Your Relationship

Marriage and Driving

I got a traffic ticket the other day.  (It just so happened it was the same week our pool blew away in a wind storm and our flatscreen tv got busted by a curtain rod, but that is a blog post for a later day.)  Today I started taking my online drivers course that will reduce my ticket price and keep my insurance from going up.  As I was reading the materials, it dawned on me that marriage can be like driving.

The instructors said that people drive so much that they become familiar with it.  As their driving comfort level rises, they forget to pay attention.  The very same thing can happen in a marriage if you let it.

If you have been together very long at all, you might be taking your spouse for granted.  You no longer eagerly await his arrival home, but instead greet him with a peck on the cheek and ask what came in the mail.  Forget those long talks about places you would like to travel some day.  Now you just exchange information about how much your car needs new brakes.  Gone are the days of long walks holding hands.  Now when you get to the grocery store you send him one way to grab the batteries and light bulbs while you get the milk and bread.

It is great to be comfortable in your marriage.  You want to feel like you can be yourself around your husband—sweatshirts and fuzzy slippers included.  It is important, though, that you pay attention to your spouse and your marriage.

In both driving and marriage, lack of attention can lead to some costly and hurtful situations.

Magnetic Marriage

Would you consider your marriage to be magnetic?
Believe it or not, marriage is magnetic. Some days you are like opposite
polls who cling together by an invisible force. You want to hang around
your spouse and laugh and share. You want to cuddle or be close to your
loved one.

There are other days, however, when you more closely resemble two like
polls of a magnet. When you come close, you both want to push away. It
is on these days that you need your space. Everything you say gets on
your spouse’s nerves. You argue about everything from who made the bed
last to why the toilet paper is on the roll wrong. You just don’t feel
like touching or being near one another.

On the attraction days it is fun to be married. You can enjoy and love
each other with ease. You may even begin to think you have married life
all figured out. But there come the repellant days. On these days you
question why you would marry someone who annoys you so much. You see your
marriage as work instead of fun. If there are enough repellant days in a
row, you might even start to wonder why you got married at all.

My dear friend, take heart, this is totally normal. Those magnets attract
or repel each other depending on how they are positioned. It is not quite
as easy to change whether you are having an attraction or repellant day
with your spouse, though. Each type of day will come and go. There is no
need to brag on the attraction days or fret on the repellant ones. Instead of worrying about the status of your marriage on the repellant
days, try the following…

1. Realize it is a normal part of a relationship.
2. Tell your spouse how you are feeling so they know you aren’t upset with
3. Watch what you say and how you say it so you don’t cause extra hurt
4. By mutual consent, take some time apart to do your own thing.
5. Allow your spouse to have alone time too without taking it personally.
6. Look forward to tomorrow when you will have another attraction day.
7. Most importantly, spend some time with God asking Him to comfort your
heart and repair your attitude.

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Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

By All Means, Disagree With Me!

My husband and I noticed a funny phenomenon the other day. There are some times when I not only expect him to disagree with me, I actually want him to!

We all do it. We ask a question or make a statement that is worded so that if your spouse were to agree we would be mad.

“I look terrible in this shirt, don’t I?”

“This lasagna I made tastes horrible!”

And he does it too.

“I didn’t deserve that promotion at work anyway.”

“I am starting to go bald, aren’t I?”

Now I am all for telling the truth. I am not telling you to lie to your spouse. I AM telling you that some questions need to be answered with more care than others. If you get one of these tricky questions, think what would be the most loving thing to say in that situation. Here are a few examples…

“You look good, honey, but you look super-sexy in your blue one.”

“It doesn’t taste as awesome as it usually does when you make it, but it is still way better than my mom’s, or cafeteria food, or fast food).”

“Of course you deserve the promotion. I know soon your boss will see the same potential I see in you.”

“I don’t notice it at all, but even if you go as bald as a cue ball you will still be sexy!”

It is great to know how to answer when your spouse asks that type of question of you. It is even more helpful when you warn your spouse that type of question is coming. I have caught myself making a statement that I want him to disagree with. I will then signal him—“What do you think of the new recipe I tried? Keep in mind that I worked on it all day.” He then knows how to respond appropriately. Yes, it would be better if we were all ready for the cold, hard truth at all times and would not take offense. However, I know myself and sometimes I ask not because I want the truth but because I want affirmation. Keep your ears out for those types of moments in your marriage. If you tread softly, you can prevent a lot of arguments.

Vote in this new poll.

When you make a sacrifice in marriage, you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.- Joseph Campbell

A Man Without Honor

I came across one of the saddest verses today.  It was Mark 6:4.  Jesus said “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” 

That struck me today because there are many men I see that are without honor in their homes.  At work they are respected and admired.  At church they are relied upon and looked up to.  But at home they are bossed and belittled.

Most likely the wives don’t even realize they are doing it because they didn’t start out that way.  After they were first married she would smile and lovingly ask if he would take out the trash or cut the grass.  A few months pass and instead of lovingly asking him to do it, she states that “the grass really needs mowed.”

More time passes and maybe she has children to take care of too.  She is exhausted, overwhelmed, and sticky with peanut butter.  She talks to her husband as if he is one of the children.   So now she says to her husband, “Why do I have to nag you to death to get you to do anything around here?  That yard has GOT to be mowed before Friday!”

What the wife doesn’t realize is that she is showing her husband no honor in his own house.  We have all seen couples like that.  I daresay we have all acted like that from time to time.   Ouch!

Make a conscious effort this week to think before you speak to your husband.  Ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say demonstrating that I honor him as a man or not?”  Let your answer to that question guide your mouth.  Let’s treat our men with the honor they deserve.

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

Guilty Conscience Talking?

Jesus’ name was becoming more and more popular. People were discussing
him and his miracles all over the area. People disagreed about who he
was, though. Some people thought he was Elijah. Other people thought he
was a prophet just like they had in the early days of the nation. And
some people even wondered if Jesus was really John the Baptist come back
from the dead. When Herod heard the speculation, he was convinced of the
latter. He just knew Jesus was John come back to life. Why was Herod so

Herod was so sure because he had a guilty conscience!

Herod had been the one to order the murder of John. Herod knew he had
been wrong to do so. John had done nothing worthy of death, but to save
face among his officials, Herod had given in to the request of his wife
Herodias and her daughter. So now when there was another person telling
people they needed to repent, Herod was sure it was a formerly dead John
coming back after him.

What in the world does this story have to do with your marriage you ask? Everything!

I can’t tell you how many of the arguments I have had with my husband have
been because one or the other of us had a guilty conscience. It usually
goes something like this…

Toby comes home and moves something out of the way so he can set his stuff
down. Then he picks up a glass and puts it into the sink. I tell him
testily that I will get it. He says he was just helping out. I say that
he must hate coming home to a dirty house and a lazy wife. The argument
escalates quickly from there.

Now he never said I was lazy or anything of the sort. I projected that
thought onto him because I was myself feeling guilty because I had gotten
involved in the book I was reading and hadn’t picked up the house. So my
guilty conscience caused the entire argument—not something my husband said
or did.

I have been trying to watch out for those arguments lately and stop them
before they begin. I have to pause to tell myself the truth. It is I who
feels this way, not Toby. I can’t assume I know the meaning behind what
he is actually saying. I have many talents, but mindreading is not one of
them. He may have just realized that he had left his glass out from
supper last night and thought he should take it to the sink. Period. End
of story. No argument necessary.

So next time you feel yourself gearing up for a fight with your spouse,
ask yourself if it is your guilty conscience doing the talking.

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

I have to watch what I say!

I was reminded last week that I have to very closely watch what I say around my husband.  I mentioned in passing that I would like to have a laptop sometime so I could work at night while he was working on our desktop.  He went out and bought me one the very next day!

I am not complaining, mind you, I am just awed again at the amazing man I married.  He so wants to do nice things for me that I have to be careful to only mention things I want when I am ready to purchase them (or have them purchased for me).

How can you encourage your man to be this generous, you ask?

Well, I will let you in on a little secret.  It is a secret that I have only told my closest friends so far, so you are now a part of a very privileged group.  Are you ready?

I have absolutely no idea.  That’s it.  When I started writing this blog post I wanted to come up with the reason behind why he is so generous with me.  I wanted to tell you what you could do to earn that type of love and attention.  But the truth is that I don’t earn it.  Of course I do nice things for him and I show him my respect for him all the time, but those things should be standard in a marriage.  His generosity goes way beyond the norm.  He spoils me for no apparent reason other than he loves me.

Sorry I couldn’t share some deep secret with you this time.  Maybe I will have to ask him the reason.  That’s what I will do.  I will ask him the reason and I will let you know.  Keep watch for the rest of the story…

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

I Owe Lubbock an Apology!

When my husband decided to take a job in Lubbock, Texas, I was devastated.  All I could picture in my mind was flat earth, dust storms, and weeds galore.  We have lived here for a little over 7 months now, and I love it!  I absolutely love it!

I can’t get enough of the huge skies and cotton fields as far as the eye can see.  I love to sit out on my back porch at night and see the city lights twinkling in the distance.  The people are friendly, and the schools are good.  It is a land of hope–of potential.  Just being here makes me confident of a bright future for my family.

One day your husband may need to move you to a new location.  If that happens, please take the following advice…

1. Cry in private.  You will need to weep for the life, people, and places you are leaving behind.  But letting your husband see all your tears will only make him feel bad for hurting you.

2. Pray for your new home.  Start praying immediately for God to prepare a place for you there.  Pray that He would create a spirit of revival in that town like they have never seen before.  It is hard to hate a place you are praying for.

3. Plug in quickly.  Don’t take forever to find a church.  Start right away and get involved.  Meet people, have them over, and start to connect.

4. Explore your new area.  Take drives and see sights.  Find out what is unique about your new area and learn about it and experience it.

5. Open your eyes and heart to the beauty around you.  Don’t let homesickness cloud your view and keep you from enjoying your new home.

God has created a big, beautiful, and varied land.  If you have to move, look at it as an opportunity to experience more of God’s creation.  It can be your chance to learn more about God and meet more of His people.  If you go into a move with an open heart from the start, you may find that you won’t have to apologize to your new city!

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

How a Stereo Nearly Blew our Relationship!

I have been happily married for 13 years now.  But it was all almost ruined by a stereo before it even began.

I met my husband the day before Thanksgiving and our first date was two days later.  We attended different colleges, so we corresponded mainly through e-mail, snail mail, and telephone.  After that first date, we went out a time or two before I left school to go home for Christmas break.  Although things were going really well between us, we still really didn’t know each other.  That fact was never more evident than the day Toby brought me my Christmas gift.

The first clue that he didn’t know me very well yet was that he brought it early.  I know some kids who can’t wait until Christmas.  They sneak around trying to overhear their parents talking about their gift.  They unwrap presents and shake and measure and rattle to see if they can guess what the present is.  That was the type of kid Toby was.  I am the exact opposite.  If my parents were talking about Christmas, I would plug my ears and hum so I wouldn’t accidentally overhear.  I never wanted to pick up a gift before Christmas morning so I wouldn’t accidentally guess what it was.  I never begged to open gifts on Christmas Eve.  I want to prolong the excitement as long as I can so I never open presents early.  Never.  Yet here was my boyfriend at my dorm room with a cheesy grin and a gift he wants me to open right away.  So I do.

My second clue was the type of gift.  He bought me a 3-disc changer stereo system.  Toby loves music.  He always listens to music while he works, drives, studies, and relaxes.  He is also very ADD with his music.  He listens to a minute or two of a song and is on to the next.  Then he might stay on the next song to hear a drum intro and then he is off to another disc for snippets of that one.  Not me.  I listen to an entire CD from start to finish.  I can’t have music on when I read or talk with friends.  I like to listen so I can sing along, not just to have background noise.  Since I don’t move from CD to CD, a 3 disc changer was very unnecessary for me.

Now before you think I am a total jerk, let me assure you I didn’t say any of this to Toby.  I never let on that his gift was much more suited to him than to me (until he read this article that is).  I was a very gracious receiver.  But then I found out how much it cost.

The granddaddy of all clues that my new love and I didn’t know each other very well was that he bought me such an expensive gift.  Some girls want the biggest diamonds they can get.  They choose clothing more for the designer label than functionality.  They love to shop at the mall.  I am nothing like that.  Toby laughed at how tiny all the diamonds were in the engagement rings I said I liked.  I couldn’t name more than 3 designers if my life depended on it.  At that time, I had never spent more than $40 for any item of clothing-ever.  I hate shopping and especially at malls.  I am a saver who would rather see my savings account grow than to spend money on things that will clutter up my house.

So when I realized that this guy I had known for almost a month had spent over $300 on me for Christmas, I figured the relationship was doomed.  After he left that night I showed the stereo to my friends.  They knew immediately that I would be uncomfortable with the gift.  How could my frugal heart ever match a gift of that magnitude?  Was he trying to buy my affection with an expensive gift?  Would he always spend money so frivolously?

As these questions plagued me, I realized I needed to talk to him about the gift.  We talked that night about how I loved the stereo and the thought behind it, but I was uncomfortable about the cost and the meaning.  He assured me there was no meaning behind it besides wanting to get me something nice that we could use when we got married.  (Yes, we had talked about marriage less than one month into our relationship!)  He also assured me he wouldn’t spend that much again on gifts.  I assured him that I wasn’t like other girls he might have dated.  I liked simple and heartfelt gifts, preferably homemade.

While he still routinely spends more on me than I do on him, he has made some really amazing, heart-felt gifts that mean more to me than any expensive ones could have.  I could have let that stereo ruin an amazing relationship, but I chose instead to be upfront with him about my concerns.  You too will need to talk honestly with your fiancé or husband about things.  Don’t expect him to know exactly what you will like or be able to read your mind.  It takes years for those things to develop.  But don’t give up!

So what about you?  What has threatened your relationship?  Has anything almost ended a great connection that would have been a big mistake?

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

Diving In?

Watching kids on diving boards is a great way to help you understand
yourself better. Some kids look at the diving board out of the corner of
their eye. They walk around it and look at it warily as if it might jump
up and grab them if they get too close. Their eyes keep returning to the
board like a magnet. Something about it draws them. They want to try it.
It may be fun. But there is a larger part of their psyche that reminds
them of what all could go wrong if they try it. It may take hours or days
(or never) for them to overcome their fear and step up on it. And even
then they may get cold feet and walk back off the board without ever
making the plunge.There are other kids, though, who seem to have no fear at all. I have
seen 4 year olds strut up to the diving board, eagerly wait their turn,
step confidently on the board, and jump off like a wild banshee. They
never even consider the safety of the diving board. They are ready to

The same could be said for relationships. Some people approach potential
mates with fear and wariness. They are afraid of any long-term
commitments. All they can think about is what may go wrong. It may take
months or even years for them to get up the nerve to ask for a date.

Others jump into a relationship with both feet. They never consider the
potential pain and heartache that will result if things go wrong. They
are just ready to try something new and different.

Which type are you? Which type is your fiance? Share your stories below.

Posted via email from Diamond Marriage

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