You need to stop tolerating your spouse.
Jenna’s* husband scrapes his plate at the end of a meal to get every last edible drop onto his fork, then into his mouth. At first, she thought it was a one-off thing – he must’ve really liked that stir-fry. But three years and 3,285 bone-china-chilling meals later, his habit is really getting on her nerves. So much so, that she looks forward to meals without him! Worse yet, to avoid conflict she tries to tolerate the pet peeve.
“The first five years were the worst!” Pam* said, laughing about her and her husband Jim’s* somewhat rocky pathway to healthy conflict.
“We tried the whole ‘don’t let the sun go down on your anger’ technique, but one night we were up until 3 a.m. trying to resolve something that we’d both forgotten about,” Pam recalled. “At that point we were both emotionally drained and exhausted and nothing was getting any better.”
Jim nodded stoically remembering that night.
Maybe you’re familiar with this scenario: Driving together in the car, both of you looking straight ahead and not saying a word. Someone apparently was in the wrong, and the other person is bound and determined for this fact to be acknowledged. Yet nothing can move forward because no one is saying anything.
Question: I understand now why the Bible urges us not to be “unequally yoked.” My spouse and I are not on the same page spiritually, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile our differences in this area. What would you recommend?
Question: My wife has always been critical of everything I do. After several years of marriage, I've come to point where I just can't take it anymore. I don't believe in divorce, so we’re sleeping in separate rooms and living separate lives under the same roof. Now she wants me to forgive her so that we can move forward in our marriage, but from my perspective it's not quite that easy. Her cutting words still burn in my memory, and I'm not ready to become vulnerable again. What should I do?