Sickness. Busyness. Craziness. All of these things are tools that Satan uses against us. Crankiness tends to follow. And with crankiness, comes impatience, frustration and a lot of misunderstanding. But, what do you do when the the crankiness, impatience and frustration comes out in sarcasm or harsh words? And then, the harsh words hurt and ignite old wounds from our past?
At least, that is the pattern that happens around here. It is so hard to ignore the hurt feelings and open yourself up to interact intimately with your spouse when their words hurt/wound us. Especially when their words follow a pattern from your past which NEVER led to closeness or good feelings, but only pain.
Even knowing that it is the frustration and sickness talking and not the way they really feel, it is hard to convince yourself to offer the other cheek and dive back into the fray of life. But, I’ve learned that I have to be open and let my spouse know that his words have hurt me. Not usually when the hurtful words are being said (that would just be insanity), but later at a calmer moment. When I’ve done this, he usually doesn’t even realize what he said as he is too caught up in his own frustrations/discomfort.
So, why do I do this? Why do I open myself day in and day out to more pain? Why? Because of my vow. I stood on the altar and vowed to love him the way that God loves me. Freely, totally, faithfully and fruitfully. I can’t live out my vow and withhold part of myself. I know my husband and I know that he loves me. I also know that he is human and prone to the same errors that I am. He has his own set of internal hurts, walls, and defense mechanisms. And God calls me to love him in spite of them. I wish I could say that when his words come out harsh, that I don’t tense up inside, say some pretty harsh things back and start to shut myself off from him. I wish I could say that instead of doing that, I pray for him. I do sometimes. But, not nearly enough. But, I am trying.
God grants me mercy each and every single morning. How can I not give my spouse the same mercy? Together – we are one. We have been joined into one being through this powerful Sacrament of marriage. Turning away from him would be like cutting off my own leg.
So, we each battle the voices/demons in our heads that call us to hide behind our walls and try to tell us to walk away when the going gets tough. But, mostly — we need to remember God’s way is the only way and surrender it all to him. No, I’m not perfect. But, I am trying.
** disclaimer — this is not to say that if a person is in a marriage and is being emotionally or physically harmed that they should stay. Those are different circumstances from what I am discussing. In harmful situations, please seek help through any of the Domestic Violence programs in your area.