How well do you understand your spouse?
When they experience loss or disappointment, are you surprised at their expression or lack of expression?
We tend to judge our spouse based on how we would respond thinking we’re being helpful. We may even try to manipulate them to be more like us.
Why? Is it right to help our spouse in the way we would want to be helped? Or is it better to find out what is helpful to them?
The only way to know is to talk about a “what if” situation and hear their heart on the matter.
Ask: What if you were to wake up and discover you’d lost you job (or any other major loss), what would be the most difficult thing for you in that moment?
- Fear of financial impact
- Loss of relationships with coworkers
- Loss of prestige that came with the job
- Fear of the unknown
- Anger over how it happened
- Loss of your dreams
Some might say it is morbid to talk about such things. But I believe it helps us to learn how to come alongside our spouse and be their best support in times of hardship.
God has given us a release valve through our tears.
Some are comfortable letting them flow and some resist it. Some are good at allowing their spouse to ugly cry while they hold them. While others can’t stand to see such uncontrolled emotion.
All of these things are unique to each couple. You can’t read a book or ask a counselor what will work best in your marriage. You must get to know your unique spouse and this takes being intentional.
The Bible exhorts husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way. Wives, do you feel understood by your man in how you deal with difficulty? Husbands, do you feel safe enough with your wife to share your fears and disappointments?
This is the place where marriages take root and begin to flourish. It happens one heart-disclosing conversation at a time.
When was the last time you both connected on this level?