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Wifey Wednesday: Becoming One Flesh

It's Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you follow up either by commenting or by writing your own post and then linking up!

When we marry, inevitably this beautiful verse is read at the wedding:
And the man shall leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
We all smile and gush, because now we are one flesh. Absolutely.

But here's the problem: just because something is a spiritual fact doesn't mean that we actually feel it. Before we are married, we only have ourselves to worry about. We don't have to consider another's feelings; we're all bent on making decisions that will make ME happy. I am the focus of my life.

At marriage, that feeling naturally continues. When we're first married, we start to wonder, "is he making me happy?", or "is he treating me well?", or "is he acting like a good husband should?". We're new at this, so it's only natural that we should question whether he's doing what he's supposed to. After all, we have images of what being the proper wife is, and we're doing our best to live up to our end of the bargain, but is he holding up his end?

We're focused on what he is doing, not what we are doing, because we're used to giving ourselves a pass. We can always find reasons why it was okay for us not to be giving in that particular situation. We can always justify ourselves. But we rarely are so generous when it comes to accepting or excusing our husband's transgressions.

The other issue, I think, is a gender one. Deep inside we want him to make the first move. So if we feel like he's not treating us appropriately, we may withdraw and wait for him to make it up. And we think that's okay because he's supposed to treat us better than that.

What we don't see is what he is feeling. Chances are he's just as disillusioned as we are, because he had expectations going into the marriage, too, that aren't being met. And while this situation is quite typical for many newly married couples, whether or not it keeps going on is up to us. Unfortunately, for many couples, this becomes the normal state. For decades this is how they relate to each other: judgment, justification, resentment, withholding. It's all about my feelings and my rights.

And so we face a choice. Our husbands will always disappoint us because they are not US. They don't have the same opinions or values or expectations, so they can never live up to ours. So are we going to continue this cycle, or are we going to truly become one?
Here is the key to turning on this "oneness" part of marriage: understand that his feelings are now your feelings. His cares are now your cares. His concerns are now your concerns. Spiritually, that is a fact. And when we recognize the spiritual fact, we can start to act on it. And when we act on it, we may eventually start to feel it.
He doesn't need to justify his feelings; they are his feelings. And now that you are married, they should matter to you just as much as yours do. It matters when he's upset. Don't try to get him to justify it or talk him out it; be concerned about it. Because when he's upset, part of you is upset. It matters if he feels lonely or frustrated (or even sexually starved!), because that means you are lonely and frustrated, too. You are in this together.

If you can start putting as much weight on his feelings as you do yours, you'll likely find that your marriage will improve exponentially, because you're reaching out.

When you start valuing his feelings and his opinion on things, he's likely to reach out to you more. And as he reaches out to you, you are going to start feeling like one. It doesn't happen overnight. And I'm not saying you should accept sin, or not confront him on things that are important. I'm only saying that his viewpoint counts, and you need to give it the weight it deserves. Then, and only then, will you begin to feel like you're one.

The ball, I think, is in your court. If you want to feel like one, don't wait for him to change. Take his feelings seriously. And you may just gain a whole new outlook on marriage!

Now, what advice do you have for us today? Have you ever had to confront your fantasies and throw them aside? How did you do it? Or do you have something else to tell us? Write your own Wifey Wednesday post that links back to here, and then leave the link of THAT POST in the Mcklinky below. Thanks!

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At 7:28 AM , Blogger Christine said…

My husband does this very well, and I'm working on it. LOL I didn't even know what your topic would be, but my post fits. Feelings are such a lousy indicator of reality, aren't they??


At 8:38 AM , Blogger eLLe said…

It's amazing how much a marriage can change over the years. I've been with my husband for 7 years and I'm sure in another 7 years our relationship will look entirely different.

I find we're both really sensitive to each other's moods...sometimes it leads to great frustration. If my husband is in a bad mood or upset about something I tend to take it on myself, by the time he's feeling better I'm feeling lousy. The same happens with him when I'm in a bad mood.

I know that I need to work on saying what I mean. Usually the times my husband tries to figure out what I'm upset about I'm not upset about anything. We really both need to stop trying to read the other and just flat out tell each other when there's a problem. That's not to say this is a daily occurrence, but it does happen from time to time.


At 9:36 AM , Blogger Lori Alexander said…

This is such a great post. I had such high expectations on my husband when we first got married that I almost ruined our marriage. Thankfully, I learned truth and shaped up!


At 3:08 PM , Blogger Scott said…

Great post! I think becoming "one" happens over time as we learn to live more selflessly. I wish I'd learned this earlier in my marriage, but we are finally getting it after all these years (29 and counting). I have realized that because we are one, when my wife "wins" I win too!

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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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