Recently, in one of “those talks” I told my husband that there were several ways in which I didn’t feel like he was loving me well. I felt I was valued higher as his co-worker in ministry and caregiver than as his wife. He took my feedback well. Over the next few days I affirmed him trying to put more focus on me, his wife.
Funny thing is, though I noticed his efforts, my feelings of being cherished as his wife did not change. I began praying that God would show my husband how to love me in a way I could experience it.
You may be able to imagine what came next. As I prayed that prayer God nudged me to pray that I would love my husband in ways that assured him of my honor, respect and love. Then God prompted me to do some introspection.
After evaluating myself, I asked to talk with Jerry again. This time I shared that perhaps this whole experience had nothing to do with how he loves me. The problem was me. I was the one putting more energy into being the co-worker and caregiver I thought he needed. Interacting with him as my husband came in third. I apologized and began to focus on ways to spend more time and energy in our personal relationship.
It would have been easier to assume and lay the blame on him. But only easier in the short run; ultimately that ease would morph into tension. Owning up to my part doesn’t mean my feelings change right away, or that our relationship has no bumps. It does mean that when I am feeling underappreciated, or under-loved, it’s time to take inventory of how I am giving love.
Generally I support the idea “it’s not about me.” But sometimes I must step back and make it about me just long enough to do a better job at loving my husband and those around me.
Marriage, such a joy and such a work in progress . . .