Monday, April 23, 2012

fighting fair-or preserving marriage in busy times

I have learned a thing or three in my thirteen years of marriage. But there is one thing that has always gotten the best of me. Just one tiny thing that rears it’s ugly head from time to time. Now would be one of those times.
We have never been the married that couple that always fights. It’s just not our style to yell or scream and get too flustered. He’s very even keeled and I’m very practical (most of the time) which really helps to maintain peace and harmony around here.
But there are seasons where peace and harmony are tough to come by. I’ve noticed through the years that those seasons are usually the busiest ones; the ones where we don’t see each other very much, the ones where we are running in opposite directions slapping each others butts as we pass by. It seems odd that the times we see each other the least are the times we fight the most. 
Springtime is always busy around here. The seasonal job comes on strong, adding to family responsibilities and ministry needs and church functions. All those together make one busy husband. And one frustrated me. So we’ve been reminding ourselves to fight fair.  We know that frustrations will come and irritations can abound in this season.  So we whip out our strategy book on getting by with grace. Here’s a few of our weapons:
  • Pray together. Nearly every morning you’ll find us conferencing, chatting about the day and praying for what’s pressing in our lives.  Some days we can only take five minutes, some days have more time. However much time we spend is worth it’s weight in gold.
  • Abide by the ten o’clock rule.  We have a time at night where we just know that any discussion we have won’t end well, mostly because we’re tired.  We don’t want to go to bed angry so we agree to table any discussions to a better time.  Most of the time a good night’s sleep and some romantic time take care of the problem.
  • Make time for each other. And yes right now I’m talking about sex. He needs it, you need it, everyone’s happier when you’re both getting it. Too tired at night?  Get up early.  Too busy? Get less busy. It’s worth it to cut back on some non essential things so you have energy for the most important thing. My man will quickly say he cares very little about the state of the house if I’ve conserved my energy for marital passion. Not in the mood? Change your mind, and spend some time looking forward to it. Go ahead and send him that naughty text, put on something pretty and see what happens.
  • Pre-forgive each other. We know this season in our life is hectic, so we pre-forgive knowing that stresses and issues will come up that make us frustrated with each other. Make a choice to extend forgiveness and grace first, because you know there’ll be a time when you need that too.
  • Finally, we abide by the advice of Dr. Laura. In her book The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands she wonderfully describes men as pretty simple guys. They really only want two things from their wives: sex and sandwiches. If I can meet those needs for my husband I’ll have one happy guy and consequently one happy me.
Marriage is tough, but it doesn’t have to be hard. It’s easy to offer love and grace towards my husband because I know he’s ready to offer that to me. I’m grateful for that, because I need those two in large doses. 
So perhaps this is an encouragement for you as much as it’s a reminder for me. Make time for that most important relationship, the greatest gift that God has given. It does matter, and it’s so worth it.
family shoot 043

4 comments:

  1. and how did i miss THIS post?? so great!! good job talking about the s-e-x part too. i dream of one day having a marraige like yours...prayer together, healthy conflict resolution, generous grace...God knows it's what i've always wanted and He still answers, "not yet."

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  2. Well, I can honestly say it hasn't always been good or easy...but our marriage is good now, and it's only God's grace! And lots of s-e-x ;)

    Keep praying, keep waiting...God isn't slow keeping his promises, he is faithful!

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  3. i appreciate your honesty and encouragements. all of them (wink wink)!

    we do need to extend grace especially in trying seasons. those "seasons" occur around here monthly when one of us is pms-ing. :-)

    we argue (especially when one of us is pms-ing). thankfully michael is even-keel. after 15.5 years of marriage we're learning to fight for each other instead of against.

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  4. GREAT post. :) Thoroughly enjoyed it and very much appreciated all the excellent encouragement.

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