There I was in my car in the garage processing through the events of my day.
You know those days where everything just seems to go wrong? This was that day. From dropping a smoothie onto the floor in the morning to having a rough interaction with a friend to work being rather difficult. The day just felt like it would never end.
I remember feeling completely beaten down and frustrated. I was overwhelmed and depleted.
But what do I remember most about that day?
I remember Adam sitting with me, allowing me to process, and comforting me. Our marriage grew so much that day. I knew that I could trust him with my struggles and that he would be there with me.
Remember that scene from “Inside-Out” where Sadness and Joy realize that sad memories can lead to joyful memories? That’s exactly what this was. My horrible day led to a closeness and care from my husband.
This was a story from a while ago, but it got me thinking about these last few months of crazy. We, as the human race, are going through something traumatic. And it looks different for all of us. Each of us has a story as to why these last couple of months have been difficult. Each of us has had and will have hard days because of everything going on.
In the midst of it all, how can we support each other in our marriages and turn these bitter moments into sweet, relationship building memories?
- Allow each other to process without judgment.
- Respond with compassion, not a sermon
- Remind your spouse that you are there and that you love them
- “Is there anything I can do?”
Sometimes our spouse just needs us to listen to their hearts and give them the space to be upset or hurt. Allow your spouse to talk about their anger, their fears, and their struggles without trying to fix the problem.
We talk a lot about centering ourselves back on Jesus and His truth, and this is absolutely a good thing, but when our spouse has struggles or hurts, we need to BE with our spouse and seek to understand, rather than spouting a sermon or trying to spiritualize away their feelings. Being with them, seeking to understand, and responding with compassion will show them Jesus more than preaching at our spouse ever could.
Spiritualizing away feelings and not allowing our spouse to process and feel their feelings can actually be pretty damaging for a marriage. This response takes away safety and security.
Jesus had incredible compassion for people. When people were hurting or struggling, He took care of their physical and emotional needs. He sat with them in their hurt. He cried with them. He sought to make people feel cared for and loved.
“Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36
One of the biggest blessings of a Christ-centered healthy marriage is having a partner to go through the difficult things with. When you go through difficult times, remind your spouse that they are not alone and that they have a support system behind them.
Ask your spouse if there is anything that you can do to help ease their load a bit. Maybe this is cooking dinner, taking care of the kids for the evening, going to get some ice cream with them, or even just giving them some space to watch a movie by themselves. Whatever it is, seek to serve your spouse.
If your spouse has difficulty expressing their wants and needs (like I do), then seek to serve them in a way you know they might like. This may look like a massage (without any expectations), giving them some space, setting up a bubble bath… it’s all about what would help your spouse to relax and unwind.
The question really comes down to, how can we show our spouse love and compassion?
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” – 1 John 4:7
By actively loving your spouse during their rough day, you will build trust, security, and safety.
Do you have a story of how your spouse has shown you love? We’d love to hear about it!