Making a Marital Attitude Adjustment

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We all want the happily ever after, but we often think it happens naturally.

I suppose I could get on my high horse (whatever that means) and preach a sermon here about reviving marriages by changing a wicked, hateful attitude to a sweet, endearing one.

But honestly, it’s not that simple, is it?  I don’t hate my husband; I’m madly in love with him. Crazy about him. So what needs to change? How can I revive my marriage through my attitude?

My incredible husband and I had a dinner conversation today about attitude in marriage.  He basically said that when either person is focused on his or her self and doesn’t think about the other, then the attitude needs serious adjustment.  He also gave an illustration that I’d not considered in a very long time.

When God created Eve from Adam, He didn’t use a heel bone. He didn’t use a piece of his skull.  God chose to take a rib from Adam’s side.  My honey relayed to me that he feels this is because man and woman will thrive when working together, side by side.  (You can see why I’m so crazy about him, right?)

But honestly, the area of my own attitude I’m confessing today is not one of hatred or malice towards my husband.  It’s not even the whole “I’m doing my part; you should be doing your part” thing.  My difficulty in the area of my attitude in marriage probably wouldn’t be noticed by most people. This attitude might be considered the complete opposite of outwardly speaking badly toward my husband (which I try to never do, though I have failed before. Sorry, Honey!!).

I believe that the most dangerous attitude one can have in marriage is:

Complacency.

You see, I have seven kids. One with special needs. And I’m privileged to work from home, so I get to be the one to take care of most of the cleaning, cooking, and general housework aside from what the children are assigned.  We have doctors appointments, dentist appointments, therapy appointments, school, homework, and extracurricular activities just like you do. And what happens in the middle of taking physical and mental care of my children and home responsibilities and work?

I forget about my husband. He works hard, never complains, and is committed.

But I get so caught up in taking care of my children and the many demands of every level of their care, doing my very best, rising early, staying up late, sacrificing just like most of you reading this… that I forget that my husband has needs too.  That I’m the only one who can meet those needs.  That I’m his helpmeet.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18 (ESV)

So what can I do about this attitude of forgetting- the one of just moving along in my own groove, forgetting that marriage is a dance for two?

I need to be purposeful about showing my love for him.

1. Plan time alone together.

2. Greet my husband with hugs and kisses, not complaints of the craziness of the day.

3. Leave notes for him.

4. Enjoy physical intimacy with him.

Often when writers write about a certain subject, I think we feel as though we have to make ourselves an authority on the topic.  Can I just tell you that I haven’t “arrived” in my marriage by any means?  I love my husband deeply.  In fact, our kids announced to us today that when they get older, they aren’t going to make out in front of their kids like we do, because that’s gross… :)

But I just want to encourage you to think about your marriage attitude, the same as I’m thinking about mine.

Do you have some ideas you could share about how to be purposeful about loving on your husband so the attitude of complacency doesn’t sneak up on you?  I’d love to read them in your comments below!

Comments

  1. Donna says

    Rachel,
    Thanks so much for your honesty and heart-warming words. I can so easily find myself in that place as well and it takes a lot of work and thought and intention, everyday. Among the two jobs and kids in school and sports and mundane everyday things that still have to get done, my energy is sapped at times. We have a daughter that just moved home with her baby girl and now we have this complication. I told her just this morning that maybe she should explore ways to work on her marriage because divorce is a lot more trouble and heartache that what she thinks she has experienced so far in her marriwage. She just doesn’t want to work at loving her husband, (her words, not mine). He isn’t perfect, but he isn’t an abuser, or addict, or adulterer. I am going to be better at loving my husband today. I’m not worried about tomorrow. I’m going to do it today. While he is here. While I have the chance and opportunity presents itself. I’m not going to let the problems of life interfere. God can take care of those if I will allow Him. Blessings to you.

  2. RachTurner says

    Complacency – wow. That’s not what I expected you to say and it is forcing me to sit here and re-evaluate my actions (or lack of) with regard to my husband. I have grown complacent – and a bit self-focused. Thanks for the wake up call this morning!

  3. Amy Alves says

    Rachel, This is good and so important. I know sometimes I take mine for granted. I get busy with the kids, the house, and my ministry desires, that sometimes I have little energy left for him by the days end. My first question I ask God is, “How do I fix this?” Do I “do” less during the day and try to conserve energy, or what? What I feel God speaking to me is all I need is a small perspective change. A looking OUT… at him and for him. Not just looking down at my own responsibilities and desires. Thanks for opening up a wonderfully needed discussion girl! I pray each of us wives reading has a WIDE-OPEN HEART today! ~ Blessings, Amy :)

  4. Beth says

    This is something I don’t feel like I read about much on other blogs–complacency in marriage. I think you’ve really struck on an attitude, Rachel, that is so insidious and subtle but so destructive to a marriage. Thanks so much for this reminder!

    • Rachel Wojnarowski says

      Thanks, Beth, for stopping by and for commenting. I am really convinced that this is a HUGE area of concern, especially for Christian women. “The little foxes spoil the grapes.”

  5. Marianne Evans says

    Just have to chime back in because man are the responses striking a chord with me! The devil is in the details – it’s the little things, that happen over time, that can lead to the crippling of solid and loving martial columns. Seldom will temptations/weaknesses simply walk in and hit you over the head. That’s to obvious–and too easily for many Christians to rebuke. The devil is far too sneaky for that. He’s patient, and he’s willing to do what he can with cracks and crevices that before long, if left unattended, will become a mighty gorge. (Who says writing isn’t a journey – the topic of covenant marriage and forever commitment, despite turmoils and hardships, is a topic I’ve explored and been captivated by! It’s SO important!! God bless you for affirming that truth, Rachel!)

  6. Michele-Lyn says

    I have seen your picture in the Everything Launch group lots lately :) It’s the first time I saw you at a link-up that I participated in. I am glad I saw you. I always visit the blogger who is linked-up before me, but this time the blog before me was in a different language. German, I think :)

    Any how, thank you for your honest post and sound, humble advice. I am not an authority on the subject of marriage either, even after 15 years :)

    Blessings…

    Michele-Lyn

    • Rachel Wojnarowski says

      Michele-Lyn: Thanks for coming by! I love Mary DeMuth and the book! Can’t wait to see what God does through the release of Everything! Thanks for coming by and bless you for your kind words. God is good. All the time.

  7. Marcie says

    Beautiful reminders and advice for all married couples! I think what I’ve been learning each day is the best marriages have grace. So simple but so hard. Having the understanding and expectation that your spouse will mess and to give them grace. It’s contagious and when you show grace its bound to encourage your affections for Christ even more because you realize His grace displayed to you as you mess up each day. I would love for you to link this up at my Homemaking Party :).

  8. Tresta says

    Thank you, Rachel. Timely advice as fall brings craziness into full swing for us! My husband works so hard and is a faithful man, and it is easy to become more of a co-laborer and less of a helpmeet, know what I mean? So yes, thank you for the attitude check!

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