This is a guest article written by a wife named Joelle. Her transparency about marriage reveals a situation that many wives have experienced before, but she provides a profound way of addressing the issue. Be sure to read the whole article and leave Joelle a comment to share your thoughts with her! Joelle also writes at patiencefaithreward.com.
I had just spent the last hour in the car, driving with complete silence. I had lost myself in my thoughts and I assumed my husband had as well. I was 8 months pregnant with our second and I wasn’t feeling well. I broke the silence with, “I don’t feel good.” There was no response from my husband in the drivers seat. I waited 30 seconds and asked, “Did you hear what I said?” He responded, “Yes.”
Right away, I was flooded with anger. If he heard me, why didn’t he respond? Doesn’t he love me? Doesn’t he care about me?
This was part of a pattern that had developed over the past 5 years of marriage. My husband not communicating when I needed him and me being flooded with thoughts of anger.
I was wishing I had someone who would be more empathetic to my needs and the pain I was feeling late in my pregnancy.
After sitting in a huff for awhile, I asked him, “Don’t you love me? Don’t you care for me?” He looked at me like I was crazy and responded, “Yes! Why would you ask me that?”
This only fueled the anger. I wasn’t hearing that he loved me. I wasn’t hearing that he cared for me. The remainder of the ride was silent as usual and he seemed oblivious to my anger.
I am a confident, independent person, who doesn’t need to constantly hear words of reassurance from my husband, however I thought that he was being completely out of touch with my needs by ignoring me at my weakest.
While dating this wasn’t as evident. Sure I knew he was a man of few words, but so few became more and more evident as we experienced different things in our marriage. I expected to hear, “You look beautiful” on our Wedding Day. I expected to hear, “Great Job!” when I spent almost 36 hours of labor for our first born. I expected him to say, “I love you” first more often verses just a response from me saying it.
The same thoughts I had in the car that day would flood my mind and I would ask the same questions with the same response. I had been confronting him, about every six months, about the lack of communication and how it was upsetting me and making me doubt his love for me.
I had been praying for God to give me guidance around this issue in our marriage. To help my husband communicate more and be more attentive to my needs.
The last discussion we had about this, I asked him, “How do I know you love me, if you don’t say it?” His response was, “I am here everyday aren’t I?” Without thinking, my response was,
A roommate could be here everyday too and I want a husband not a roommate!”
That night, I was doing my nightly ritual and catching up on social media when I ran across a picture of Jen Smith from Unveiled Wife. It was a picture of her holding her hands up with the following words written on them,
This made me stop in my tracks and think, “Was Satan trying to destroy my marriage?” The answer was YES and it was me letting him in. I had been looking for the negative in my husband’s communication verses the positive. I had been placing the blame on him verses recognizing it was me who was thinking negatively. I began to push Satan out and I started seeing all of the positives verses the negatives in my husband and marriage.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19
This verse depicts my husbands demeanor and he has taught me that love is expressed in ways other than words. I know this seems obvious, but at an early age, we are taught to hear those 3 little words, “I love you!” as an ultimate expression of love. The keyword is “hear” and not see or feel.
The tears in his eyes as we stood at the alter together on our wedding day and after the birth of our children, the way he picks up all the household duties after I have had a long day at work, so that I am able to unwind, and his total support of my dreams of owning my own business are more than 3 words could ever say.
After I starting looking at love differently, I starting noticing what a wonderful, affectionate, loving husband I have.
Marriage is an incredible expression of God’s love. Satan wants nothing more to destroy this. It may start with a little annoyance that grows over the years as more and more negativity sets in. Stay focused on God’s love with positive thoughts about your spouse’s seemingly shortcomings. By doing this, like me, you may start seeing all the things you’ve missed by having negative thoughts.
Bio: Joelle Marie writes and speaks on all things about Life’s Journey. In 2014, after feeling called by God, she created the blog, Patience Faith Reward. Joelle’s passion behind each post is to encourage others that life is a journey and to have Patience when prayers are not met, and to continue to have Faith in God’s timing. The foundation of the blog is based on the story of Job and additional Biblical principles of Faith, Marriage, Motherhood, and the Journey of Life. Joelle and her husband Kevin have two amazing children, Kevin Frederick and Jeanie. They live in the wonderful family community of Midland, Michigan, where they enjoy many outdoor activities. You can find Joelle’s blog at www.patiencefaithreward.com