Jerry and I spend a lot of our time learning about marriage and communication. Believe me, there is a lot of stuff out there to sort through. It is important to take principles taught and measure them with God’s word. Over time, you’ll really learn how to interpret what spouse chooses to communicate with you, and possibly more importantly you can learn how to communicate in return.
When Jerry and I first got married, we knew our relationship would be a continuation of all the great moments we shared while courting. You know; not even noticing how slow the food service is at a restaurant because we’re too busy laughing and staring into each other’s eyes. What we didn’t anticipate is how the day to day grind would make us both a little sensitive to each other, especially since we communicate differently.
While we still have plenty of those intimate moments, let’s be real…things change. As a single person running late to work, you feel frustrated and flustered. You run out the door without having said a hasty thing to any other person, because hey! It’s just you! But when you get married, your spouse will inevitably add to the stress of being late. Maybe he was the one that turned the alarm off? Maybe she decided to ask you about the plight of the American Indians while you’re trying to figure out where you left those important documents your boss needed. Perhaps he’s taking too long in the bathroom, and she’s just standing EXACTLY where you need to be standing all. the. time.
And let us not forget the probability that you’ve had a crying baby or toddler who has kept you up all night long. Sleep deprivation really leads to the likelihood of saying a hasty thing because well, your brain just isn’t working correctly anymore. Since I’m a woman I can also point out that there is a certain time of the month where we are all particularly more sensitive. See what I did there? Particularly More Sensitive.
So let me tell you all that there was a time when I used to think to myself, “What kind of idiot did your husband marry anyway?” I was sure that Jerry thought he’d married a complete imbecile. He was always saying things to me that I felt were the obvious. Things my mom would have said to me. I used to get so frustrated, because I know I’m not a complete idiot (though I’ll own that I do stupid things on occasion). That’s when we went to the Motive Matters training. Ding, ding. Lightbulb!
This is the first, and only training we have received that explains to us why we do what we do. Why do we think that way? Why do we act that way? Why do we say what we say? Similar training’s always told us how we acted, but never why we acted that way. So imagine my fully blown mind when I learned why Jerry always pointed out to me the obvious things. Why he got so upset when I left the car unlocked, purse in the front seat, keys in the ignition. Why he always does the right thing, expects the truth, cares deeply for others, is the driving force in getting things done, and even sacrifices himself for his family (just to name a few things).
Just the other day I was about to mow the lawn and Jerry was heading to take the kids somewhere. Before he left he came over to me and said, “Okay. Nothing fancy on the lawn. And whatever you do… do NOT stick your hand in there.” Pointing to the blade deck. I was so totally amused at this, when in the past I would have been frustrated and thinking I’m not an idiot! But now I know my husband so well that I couldn’t help but laugh. As I mowed the lawn I just thanked God for a husband who is different than I am, and who is so loving, so caring, so giving that he thought to make sure I would be safe while he was gone. Also for a husband who knows me so well (he would have come home to some crazy pattern for sure.)
If you have an opportunity to go to a Motive Matters training, it will truly change your life. It will remind you that God created us all different, and we are all His special children. So the next time your spouse says or does something that gets under your skin, take a moment to see what they are truly trying to communicate to you. Like me, you may learn that your spouse doesn’t mean what you think they do.
Scriptures for Meditation
“He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.” Genesis 5:2
“If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” – Proverbs 18:13
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” – Proverbs 18:2