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Wifey Wednesday: It's the Little Things

It seems the one of the most popular Google searches that lands people on this blog is "how to forgive a spouse". I guess that's referring to this post.

So I got thinking about this whole idea of forgiveness again, and a thought has occurred to me.

We often think that the pivotal moments in a marriage are things like when we look into each others' eyes when we say our vows, the first time we make love, when we hold our first child, when we make the decision of whether or not to buy a house.

I'm starting to think the really pivotal moments are far smaller. So small we may not realize they are pivotal.

Have any of you ever seen the movie Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow? It's got to be at least a decade old now, but it's a really neat movie. It follows a woman's life in two possible scenarios, based on whether or not she missed a subway or whether she caught it at just the right time. A simple change like that can change the course of one's whole life.

And it's like that for us, too. People don't just have affairs because one day they up and decide they want something else. They don't cut off all communication all at once. They don't stop enjoying being together at 1:03 p.m. one Sunday afternoon. It all happens gradually, by the little decisions that we make together.

When we decide to kiss our husband when he comes in the door (or when we come in the door), even if we're a little bit tired of all the mess he left for us tonight, we build goodwill. When we're tired and grumpy but we try to put that aside just to listen to him talk, or to do something else, we build goodwill. When we make a point of making sure he remembers his mother's birthday, or making sure the kids get him a Father's Day card, we build goodwill.

When we thank him for the work he does around the house, even when we wish he would do more, we build goodwill. When we talk about how much we appreciate him to the kids, while he's within earshot, we build goodwill.

But, on the other hand, when we turn away when he wants to talk because the kids need us, and pick them over him again, we push him away. When we decide to spend more time at our jobs, or our crafts, rather than go for a walk with him or watch him play baseball, we push him away. When we wish he'd just stop complaining about his job and do something about it, and tell him so, we push him away.

None of these things is big. None is stupendous. But all can be life-changing, because we make a choice as to whether we are on the road that is building intimacy or whether we are on the road that is squelching it.

I know you cannot build intimacy all by yourself. I know that you need his help, and sometimes he doesn't cooperate. He doesn't realize how much you need affection, or affirmation, or love. He's insensitive. And it's so easy to turn away.

But we are not called to do the easy thing. We are called to do the right thing. And the more we throw ourselves into building the relationship, the more we look for ways to be helpful, rather than looking at all the things that he is doing wrong.

There are, of course, some caveats. Sometimes he really does hurt you or want inappropriate things from you. Please click on the label below for "Wifey Wednesdays" to look at other posts which may provide a fuller perspective.

But for today, I just want to leave you with this thought: two people do not grow apart overnight. It is gradual. Likewise, true oneness isn't built overnight. It is gradual. But we can gradually choose to be on the wrong road, and the gulf can get wider and wider. So in the little things, what will you choose?

In To Love, Honor and Vacuum this is exactly what I talk about--how YOU can take responsibility for making your marriage better. And when you start changing, your marriage dynamic will change, for the better! Go here to read more or purchase!

Do you have advice or thoughts on marriage that you want to share? Maybe you just have a question that you want an answer to, or some feedback. Why don't you participate? Just copy the picture above onto your blog, write a post, and then come back here and put your URL in the box below. I'd love to hear from you!

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At 11:31 PM , Blogger Misty said…

i loved sliding doors. and i loved this post. i so needed to read it after a weekend of picking at dh for this or that.. and i too often choose the little ones' needs first. thank you for your wisdom!


At 9:47 AM , Blogger ~Tami said…

Your Wifey Wednesday post is so true!


At 10:21 AM , Blogger Tracey said…

Do you have an html code for the Wifey Wednesday pic?

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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