Going to War with Your Spouse

The word compromise gets a bad rap. When I think of people compromising I imagine a place of war, two guys standing on a battlefield after days of violence agreeing to each other’s terms. They don’t like each other, in fact they were at literal war with each other moments before but now they have come to an agreement.

Do you ever feel like that’s what compromise in your marriage feels like? You are gearing up for battle, you’ve got your list of their faults as your shield and and angry rebuddles as your sword. You are feeling good, you’re going to get what you want because you DESERVE it. You shouldn’t have to lie down while they stomp all over you. You have pride, you have a running list of things you’ve done that they don’t do and if it comes down to it, you’ll just do what you want anyway.

Now here is where this all falls apart… compromise shouldn’t be me vs. him. That isn’t what compromise is about. In fact, the word compromise way back in the 15th century was defined as “a coming to terms, a settlement of differences by mutual concessions.” Now I’m going to be real with you here. I hate compromises in my marriage. I am a competitive person and deep down I want to get my way (neon blinking sign that says “child of wrath” should hang above my head). “Mutual concessions” is not my go-to move in my marriage.

Prior to being a believer I would argue back and forth and there were numerous times where there was no answer decided, we just moved on. Sometimes we just went to bed and woke up the next morning like it never happened. If you’re married you probably recognize these situations and are thinking back on your own arguments. That’s the silly thing about marriage, you’re going to fight. There is always going to be another fight and that’s okay. You have to learn to be okay with it (I’m still learning this).

When you live with someone you aren’t going to agree 100% of the time. If you mix in stressful jobs, commutes, family issues, friend drama, children, scheduling, chores, etc. it all becomes a hot mess pretty quickly. That’s why compromising needs to be important to your heart.

You’ve probably heard that we should both give 100% and I completely agree but sometimes the other person doesn’t have 100% to give. Maybe they have a big presentation at work, the baby isn’t sleeping through the night or they are having emotional struggles, the list could keep going. Sometimes we are giving 110% and that’s okay. There are times when “mutual concessions” are what will make your marriage healthier and stronger.

I’ve been compromising with scheduling recently to be able to attend a Bible study on Monday evening. I take our daughter to church small group and leave at 7:30 so she can be in bed at 8. My husband gets some time to himself and we both say goodnight to her together. Monday’s I’m not home in time to tuck her in and before we made this compromise I wasn’t usually home for bedtime Sunday’s either. Like I said earlier, I want to get my way but this was the compromise we all needed.

Compromising doesn’t mean rolling over or giving in. We need to remember that this isn’t a battle in the first place. This is someone we love and they have an opposing opinion that we should take into consideration. Compromising is showing grace and love to our spouse in a way that reflects God’s love and grace towards us. It should be celebrated and not shunned.

 

Satan, You’re Not Welcome Here

I’ve struggled with anxiety for the greater part of my life. I’ve seen counselors, doctors, taken medication, done yoga, breathing exercises and anything else I could find to get it under control. Thankfully, I haven’t struggled with my anxiety and panic attacks for over a year. There are moments occasionally where I feel anxious and it feels like the anxiety is in control again.

My husband was traveling for work and I thought I heard noises in the house. Logically I know it’s because the house is creaking but my illogical fight or flight instinct was kicking in. I laid in be in a panic until I remembered a phrase that one of the women brought up in Bible study. She said that when she feels like the enemy is trying to mess with her she says out loud “Satan, you’re not welcome here.” I never imagined myself saying it until I was lying in bed stuck in my anxious thoughts.

I started thinking it hesitantly and kept doing it until I was confident that he had no power. I fell asleep changing “Satan, you’re not welcome here” in my head. It might sound silly but it worked. He has no power over us, he is not our master, we can drive him away. He prays on our insecurities and in those dark moments we need to be confident in our Lord and tell the enemy to get out.

I don’t think telling the enemy to go away will solve my anxiety but it helped me to find strength through our Father. Now I find myself saying it in my head pretty regularly. If I’m being judgy, getting angry about something out of my control, or just not being a very nice person I tell the enemy to hit the road. I know that some of those things are my own sins, but in that moment it tells me to be looking up at what matters and just in case, tells him to get lost too.

 

How to Get Your Chores Done Fast

I hate to admit that I was a terrible partner but I absolutely was. It’s embarrassing to say that for the first several years we were together my husband did 90% of the housework and cooking. I had a lot of baggage that made me believe that if I cooked/cleaned that I was subservient to my boyfriend/husband. I just couldn’t get it through my thick and selfish head that I needed to do my part. I didn’t want to be like my biological mother and I was so stubborn that I didn’t see the difference.

One day it finally sank in and I realized that chores weren’t a way to put someone in their place. It really was as my husband had been saying all along; they were just “things that had to get done.” Once I got over my baggage and selfishness, we started doing all of our chores together. I’m very blessed that he was patient with my nonsense. This is when a completely different issue popped up. He had his way of doing things and what all needed to be done but I didn’t.

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A Heartbreak Before Christmas

I’ve been trying to find the words all day to sum up my feelings but nothing was coming to mind. I’m sad, angry, disappointed and devastated but it’s like my emotions are all trying to get through the same slot at the same time and there isn’t any room. My great-grandfather (Papa) passed away this weekend and I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. My grandmother text to let me know that he wasn’t doing well and it probably wasn’t going to be much longer.

That was Saturday evening, I planned on going over but he was already asleep when I asked. I changed my plan to go the next day but when I woke up Sunday morning, there was a message on my phone letting me know he was gone. Saturday night I had been a ball of nerves, upset and able to cry because all I could think was “what if.” Then Sunday, waking up to know he was gone and I knowing I should have gone the night before regardless of if he was asleep or not, twisted me up inside. I took today to grieve and to go over to his place to collect items that I wanted to keep of his.

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God didn’t put me in a headlock

I believe God lines things up in a certain way to show us a path without putting us in a headlock and dragging us kicking and screaming. Back in July, he showed me a brightly lit path to Him. I’ve always had troubles with faith and feeling like I could believe in anything but over the Summer it was like fog lifted and I could see. I felt whole, it wasn’t a fake “oh look at me here at church” feeling. I did have impostor’s syndrome at first. I thought everyone was going to point and say “she doesn’t truly believe” because I didn’t know the stories that they were referencing. Luckily, I also was able to see that true believers aren’t going to point and mock. They want you to feel included and bring you closer to Him.

So, first God clicks the button and the light flicked on. Then, while I was traveling, the leader of the location I was at gave me a book. The only condition was to pass the book along to someone else. The book was Love Does by Bob Goff; it was about his life and Christianity. I devoured the book and passed it on to another colleague who is also a Christian. Bob is an incredible writer; and I call him Bob because after reading the book I feel like we are friends even though we’ve never met. He has such a refreshing perspective on the Lord and it felt like God was saying, “you’ve shown up for Church, you bought the Bible but see what else you can learn.” Shortly after, my husband booked a retreat for us to attend to keep strengthening our marriage, which was all faith based.

After feeling a hole for such a long time, it is such a relief to just feel His love and to love him back.