The best marriage advice I ever received was said to me many years ago, and I can't even remember who said it to me or where I heard it.
But looking back, I realize this one tip has single-handedly avoided more problems, more trouble and more ugly drama than any other thing we have done in 14 years of marriage.
It's a simple suggestion, but such a significant one.
The Best Marriage Advice:
Don't ever complain about your husband to anybody.
Not your friend, not your neighbor and definitely not your Mama.
Don't disguise your complaints as jokes. Don't let them slip out as sarcasm.
And definitely don't dress them up and call them “prayer requests” when you're really just complaining. (Heart Check!)
We choose whether or not we are going to be happy. Our thoughts and our words shape how we feel about people. Dwelling on your husband's negative traits produces bitterness against him. You plant seeds of discontent that are hard to root out in yourself and you also plant them in the people having to listen to you. What may seem like harmless venting can impact your listeners in quiet, but deep-rooted ways:
- They don't love your husband as much as you do. When you've long-forgotten today's issue, they haven't.
- If it's a big issue, it can be hard for them to forgive. If it's a small issue, you have damaged their respect for your husband.
- Complaining about your husband makes you look foolish. After all, if he's such a cad, why did you choose to marry him in the first place?
The Most Surprising Result:
Most of us are married to good-willed men who have irritating traits. Ultimately, marriage is about taking two sinners and putting them under the same roof. There will be differences, irritations and things that just generally drive you crazy. There are things about my husband that drive me around the bend and there are definitely things about me that my husband would love to see change. But those things are like a little secret we have. They're cloaked in a comfortable, safe veil of privacy that only he and I know about.
Obviously, I'm talking about minor irritations and character flaws.
I‘m not talking about keeping abuse or extremely serious sin issues private. Genuinely seeking appropriate help for lasting change is not the same as complaining.
Come to think of it, this doesn't just apply to our husbands. Wouldn't the world would be a better place if we didn't complain about anyone? How would your world change if you didn't complain about your husband? Or your children? Or your inlaws? Or your irritating neighbor?
What is the best marriage advice you ever received? Tell me in the comments!
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