The silence. The rejection. The harsh words. The absence of intimacy. The questions. The lack of answers. The hurt.
Every week I get at least one letter or comment on my blog about a marriage in trouble. My heart aches for anyone in a marriage that’s struggling. I’ve been there. Many of us have.
But I think the deepest hurt comes when one spouse resigns while the other is still trying. There is a panic that arises to somehow make the other person wake up, stop their resignation, and help you fix this relationship.
Obviously a situation like this is much more complicated than simple answers on a simple blog can provide. But might I give you one stepping stone upon which to stand on, stop the panic and balance yourself today?
Decide today that you are worthy.
That’s the first step.
Because you are. Worthy. You may not feel like it. But a quick glimpse at Psalm 139 assures me, you are. And I’d rather depend on the solid truth of God than the roller coaster of fickle feelings.
You are beautiful and captivating and attractive and smart and capable. But if you are in a relationship full of unmet expectations, unresolved issues, and frustrating communication, I suspect you feel a little less than all I’ve described.
Broken down relationships can really break down a woman.
And if you’re anything like me, when you feel broken down those around you get your worst. Then upon all the hurt and anxiety you layer on regret, shame, and the feeling that you’ve lost yourself. You’ve lost that girl inside you that used to be so positive and happy and ready to take on the world.
Can I whisper a tender truth to you? The only way to recapture her is to come up for air and remember you are worthy.
Then you can act worthy.
And step aside from the emotional yuck to make some level headed decisions. Get a plan. Talk to wise people who love you and will walk this tough journey with you.
Draw some boundaries with an uncooperative husband. Pray like crazy for clear discernment.
Remember you can’t control how he acts and reacts, but you can control how you act and react.
Reclaim who you are.
In a strange kind of way I had to do this yesterday during a scuba diving trip with my family. Everything was going fine until we saw what we all thought was a baby shark. And then that “baby shark” bumped into my daughter’s head. She did what most 18-year-old’s would do when her head gets bumped by a “shark.”
She remained completely calm.
Oh I kid.
She did nothing of the sorts. She screamed so loud I could hear her despite the fact we were 30 feet under water. Now that is a loud scream.
Then the creature bumped her head a second time.
And y’all, you would have thought the thing ripped her arm off. Which it did not.
(We later found out it wasn’t a shark and didn’t even have teeth.)
She completely panicked and attacked me ripping my mask and regulator off. Since she jumped on me from behind and I didn’t see her coming, I totally thought the baby shark’s mama had grabbed me.
For what was just a few seconds but felt like hours, I was convinced I would drown. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t remember how to be calm.
Though I’m normally a calm person, I was anything but until the dive master came to me. He wasn’t panicked. And he saw the same “shark” as us. He was calm and reassuring and reminded me to put my regulator in and breathe. He then helped us all ascend to the surface.
Masters are good like that.
Later on the boat, I realized how panic completely changes people — makes them act in ways they normally never would.
And it’s the same whether you’re under water in the ocean or under water in a relationship.
So, today breathe. Steady yourself. Keep your eyes on the Master.
I pray your relationship survives. I pray it with every fiber of my being. But if it doesn’t, I pray most of all that the beautiful woman you are rises above all the yuck still clinging tightly to the only opinion that matters — the One who forever calls you worthy.