Here’s a question that takes some self reflection. Have you considered what it’s like to be married to you? Have you ever voiced one of these statements:
“If only I was married to someone who cares more about me! Life would be so much better.”
“It’s because of him (or her) that I act the way I do. I act like a totally different person with everyone else!”
“I know I have my own faults, but I’m not as bad as him (or her). He (or she) is the reason why our marriage is such a mess!”
Most of us go through times when we think such things. But have you considered… just how easy is it to be married to YOU?
Please prayerfully consider the weaknesses you personally contribute to your marital relationship. Perhaps this could be a wake-up call to action in some way. The following are a few questions to ask yourself (with additional statements that we have included):
• Do I speak to my spouse in a way that could be perceived by him or her as dishonoring and belittling?
(You may feel justified in speaking this way but the end result could be that your spouse will eventually avoid being with you. They might instead seek to be with others who don’t do this.)
• Do I give my full attention when my spouse is trying to communicate with me? Am I listening with my eyes, ears, and my heart when he or she is speaking? Or am I continually distracted so my spouse could perhaps feel that what he/she has to say is unimportant to me?
• Do I have a tendency to lecture or berate him/her, like some parents treat a “naughty” child?
• When I’m angry, do I explosively lash out so that he/she could feel assaulted?
(This could result in him or her shutting down emotionally from truly hearing what you’re trying to communicate.)
• If I’m honest, do I treat “outsiders” with more love and consideration than I do my own spouse?
• Do I use cutting humor with my spouse, saying, “I’m just kidding…” and yet he or she doesn’t think it’s funny? And do I do this publicly so my spouse feels all the more humiliated?
Also, in Self Reflection:
• Does my marriage “partner” complain that I act like I’m better than him or her?
(Is it possible that deep down, this may be true?) Think about it.
• Do I continually act irritable or are hypersensitive when I’m with him or her?
• Do I continually bring up things from the past —things he or she has asked for forgiveness previously?
(This can result in your spouse feeling that it’s hopeless that he or she will ever be able to escape past actions with you, no matter what he or she does.)
• Am I truly living a trustworthy life so my spouse doesn’t need to be concerned that I will violate his or her trust? And do you seek ways to show my trustworthiness?
(He or she may have a difficult time believing something they don’t see lived out by you.)
• Do I participate in anything that Christ would see as “deeds of darkness” which could bring unhealthiness into my marital partnership? (See: Ephesians 5:11.)
• Do I seek to be a peacemaker in your home? (See: Ephesians 4:3; Romans 12:18.)
• Do I protect my spouse’s feelings and dignity in how I speak and interact with him/her both in private AND out in public? (See: 1 Corinthians 13:7.)
• Do I reveal private matters, saying things about my spouse to others that he or she could perceive as hurtful?
• Have I become such a serious person that I rarely laugh and forget to put intentionality into infusing fun times into my marriage?
(Remember how you used to do that earlier in your relationship?)
• Do I make an effort to show that I value being married to him or her?
Additionally, ask yourself:
• Do I honor his/her communication “style”?
(Please read the article, What’s Your Communication Style. If you’re a good communicator and your spouse isn’t, do you run over him (her) with your words? This could leave him or her feeling stupid so he or she avoids “communication” times altogether. Just because you’re good with words and your spouse isn’t, it doesn’t mean he/she is wrong and you’re right.)
• Am I a negative person to live with?
• Do I look for ways to compliment and encourage my spouse?
• Do I receive your spouse’s compliments in positive ways so he or she doesn’t feel dismissed or discredited when he/she says nice things to me?
• Am I gracious when my spouse messes up in some way?
(If you do give grace whenever possible it’s easier for him or her to feel accepted and loved by you.)
• Can I honestly say that I try to make my marriage a better one? Do I show by my actions as well as my your words that I’m together in partnership with him or her?
So what do you think now? Just how easy are YOU to live with? Do you need to make some adjustments in how you interact in your marriage relationship? And here’s another question: have you lied about any of the answers you have given in response to those questions?
Self Reflection Concerning Your Faults
Certainly, your spouse may have many faults that you can point out, as well. But please consider that if you blame your spouse for your wrong actions. Do you participate in playing the same “blame game” that Adam did when God confronted him with wrongdoing? Adam replied, “It’s the woman you put here with me. She gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Even so, God didn’t consider Adam’s excuses to be valid. And the same goes for ours. God condemned Adam just as He did Eve. One’s person’s sin doesn’t excuse or wipe out the wrongness of what the other does.
If you feel convicted, we hope you’ll ask the Lord to help you work on your own issues. Work on your own “planks” that need to be removed. As admonished in the scriptures:
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5)
“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone.” (John 8:7)
As you, and as we consider the spouse that WE are, may we individually pray:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
May God help and guide us together in our marriage journeys,
Cindy and Steve Wright
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11 responses to “Self Reflection As a Spouse – MM #226”
(KENYA) Hi, I read this article and answered “no” to every question. I have been married for 7 years and have been asking why I am in this marriage. I have 3 kids and my husband slept with someone when I was pregnant.
We had serious issues before then of mistrust, his alcohol abuse, not spending time together,but the worst was the affair. He denied it up until this year and said sorry. I don’t trust him. He still communicates with her and expects me to forget what happened. She knows every detail of what goes on in my home.
I wish he would go to her and stay there. Then she would see his other side. I am bitter and in pain and he blames me for the affair and drinking, everything. I was retrenched in January and put all my benefits to pay bills. I don’t ask for money or a flashy car or even to go out. I got a job I hate and he says I stay in it because he can’t handle the bills, yet before he never appreciated what I did. I have an orgasm once a month. Surely this can’t be the life God intended for me
(CALIFORNIA) Wow, you must be a strong woman to be with a man like him. Be strong for your children, turn your life to GOD; he works miracles. If youve done everything in your power to make your marriage work, stop trying and let him go. You will find someone who loves you and will respect you. Good luck.
(ZIMBABWE) l’m very sorry dear, for all the pain you are going through but please take my word, your husband is not your enemy. The devil wants to destroy your marriage. Forgive your husband and command the giant controlling spirit of bitterness out of you so that you can forgive him. Don’t fight with the girlfriend for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against spirits and forces of wickedness in the heavenly sphere (Eph6:12). Instead pray for her that God will bless her in her soul, body and spirit. There is nothing impossible with God dear. God will do wonders in your marriage if only you surrender your marriage, husband and the girlfriend to him. God will never fail l promise you. You will have one of the best marriages if you wait for God to answer your prayers. Please continue praying and read your Bible.
(USA) You are so right about everything but what can you do when all you do is pray and things keep going wrong? Is that a sign to just let the situation go? Please tell me.
(CANADA) Yes, if there are red flags, forget about how you feel. Stop hanging on to false hope. Prayer doesn’t always change the other person, but it will change you and that’s all you can change.
(USA) There is a wonderful book on this subject by Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and it is entitled “Love Must Be Tough.” I would suggest reading it for anyone who is dealing with an adulterous spouse.
I found it enlightening in dealing with all sorts of relationship problems, including, but not limited to, affairs, because it has a lot of general information on human psychology and what drives people to do and say certain things. God bless, LT
(USA) I am on the opposite end of this… I have had an affair. My husband and I fell in love when I was 16… we have been married 32 yrs and now all of a sudden I have noticed that he doesn’t show affection like I dreamed it would be, like after our kids are all grown. He never said he loved me unless I said it first. I approached him more for sex than he did me… he started doing things without me… and no, he isnt having an affair. He just likes having fun with his guy friends now. I just didn’t and don’t feel cherished or wanted… so I told him.
It took him a year to finally get it but by that time it was too late… within that year a man approached me while I was camping with one of my daughters and we started talking. Later on we started talking on line and we met at a shopping mall. We kissed and it was like we were so made for each other… we had so many interest alike, had the same veiws on things but the kicker was our chemistry was off the charts.
I told him that I would never leave my husband (and I won’t) and never have sex with him but that didn’t matter to him. He liked me for me… but eventually we did have sex. I fell hard for him. Now it’s so hard to think of my life without him because he brings me such joy. I am going to end it for the sake of my marriage. Even though we love each other very much there is no future for us. My future is with my husband and family. My problem is that I never had that excitement or chemistry with my husband and I don’t know how I can be happy with him again knowing how that feels. Can you help me?
(USA) The goal you are going to have is to share your deepest connection and affection with your husband. The goal is going to have to be forgetting about the other man (OM) and the affair and finding a way to focus that same level of energy on your husband. It can be done if you really want to.
What naturally will occur is you will compare the two and find reasons for you not to share this with the husband, or excuses that your body should not be your husbands temple and vice versa. Go take your husband back. If he’s not showing you affection up front, show it to him. Get him hooked on your love and then pull back, it would take a corpse not to respond to certain sexual activities.
(USA) I’m not sure I can help, but I can tell you what I’d want if you were my wife. I’d want you to come to me and be 100% open and honest about what you did. No blame shifting. No trying to blame me for your choices to have an affair. I’d want all the details and what your plan was to protect me from any further abuse.
I’d want to know that you wanted a connection with me so much that you had to be 100% open and honest about what you did and what you will do to change your behavior. Keeping secrets from your spouse is the opposite of connection.
If you want a connection with your husband, you will prove it by being open and honest with him. If you are unwilling to do that, then your lack of action indicates that you don’t really want a close marriage. That you’d rather have secrets and protect your reputation than a close, intimate marriage.
Secrets are the death of intimacy. As long as you keep this secret from your husband, you can never have the relationship you want from him. So it’s time to choose. It’s time to demonstrate with your actions that your words actually have value.
(UNITED STATES) I thank GOD for this because I feel like a changed person already. First I’d like to say I’m not married, but I’m engaged, and I’m scared. I love this man so much it hurts. I find myself praying and wondering how this could be, I can’t really express how I feel on here but we had some issues in our relationship, and because of that my parents, friends family don’t like him anymore and it hurts me because I forgave him. My two children love him dearly and they think that he is their father.
I need some one else’s opinion even though I know it’s my life and I have to make my own decisions. My mother feels as if I should do as she says, but she fails to realize I’m a grown woman now not a little girl. They don’t even want me on the phone with him and I’m like, God, please help me because I feel like I may have a nervous breakdown. Can someone out there put in on this and tell me what I should do? They also say I should wait on GOD to send me my husband, but I just can’t picture being with anyone else or bringing another man into my childrens lives.
(UNITED STATES) More often than not, cheating people don’t recognize that when they are cheating on their spouse they too are cheating on GOD!! That in itself scares me!! It is so easy to see the negative side of someone (spouse) when someone else is occupying our attention. The time they use seeing the bad in someone should be used in trying to make ourselves better and saving our marriage. Ask yourself, have you done everything in your power to improve the marriage, improve the relationship with your spouse, improve your relationship with GOD? We women need to be so lost in GOD that a man will have to seek HIM to find us!! Our LORD has provided the manual, we must read it, understand it and live it!!
I have stopped wondering if my husband is doing everything he can in our marriage. I was so busy noticing the things he wasn’t doing instead of noticing the things he was doing! It is up to me to know if I am doing my part because that’s all I have the control to change. I have become happier within myself, making me a better, not perfect, but better Christian, woman, wife, mother, daughter and friend!! A vital factor to a successful marriage requires falling in love many times ALWAYS with the same person!! May our awesome GOD bless you today and always!