This week my wife and I had a major blow up. One of those that impact you for a while. The argument ended in tears for everyone, including our kids who witnessed the entire incident. To be transparent we are still working through it, so details will have to come in a future post.
We both said and did things that hurt one another deeply. I felt, and still do feel she was wrong. But my marriage mentor challenged me not to let my feelings dictate my actions, instead to base my actions on the commitment that I’d already made years ago. In other words, my relationship with my wife tops my desire to be right.
Your wife, like my wife, is not perfect. There are going to be times when she does things and says things that are just plain wrong. But don’t let it and the feelings it triggers cause even more problems in your marriage. Instead of letting your feelings run the show and being known as the couple fighting constantly, let your commitment dictate what you do. The commitment to love her unconditionally, and do so for life. I made a covenant agreement, not a conditional agreement based on her actions. Here are 5 things you must do when your wife is wrong and you know it.
1. Be honest.
A tendency I have when my wife does or says something that hurts me is to be dishonest. You probably do the same. Has she ever asked you, “what’s wrong?” or “is everything okay?” And you responded “nothing” or “yep” when actually just the opposite was true. You can’t do that. You have to be honest with her, and with yourself about how you felt wronged.
2. Look at you, not her.
Another tendency we have is to focus solely on her, especially when she is wrong. Once you begin to focus on her, and not you, you begin to think her changing is the solution. Changing her is not the solution because you can’t do it. You can only change you. So, begin to look at yourself, look at what you can control, and begin there.
3. Don’t fight fire with fire.
If you came home and your house was on fire, what would you think if the fire department began setting little fires all around your house. You’d think they were crazy, and you would lose hope that your home could be saved from the blazes. Just the same, when your wife wrongs you, you can’t wrong her to make it right.
4. Tune in, don’t tune out.
When your wife is wrong and hurts you I’m sure you can find a thousand different things to avoid her and avoid the hurt. You can go all in at work, staying late, taking on extra projects, bringing work home and hiding out until it’s done. You can find an infinite number of projects around the house. You can hang with the fellas, find a game to watch, go fishing, whatever. Those aren’t all necessarily bad. But don’t use them to tune out your wife and your marriage. Instead, you have to tune in to her and your marriage even more. Be more attentive to her and her needs.
5. Treat her better than she deserves.
This is the exclamation point on handling things when your wife is wrong and you know it. She may have done something so terrible that you can’t imagine this, but this very behavior will be the saving grace of your marriage. You have to pay the price by loving her in spite of her not loving you. So, treat her with patience when she is not patient. Treat her kindly when she isn’t kind to you. Don’t keep a track record of her wrongs even if she does. This in time will win her over, and the actions you take will better allow you to move on from whatever it was she did or said to you. Consistently doing this will lead your wife to loving you in a way you can only imagine.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why are relationships more important than being right?”