When Nothing Is Something

I've done this more times than I can count. Tom walks in and notices something is bothering me. He asks, "What's wrong?" To which I reply, "Nothing."There are two possible reasons I give this answer.

I’ve done this more times than I can count. Tom walks in and notices something is bothering me. He asks, “What’s wrong?” To which I reply, “Nothing.

There are two possible reasons I give this answer.

  1. I am feeling sad, discouraged, down (call it what you want), and I don’t know why.
  2. Tom has upset me and him asking the question makes me more angry because he doesn’t know why.

What should Tom do?

If I give the first answer, the best thing he can do is put his arms around me and show that he cares. Words aren’t necessary when dealing with these kinds of emotional struggles. Sometimes, as he holds me the tears will flow and I can think more clearly. I’ll realize how my thoughts led me to this place of discouragement, and begin to share my heart.

In our early years Tom would more likely respond back to me with the silent treatment. It’s a “if she’s not going to talk than neither will I” mentality. And it only causes the tension to increase.

If I give the second answer, the best thing he can do is not take this as my answer. He needs to humbly find out what he has done and make it right. It’s my responsibility to not let the distance linger. The reality is he can’t make me do this. It has to be a conviction of my own heart to lean in to him rather than pull away.

In our early years Tom would have become angry with my response. If he realized the issue at  hand, he would often defend himself in why he was right and I was wrong. The argument was sure to escalate. Left unresolved this is where many marriages fail. Pile on offense after offense and the damage to your relationship is immeasurable, but not impossible to restore.

We have an enemy to our marriage. He attacks us on a daily basis looking for a way to hook us into disagreement. It’s as if he is sitting in the corner eating popcorn watching us attack each other with a big smile on his face. I don’t want to provide entertainment for the enemy of my soul. Tom and I are on the same team. We aren’t enemies even when things are at their worst–and we have been there more times than we care to count! We are fighting the same battle for the same purpose–to glorify God in how we keep our covenant strong.

Let our yes be yes and our nothing be nothing. We must commit to no longer play these games. If we do we both lose–there are no winners.

Did you get the last secret letter highlighted in bold above? If so, unscramble them to come up with the secret word. Then fill out the form below with your answer in the comment section (leave the website portion blank if you don’t have one). We will randomly draw from all entries using the number generator on Random.org. To read all the contest rules read our Home Stretch post from last week.

Thank you for staying with us through the challenge. We pray your inbox hasn’t been overwhelmed by our daily posts, and that your marriage has been encouraged and maybe strengthened to continue on this adventure together. That is our goal and why we do what we do.

To continue receiving our posts (that won’t be everyday I promise), fill in your email address in the box to the right or you can sign up for our RSS feed.  You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. You’ll find those links at the top of the right column.

God’s richest blessings to you and your spouse.

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This is our final post in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post everyday in April. 

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About Debi Walter

Face it, marriage is hard work. But when cultivated daily the fruit produced will satisfy for a lifetime. We're here to help with ideas and encouragement along the way. Having been married 36 years and counting, we share what we've learned with practical tips, Biblical Truths, Date night ideas to help you plow your own vineyard for God's glory.
This entry was posted in Christian Marriage, communication, Conflict, Growing Strong Marriages, Keeping It Real and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to When Nothing Is Something

  1. Jeanine Byers says:

    I am so glad to have discovered your blog. And so glad for the work you do! Congratulations on your book – may it reach far and wide. And I agree that couples (and families) need to be on the same team, and that means being able to listen without defensiveness, but it also means sharing what went wrong without attack.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Martha DeMeo says:

    WOW, that was fun, a challenge in a challenge! I’ve so enjoyed reading your blogs and CONGRATS on completing the challenge. I’ve sent in my response to the secret letters. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Debi, congratulations on meeting the challenge…you have helped so many people in this month (and in all the year you’ve been writing). The comments just scratch the surface.

    She claims that I’m a nihilist
    when I say it matters not
    that cancer simply won’t desist,
    and pain is all I’ve got.
    Nothing here is really wrong,
    except I’m hurt and dying,
    and I am just where I belong,
    but it’s a truth that no-one’s buying.
    Though the night be long and dark
    I believe there comes the dawn,
    and meanwhile I will make my mark,
    to remain forever strong.
    The Passion did the grave transcend,
    and I’m OK; it’s not the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debi Walter says:

      Thank you, Andrew. And I thank you for this raw and self-disclosing poems. They have made us laugh, cry and thank God for the way He is walking you and your wife through this valley. We are praying for you both.
      Debi (and Tom)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Debi, thank YOU (and Tom!). It’s been a privilege to be here.

        Like

      • Debi Walter says:

        Have you considered submitting your poems for publication? If you’re interested our publisher is Prevail Press. Rob Swanson owns and runs it and is a good friend and neighbor.
        https://prevailpressblog.com/

        Like

      • Debi Walter says:

        Andrew,

        I received this poem today in my email from one of our favorite authors, Paul David Tripp. He is facing a severe health challenge that hit him out of nowhere. It led him to write the book titled, Suffering. Tom and I are traveling today and thought this poem might encourage you. God bless!

        I was not designed
        to be on my own
        to author my own story
        to compose my own rules
        to live with me in the center.

        I was not designed
        to look for life outside of You
        to treasure the creation
        to love people, places, and things
        more than You.

        I was not designed
        to rely on my wisdom
        to trust my imagination
        to rely on my thoughts
        to ignore Your revelation.

        I was not designed
        to follow the path of my craving
        to be enslaved to my desires
        to be ruled by my passions
        more than I am by You.

        I was not designed
        to put created things in Your place
        to look to the creation
        to fulfill the longings
        that only You can fulfill.

        I was not designed
        to live for the moment
        to ignore what is forever
        to covet what belongs to others
        forgetting I’ve been given You.

        I was not designed
        to question Your goodness
        to bring you to the court of my judgment
        to be bitter in my assessment
        of the things You do.

        I was not designed
        to let my heart fill with envy
        to be constantly accounting
        to be jealous and untrusting
        instead of resting in You.

        I was not designed
        to forget that Your right hand holds me
        to ignore your good counsel
        to not see that You’re with me.

        I was not designed
        to think I am living
        to ignore the evidence that I’m dying
        to forget that we perish
        when separate from You.

        So I acknowledge this morning
        it is good to be with You
        to make you my sole refuge
        to speak daily of your workings
        Whom do I have but You?
        I praise you for rescue
        for always holding me near You
        for owning my hearts desires.

        My life is You.

        God bless

        Reflection Questions
        1. There is a long list of things for which we were not designed. Which are you struggling with most at the moment?

        2. Identify what you’re struggling with most again. What happens when you live outside of your intended design in that area?

        3. What is the opposite reality of #2? In other words, what were you designed to do or be, and what happens when you live within your intended design?

        4. What truths do you need to preach to yourself to realign your heart with that intended design?

        Like

  4. I’ve been married for 21 years. Marriage is work. Divorce is easy, in my opinion. You always offer such great advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debi Walter says:

      It’s true. The easy way is usually never the right way. We have a saying in our cabin, “if the path you are on is without obstacles you are probably on the wrong path.”

      Like

  5. Congratulations on making it all the way through! Woo Hoo!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: A Loveliness of Links ~ April 2019 - The Forgiven Wife

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