Sunday, May 27, 2012

10 Attitudes That Should Definitely Stay OUT of Your Marriage

...if you want it to succeed, at least.

I think most of you have heard of Pinterest.  Pinterest is another (very successful) social, idea-sharing, web-site, where members can create "pin-boards" to post pictures, ideas, directions for making an awesome cake, or whatever.  Some people post lots and lots of little sayings, simply printed on virtual pieces of paper, to share some idea, good or bad, with the world.

I've noticed that when someone is mad at their friend, boy friend, husband (soon-to-be-ex-husband), scads of these little word-plaques, show up on their pin-boards and facebook walls.  Some of them simply speak to their sadness, and others might make you grimace, sadly, and think, "ouch, i guess i know part of what led to this divorce."
So, i thought i would speak to some of these love-and-bliss-numbing words of lack-of-wisdom, that i have found over the past couple of days.  Don't forget.  We're talking about marriage here.  These are attitudes you should NOT make part of your marriage.

If our mothers had followed this rule, most of us would have been thrown out on the street before age one.  Oh, that's right.  We're not talking about mothers; we're talking about husbands and wives.  That's true.  But i'm going to bring it down to the nitty gritty right here.  Jesus-style, which ever one of you who have not taken for granted someone you loved, you may throw the first judgmental stone.  If it's you who's being taken for granted in your marriage, you're very likely placing too much importance on everything YOU'RE doing -- and not enough importance on all the things your SPOUSE is doing, that you're taking for granted.

Yikes, y'all!  One of the first light-bulb moments i had in the beginning of my marriage, is when i realized that we would fight less if we were on the same side.  Your spouse is your partner for life.  Your spouse is not your enemy, your competitor, the person you need to be better than, or the person you need to hide from.  "The two shall become one...." says the Bible in Genesis, and several other places.  It is your place to be FOR your spouse.  To cry when they hurt, to feel compassion when they're completely in the wrong, to pray for them in every aspect of their life, to look for ways to encourage them, to overlook their faults, to aid them, to work with them, (sometimes to get out of their way) and to be their #1 cheerleader.  The person who leaves a marriage, looking for "someone better than you," may find that attitude ruins the next relationship as well.

Oi ve.  In my experience, the things i say when i'm angry are mean, rude, hurtful, and don't necessarily have anything to do with the truth.  They're usually an exaggeration of someone else's faults to make your own look smaller.  The best idea is to as-soon-as-possible, forgive what someone says to you when they're angry.  

I think the writer of this nugget doesn't understand the meaning of the word, love.  To name only the few that specifically address this tid bit, love is patient, love keeps no record of wrongs, love always hopes, and love is not self-seeking, and love always trust.  Even if you are in a marriage where lies are being told, wrongs are being done...
It is a hard  lesson to realize that the "love chapter" i quoted above, from 1 Corinthians 13, best describes Jesus.  That realization made the "love always trusts" part really hard for me.  Because i realized that He trusts, even when He knows we will mess up and do Him wrong.  Not a quote from the Bible directly:  love does not protect itself.  Scandalous, but true.


These two above are twins.  

Years ago, i was in a small group for young married women, and the "old married woman" teaching the class harped on one thing that i think can change your marriage for the better.  Even if you're a married man instead of a woman.  She taught us that we have the power to the be the thermostat of the home.  Meaning, that we needed to affect the atmosphere in our home, the attitude in our home, instead of responding to whatever negativity our spouse might be bringing home from the big scary world.

And just a life lesson people, your attitude is the only thing in this world that you have any control over.  Don't give away that control to people you don't like or attitudes that are around you.  Use your attitude to influence wherever you are, for the better.

O.k., don't forget we're talking about marriage.  I included this one because i think it's a cop out.  Or it could be.  Don't be the burnt out spouse who uses the excuse that you're leaving because of someone else's behavior.  If you decided to get married, there are very very very very very very very very very very very few behaviors that are reasonable excuses for leaving.  

Define happy.  If happy means untroubled, unconcerned, without sadness, without struggle, without anything you have to work hard for, go ahead.  I expect you'll find misery instead, and loneliness.  

I have an unpopular news flash:  the world does not revolve around you.  The sooner your realize that, the happier you will be.

See #1 and #6.  

OK!  That's pride.  Now that we agree on one thing, let's get something straight:  being right, doesn't necessarily make you right.  No, that's not a typo.  If me and my gun-slingin-super-hero get into an argument over ..... let's pick something stupid (most arguments, after all, ARE over something stupid) to pronounce the word, "loggia."  Let's say that after looking it up in an agreed upon dictionary, we discover that i was right, and he was wrong.  But in the process of arguing over it, i called him a number of names indicating a significantly lower than average level of intelligence, and i hurt his feelings.  I might have been right about my pronunciation of the word, "loggia," but i was profoundly wrong in my treatment of my husband.  And if i do not apologize, i will find that i have allowed a small and insignificant matter to become a wall that stands between us.

This one's very cute.  And i've used it before.  And it's wrong.  Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.  
Consider each other more important than yourself, i think it says (Philippians 2:3).  This is your marriage.  And if your attitude is hurting your spouse, then it's your problem.  

With all this talk of attitude, i found one wonderful quote, below. 

Words to live by.

Here are some more words to live by:


  1. Very good Beth!!! I am so proud of the way you have grown. You are a blessing to your parents, BIG TIME!!!
    Love you Tink.

  2. ""love always trusts" part really hard for me. Because i realized that He trusts, even when He knows we will mess up and do Him wrong."

    Can you please expand upon this? I think there's a lesson I'm supposed to learn in there, but I'm not sure I'm getting it. How do you trust even when you know we'll mess up and do you wrong?

    1. kristib, this is a really hard one. I'm not sure i REALLY understand it. It seems like a paradox. But i can try to share the part i think i get.

      I think it has to do with granting a clean slate.

      In human nature, we kind of automatically start drawing post-clean-slate walls and boundaries in response to our experiences with the people in our lives. Psychologically, i guess we do this as a form of self-protection. When we see a person's potential to hurt us in a certain area, we stop making that area available for hurting.

      The problem with this defense mechanism is that love looks out for others ahead of itself. Love, by definition, cannot be self-protective.

      So, in how it applies to marriage, i think that "love always trusts," means that i cannot draw lines of separation between me and my spouse, based on his past failures. This is in conjunction with "love always believes." I have to keep believing in my spouse, even when it doesn't look like i have a reason to. "Love always hopes," has no hope, if it's drawing lines in the sand. And it can't draw lines in the sand, anyway, because love keeps no record of wrongs.

      I'm going to make a small disclaimer here. I have no experience, and thus little insight, where it comes to a physically abusive relationship. And i am not encouraging anyone who might be in that situation to keep that situation in the dark. It does not seem like love to me, to allow the one you love to continue to physically harm you and/or your children. And it requires intervention and a great deal of healing and prayer to be turned, by God, into a healthy family relationship.

      kristib, i hope this explanation helps. I imagine i'll probably write more in depth on this point, in the near future. <3

  3. Very good post and much needed. I try to keep my emotional side out of Facebook and leave the cryptic slams for others. I promise to flood your walls with pictures of soap and banjos. I love ya!


What do you think about that?