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Wifey Wednesday: Does He Make You Cry?

Welcome to Wifey Wednesdsay, when we post about marriage, talk about marriage, and get honest about the nitty gritty of real life.
Recently, on Twitter, I read this quotation:

No man is worth your tears, & when you find the man who is, he'll never make you cry.
That sounds good, doesn't it? So romantic! Isn't that what we all want?

I think it is. The teenage girls in my church (including my daughter) are just captivated by silly romantic kid movies, like Enchanted. They want to find their Prince, who will come in and sweep them off their feet and lead them to a life where all is perfect, there is always singing, and no one ever gets a zit.

When we women get married, I think that's what we're hoping for: here's a man who will never make me cry. He is perfect. I will love him forever, he will love me completely, and in the end, we will all be happy.

The problem is it doesn't work. There is no one who can ever love like a fairytale character. And chances are he will make you cry (and you'll make him angry, too). To expect that someone will never ever hurt you is to fail to understand the nature of marriage.

In marriage, we're joining two incomplete, imperfect people who love each other together forever. While they may love, what will really hold that marriage together is commitment. And why do we need that commitment? Because if it just depended on love, few would ever stick it out. Many of us go through times, especially early in our marriage, or right after the kids arrive, when we start to resent our spouse, or marriage becomes really difficult. We have different priorities. We have different personalities. The thing that we once thought was so cute and quirky about our spouse when we were dating now drives us crazy.

But because of that commitment, we stay and eventually things grow. Something deeper than love grows, or perhaps I should say a deeper form of love. And everytime we hurt each other, and work through that hurt, and reaffirm the fact that we're together forever, that love gets deeper.

It's a special kind of love, too. It's possessive, and it encompasses every part of us: spirit, soul, and body. It's one reason we're so upset about affairs, and have such a hard time accepting any kind of adultery, or recovering from betrayal, as that poll I had running on Monday showed. At this point, 16% of you think that if you hurt a guy who has cheated on you, the law should treat you exactly the same way as it would treat a regular assault, but the other 84% think some sort of allowance should be made, or that we should be able to send a posse out with some crazy glue to do some damage. Of course the poll was tongue in cheek, but it shows we understand how deeply we can be hurt by betrayal.

What we need to do in a marriage, though, is recognize that there is betrayal, and then there is betrayal. There is adultery, and then there is simple conflict. My husband has never cheated on me, but he has made me cry. He has been insensitive, he has put his needs first, he has denigrated me, especially early in our marriage. And I have done the same to him. These aren't things I'm proud of, but they're the consequence of two people joining together, and we have worked through them.

The one type of tear that my husband has never made me shed is the worry that he will leave me or cheat on me. I have complete faith in him on these counts. I know our marriage is rock solid, but there are still things that we butt heads about. Those things are far rarer now after 17 years of marriage than they were at the beginning, but with lack of sleep or some other problem we are still occasionally insensitive, and we need to get over it.

This idea, though, that a man should never make you cry can make you feel like the first time in a marriage that he is insensitive the marriage itself is at stake, or there's something dreadfully wrong with him. No, the marriage is not at stake, and the only thing wrong with him is that he's human.

In marriage we will have conflict. Let's not assume that he will always be an angel; that just makes it worse, and it's not fair. But by the same token, let's put that conflict in perspective. Being insensitive is not the same as having an affair, being abusive, or becoming addicted to something. So work through your problems. Pray through them. Learn selflessness. Learn how to confront in love. Learn that tears do not mean something is ending; it just means you're walkign through a healing process in some difficult area in your marriage, and healing always hurts.

Our false expectations about romance make these conflicts seem worse than they really are. Yes, you'll have difficulties. Yes, you'll have tears. But keep that commitment, and the tears can be worked through.

Now, do you have any marriage advice you can share? Why not join Wifey Wednesday! Simply go to your own blog and write a post about marriage, and then come back here and enter the URL in the Mr. Linky! You can also copy the picture at the top of this post by right clicking it, and then insert it into your post. And be sure to link back to me, too! Thanks so much, and I look forward to reading what you have to say!

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At 2:50 PM , Blogger cdefinbaugh said…

I love the Wifey Wednesday idea! I had a blast coming up with something to post today!


At 3:13 PM , Anonymous Jen@After the Alter said…

I feel like romantic movies and books is pretty much porn for women. it gives an unrealistic idea of what love and romance is. I find myself falling for it sometimes and have to snap myself out. marriage is full of ups and downs and we must take the good with the bad...great post!


At 3:47 PM , Blogger Megan said…

Great post, as usual! Thanks for the reminder that conflict is normal and commitment is what gets you through to the bright side again.

I do have one related question that's been on my mind recently - do you think that EVERY conflict (even the little ones) has to be "resolved"? I'm beginning to believe that trying to analyze and resolve every disagreement smacks too much of requiring perfection in a spouse. Perhaps sometimes (most of the time?), just letting it go and moving on is the better choice.

Of course, this line of thought is prompted by a recent decision by my husband to resolve every disagreement before we go to bed (which I also used to believe was a good rule of thumb, but now I'm not so sure). Maybe I'm simply having a knee-jerk defensive reaction...


At 3:31 PM , Blogger Sarah DeVries said…

Great post, Sheila. I saw the movie "Enchanted" just last night, and loved it, actually. However, I found it more humourous than anything, and took it to be poking fun at our tendency to expect fairy-tale endings. (All the spoofs involved were hilarious!)

One thing I could add to your post is that, for most women, there will come times in our lives when our hormones are causing a chemical imbalance in our brains (like prenatal/ postpartum and menopause), and we simply may not be aware that we are thinking irrationally or being driven by false emotions. Sometimes "conflicts" don't actually exist, they are just in our heads. So, even if your husband is the most sensitive man in the world (mine is!), you cry. And it's not really him that's making you cry, even if you think it is.

So, regardless of our husband's actions or level of sensitivity, we need to be able to take our emotional issues to the feet of our loving Father and deal with them there. This is why Ecclesiastes 4:12 says "A cord of three strands is not easily broken." A marriage that fully relies on God will last.


At 6:44 PM , OpenID thehorizontalyoyo said…

Love it. And so true. I hope my kids don't expect a fairy tale marriage. I hope they expect their spouse to be human...and I hope that they truly are together til death do them part.

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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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