The “What If’s” of Marriage (for Couples)

Husband. Wife. Read. Please. This IS for you BOTH.

If you’ve ever spent any time away, you have a small idea of what it would be like without your other half in your life. How did it feel? You don’t have to be honest with me, but be honest with yourself at least.

We can all admit that every now and then, no matter how much we love our significant other, time alone is nice. Some like it more than others but regardless of who we are, time to ourselves is essential to truly BEING ourselves.

How is it then, that when our spouse wants to enjoy time alone, we ponder their reasoning? This is more than likely a thing us women experience, but it can be just as much something for the men as well.

Then there’s the ever present edginess that comes with being in close proximity to someone on those days when you really wish you had that above mentioned “alone time”. Few and far between are the moments of reflection, insignificant are the thoughts causing you to begin feeling lost in the daily grind.

You “practice” life together as if you’re going to get another shot at it. You constantly wonder why he doesn’t do things your way and men, you wonder why she she cares SO much.

Passion isn’t a word that rolls easily off the tongue unless we’re talking about something that really helps us to be ourselves — that something which isn’t your marriage right now.

Or is it?

Short-tempered and long-haired (because you haven’t had time to shave), you sit there day in and day out doing the daily tasks that call for your attention and surviving the rough moments strewn throughout.

If there’s excitement, you haven’t found it in the mundane, although you known it once was there. You look beyond the moments and fast-forward to tomorrow, which is the very reason you don’t remember what you did yesterday at all.

What did you have to eat?
What was your dinner conversation last night?
Did you put your phone down long enough to even have one?

So far, I may not be speaking to everyone, but I know this is reaching someone. But for this writer’s sake (and yours), please read on…

What if…

you started each day with a kiss?
you acknowledge each other every time you were in a room together?
you said something positive before sharing something negative?
you encouraged one another more?
you talked about your dreams?
you made time for “alone” time together?
you made time for alone time for one another?
you asked one another about your day(s)?
you made a conscious effort to spend more time together?
you ate dinner, at home, together?
you put the phones down and talked?
you held hands more?
you sent each other random texts throughout the day?
you helped each other around the house?
you appreciate the things each of you brings to your home?
you ended each day with a kiss?

So many questions…but only one answer. The immediate outcome doesn’t matter. Things aren’t going to change overnight. You’re not going to suddenly have an epiphany or ignore every mistake.

But you will…

begin to look beyond the flaws.
see the person you love for who they are.
remember that person you fell in love with.
feel more encouraged by being an encourager to whom you were made one [with].
notice the little things a little more.
learn to focus on what’s important.
learn that many things you get concerned with, don’t matter.
feel better about feeling better.

There’s an enemy out there trying to do damage to marriages. He knows what buttons to push. He knows when to start and how not to stop. He knows what people don’t need to hear and stops with what they do. Day in and day out, relationships are strained because the focus went from what if to what is. People forgot to shift their minds from what’s wrong to what could be right.

The relationships we have in our lives are so important but aside from your relationship with God, your relationship with your spouse is the most important. Your kids, your family, friends, co-workers…they take notice when you are loving, encouraging and respectful. This is part of the foundation on which they will build their future relationships. Show them the important things aren’t the silly things you tend to dwell on but the big things that brought you both together in the first place.

We’re wired differently. Men and women don’t think the same way so how can we expect them to act the same way? We have different personalities, different learning styles, different ways to cope or deal with things that come our way. When did these things become things that pull us apart instead of the ties that bind?

Read this:

"It took effort, intentionality, sweat equity, and determination. The it took time and commitment before he ever saw any fruit from his labor."

She [Lysa TurKeurst] goes on to say,

"But eventually, there was a bloom...and then another...and then another."

Immediate change may be what we want but it isn’t what we’re going to get. It’s going to take work. More effort on our part. While we’re hoping for change in another, God will be changing us.

Marriage is both ways men. It takes effort on your part, just as much as it does hers. You can’t make changes for her and she can’t make them for you and you can NOT wish them on one another. Sometimes the best thing you can do is try to understand her. Even though you probably never will completely, you’ll see what makes her tick — what makes her smile, what makes her cringe, what makes her cry, and what truly makes her heart sing. I guarantee the right combination of “What if’s” is out there, waiting to do their job in making your wife smile.

What if you tried to do things a little different ladies? What if you put a little more effort into things he liked? What if you chose to think good thoughts? What if you didn’t point out his flaws to others, but embraced his strengths? What if you encouraged him? What if you rediscovered why you fell in love with him to begin with? What if you chose to realize that it isn’t always about how you feel because maybe, just maybe, he’s feeling the same way.

She needs you. As many times as she acts like she doesn’t and even on the days she makes you feel like she can do it on her own…she needs you. But can I be honest with you? She needs you at your best, even when you feel your worst. The one who puts whatever he’s fidgeting with down to look at her when she talks. To get engaged in something she’s passionate about and show that you care. She longs for that embrace that is simply about the embrace — nothing more, nothing less — just the touch of your two hearts close together.

He needs you. As many times as he acts like he doesn’t and even on the days he makes you feel like he can do it on his own…he needs you. But can I be honest with you? He needs you at your best, even when you feel your worst. The one who puts whatever she’s looking at down to focus on him when he talks. To get engaged in something he’s passionate about and show that you care. He longs for that ear to listen — just listen — to him from time to time. It means more than you know.

It really is the little things for men and women. The little things do matter. If you make every effort to do a few little things each day, I guarantee that, one day, they’ll turn into the big things.

Read The “What If’s” of Marriage for her
Read The “What If’s” of Marriage for him

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