Have you ever looked at your spouse and felt so much love that your heart feels as though it will burst? That was me last night while I watched my husband play with our children. For the first time in my life I was happy. I don’t mean the “oh I’m so excited!” happy. I am referring to the complete and utter contentment of where your life is and where it is going. I realized, that despite the daily battle against fibromyalgia, I am truly happy. As I sat there, admiring my beautiful little family, I began to remember how not long ago, I was fearful that my marriage would not survive. I was fighting and fighting to save what was left, but the more I fought, the more difficult it all became. Before I knew it, I began to resent my husband because “he wasn’t fighting for our marriage”. But then, something unexpected happened. I realized that in “fighting for our marriage” I was losing my husband.
I had been reading everything I could get my hands on to help me “fight”. I saved articles I thought were beneficial for me and forwarded the articles that I thought would be beneficial to my husband. What I didn’t realize, by forwarding him those articles, I was trying to force a square peg into a round hole, it wasn’t going to work. You can lead a horse to water, right? I related well to the authors of those articles, because that’s how I learned. When I shared the articles with my husband, I was doing more harm than good. How? Between work and home, my husband was stressed beyond belief and the last thing he needed was me nagging to him about whether or not he had read the lengthy article about “all the things I thought he was doing wrong and should fix”. Why would he want to do yet another thing that I asked that he thought would make no difference?
I came across this article and it really resonated with me. I was so focused on what my husband wasn’t doing, I failed to see that I was a huge part of the problem too. I prevented that yin/yang perfect 100/100 balance by trying to control my husband; to force perfection where it shouldn’t be. In the article, the author, talks about how he and his wife were fighting constantly and in turn the couple became “perpetually defensive” built “emotional fortresses” around their hearts, and had begun discussing divorce. The thought of a happy and peaceful marriage had become impossible to fathom. I was certain the author had been a fly on the wall in my home. He had had the same realization that I did, he couldn’t change his wife, just like I couldn’t change my husband. Then came his BRILLIANT question:
“What can I do
to make your
I think that this question has slowly helped me to remember why I said, “I do”. Since that time we have had two children, so lots of things changed. Our attention was so focused on children, life, and work that we lost sight of each other. Just because I only asked my husband the question once, didn’t mean it didn’t get asked at all. I know my husband and what makes him happy. So instead of putting him on the spot, I began asking myself what I could do to make his day better so it didn’t seem as though I only did something because he asked me too. I used to get dressed every day in oufits that were not yoga pants and tunics and I did it to impress my husband, so why did it stop? For the same reason I had to ask the question to begin with. I wasn’t focused on my husband anymore, just his faults. But he is made up of so much more than that, and so am I.
I was so focused on what my husband wasn’t doing for me that I failed to see all that he WAS doing for me. When I asked him that question for the first time, he looked at me and paused, before saying “no, is there anything I can do to make your day better?” Now, that was NOT the response I expected given the experience of the author of the article I read. I only asked that question once and, for us, that is all that was needed. I had showed my husband that I was focused on him and making him happy and it was the appreciation that he had been wanting and not getting from me. It seemed to brighten his mood tremendously and now, my husband is the one to surprise me out of the blue by asking the question of me.
“What can I do
to make HIS
I was so focused on what my husband wasn’t doing for me, that I was blind to all the things he was doing. It’s not just about me, it’s about him too. I couldn’t control my husband, nor did I really want to. I only wanted to rediscover the man I fell in love; hidden behind all the responsibilities, and it turns out, he wanted the same. The lack of communication had forced us to both be on the defensive, working against each other instead of with one another. The question shifted the focus from ourselves back to each other; where it should have been all along . When you get married, you receive a partner to help you through all of life’s ups and downs, you can’t have good, without some bad. So if you’re afraid that the marriage you work so hard for is failing, try asking the question yourself and see what happens. 😉
Thanks for stopping by!