“Take it easy luck-luck!” is something my husband said to me about a month into our marriage as I started to lose my cool one afternoon. I had never heard such a weird statement. I honestly have no idea what had me quickly coming unglued, but as the words escaped his mouth I began to laugh.
The situation was diffused just like that. That very phrase has been spoken in our home many, many times since that day, usually as a joke. My husband is typically the one saying it to me because, if I can be honest, I struggle in moments of overwhelming chaos (like getting two little ones out the door when we’re already fifteen minutes late).
My words can turn sharp quickly but his patience and joking banter tend to gently put me in my place. The truth is, he is easy on me. He is patient with my flaws and overlooks a multitude of offenses. Recently I wondered, do I return the favor? Am I willing to make little of his mistakes and much of his successes? Am I willing to diffuse a situation instead of adding fuel to the fire?
Six years into this beautiful thing called marriage and the biggest lesson I have learned about marriage is that there are easy seasons where you want to spend every second together, you’re anxious for him to walk in the door at the end of the day and you spend the evenings cuddled up close on the couch. You’re connected.
But then there are those seasons that sneak in where that connection feels strained and the struggle begins. Schedules are hectic and instead of being anxious to see his face at the end of the day you’re just anxious for a second set of hands to clean up a mess or hold a baby. By the time you get the kids to bed you’re exhausted and quiet. You struggle to connect, making it easy to see the worst in the each other. You have two choices in that moment: you can fight WITH your husband or you can fight FOR your marriage. One is typically easier in the moment but it never yields the results you want.
Am I willing to make little of his mistakes and much of his successes? Am I willing to diffuse a situation instead of adding fuel to the fire?
So, here are a few easy tips to fight to stay connected when the stresses of life start to pull you away from each other.
Prepare In Advance: Maybe you made a list of what you wanted in a spouse before you got married. Now you’re going to write down all of the things you love about your husband. What makes you smile or your heart skip a beat? What does he do that makes you feel loved? When are the moments that you are so thankful he is yours? Make your list and tuck it in a safe spot.
Gear Up: Eventually the season comes where you realized you’re not as anxious to grab for his hand or you find yourself indifferent to his presence… this is where the list comes in handy ladies. Get it out and don’t just glance over it; study it. It will help you remember the good. You’ll see all the things you love about that man right there on your paper. As you focus on all the good it will be easier to pursue him and restore that connection.
Fight: Go after your husband and fight for that connection. One of the simplest ways to do that is to affirm him with your words, written and spoken. Everyone says women want to be pursued but every husband wants to his wife to want him, to respect him and to show him how she feels. So remind him of those very things. Leave him a little note in the morning saying something you love about him. Text him while he’s at work to let him know you’re thinking about him. Acknowledge him when he walks in the door, show him how glad you are to see him and when you sit down that night reach for his hand.
I’m not foolish enough to think that every season of marriage can be fixed with a note, text or hug… but if you’re connected you can fight through the rest together.