One Question to Better Your Marriage
Relationships are a give and take. We pour out what we have and it takes both people showing up emotionally well to pour into a healthy marriage. As a female, sometimes it’s hard to articulate even what we need, right? Doesn’t it feel like one thing happens, then something else, then another thing, and before you know it you don’t even know what the original thing was about? What you do know is that it feels like things are off. It feels like there is distance, and while you know reconciliation needs to happen you don’t even know where to begin… anyone else?
In my first year of marriage, there were many tearful moments, filled with questions of what we were doing wrong, or how to come back to a place of peace, happiness, and more importantly, unity. It felt like a roller coaster many times and the crazy thing was, both of us wanted the same thing- a great marriage. But we were so frustrated and confused with one another that we couldn’t see a path ahead to get there. I would get frustrated that Chris wasn’t meeting my unspoken expectations. He would be mad that I expressed frustration with unspoken expectations. I interpreted his frustration as rejection. He perceived my frustration with rejection as shutting down and withdrawing from him, which triggered him to withdraw more. His withdrawal from my response of shutting down only hurt more and on the cycle continued. When in reality, I only needed a hug. He simply needed me to communicate with him. Fair enough, but in the midst of it, whew! This cycle lasted for hours and occurred like clock-work. Every. Single. Weekend.
Until we figured out two things:
1- Spiritual warfare- Our enemy, Satan, did not want us in unity, pursuing one another, and growing together.
2- We were not asking the right question of each other in the midst of the frustration.
Recently a friend and I were talking about marriage and what I like to call, “intense fellowship” or arguments/ frustrations. Can I just say it is one of the best things to have women in your corner that you can confide in that will pray with you, speak the truth even if you don’t want to hear it, speak positively about your husband, and are always for resolution in your marriage? We need people like that in our corner.
One Question to Better Your Marriage
One question has changed the game for us during those moments of intense fellowship, a single question, “what do you need from me right now?” Yes, one of us drops our pride to ask it. No, it isn’t easy. We don’t always like to ask it, nor do we always like the answers, but here is why it is one of the best questions to ask during those tough moments. It’s 100% selfless. Asking this question positions you as their teammate, in complete support of where they are at and what they need.
What Do You Need From Me?
Whether they give a logical/ honest answer or a sarcastic/ passive-aggressive one, it is a step in the right direction. It’s essentially waving a banner of peace, progress, and resolution. It is a question that Chris and I both love and dislike at times because it always gives the opportunity for vulnerability and true love to come through. Whether the other chooses to accept it maturely is out of the asking person’s control. Then again we truly can only control us. The second piece is a response. Yep, there’s more. So when you ask this question, be prepared not to respond no matter your opinion of their response and withhold any facial expressions. I have a horrible poker face so that is super challenging for me.
This single question and interaction have deflated and helped us bypass countless arguments. You may not notice a difference the first or the 15th time you ask it, but keep asking. Keep showing vulnerability, maturity, and honesty in your relationship. Your marriage is the most sacred gift you are entrusted with and the best gift you can give/ display to your kids.
I’m praying for you and your marriage today!