial love and seek to live like Him.

Oftentimes, when someone else is unlovable, the problem is yours not theirs.

BethS said...

Unfortunately, there WILL be times in any relationship that one of you seems to the other to be quite unlovable--and Ruth is right in saying much of the time your problem, not theirs! When this happens to be my situation, i try to force myself to shut my mouth and calm down till i can think rationally again (and in a Spirit-filled way). Because i know that when i'm upset what i say probably isn't going to be the right thing or in the right spirit. You can't ever take words back, so even if the other person forgives you, damage is done. To avoid the problem isn't good, either, so there's a balance there, but it's a good idea to know your limits and when you've crossed the "too upset to talk coherently" line!

ckjolly said...

I think both Ruth and Beths have hit it on the nose ... this is what I was struggling with ... when I read the question I concentrated too much on the other person being "unloveable". But like you said, I cannot control my husbands behavior or words ... but I CAN control my own response toward him. Like you said, often it is not the unloveable person who is in sin, but me when i respond in an unloving manner.

Alan said...

I was going to comment on your blog.. but instead wrote something far too big and far too similar, so I posted it on my own blog here to share the same ideas with my friends:
shameless self promotion.. your husband is a great role model.. :P
sorry, delete this comment if you deemed it inappropriate
Thanks for the thought provocation!

Bron said...

Oh! I lost a post!

I was going to say something about how it has to do with the wording. Unloveable seems to be about both parties, whereas unlovely is something it is very easy to be! When you our your spouse are unlovely there will be times when only God will get you through. Prayer is so important to marriage.

Nixter said...

I have loved some of the things you have said and it has caused me to think through how I can be more like Christ in my marriage so thank you. I also think it is great that you haven't had any major struggles in your first few months of marriage - Praise God!

But I just wanted to say that this is not the case for a lot of people, I know many people who have struggled tremendously in their first year of marriage and that that can be quite normal.
I know for us there were heaps of adjustments in the first few months before things started to settle down In the book ‘From Blushing Bride to Wedded Wife’ it talks about how you are not alone in that struggle. So I think what I am saying is - it isn't always that easy and more often than not it is initially quite hard, this is at least from the people I have spoken to on the issue and also my own experience. Living with girls for 28 years of my life, doing what I want to do etc and then sharing a house, a bed, chores etc with your spouse can be quite an adjustment.

I would hate for people to think that if it isn't as easy for them then something is wrong. But I just want people to know that it is quite normal to feel uncertain, scared, freaked out, etc

One final thing to add – Marriage is a blessing, a gift from God and over time as you learn more about your spouse certain things become easier, other issues may raise there head but you learn more about how each other ticks and how to communicate and love each other even when they 'feel' unlovable!