One day Terry and I were having a fight/debate/heated conversation/whatever you call it to make yourself feel better about your relationship and Terry said to me, “You’re mean. You don’t have to speak to me so mean.” Yeah, it may have sounded like a schoolyard argument, but it really struck me. I never wanted to come across mean to my future husband and certainly not over something so small as a wedding registry. I knew I could be a firecracker and I came from a family of outspoken (to say the least) women. Honestly, the idea of letting a man have all of my power scared me, but this wasn’t just any man. This was my future husband and the father of my child, who had never even given me a reason to believe he was trying to take my power away from me. I realized then that there was an even scarier possibility I was facing: becoming a person who talks to their spouse like a disobedient puppy. I did not want to start slipping, sliding, and getting loose down that slope so I needed to do something and fast.
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The next day, I talked to my sister (and most trusted confidant) and told her about Terry’s comment from the night before. She was married and knew exactly where I was coming from. Her temper and mouth was much feistier than mine. She told me she had to learn how to control her tone and choice of words in her relationship as well and recommended a book to me that my mother gave her when she first got married, A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George. She said it helped her relationship tremendously and my brother-in-law didn’t even know she read it; he probably thought he finally got her in check (imagine that lol). I ordered the book on Amazon prime and two nights later I found myself in my baby’s nursery reading it after a failed attempt to control my temper after yet another fight about our wedding.
I was in that book highlighting like a college freshman the night before finals. I have never read relationship advice that made this much sense, all while telling me what I had been doing was wrong. After reading it, I was able to bite my tongue better and be more supportive and loving towards Terry. The amazing thing is it didn’t feel like I was losing any part of myself or stroking his ego. Instead, it felt like I was creating a healthy relationship and home environment. I was less stressed because of it and we were better as a team. Of course some situations were harder than others and I’m still not perfect but I am soooo much better and smarter about the way I love and communicate with my future husband.
I know I’m a newbie, probably a wannabe at this point, at this wife stuff but I know this book got me off to a great start. If you are struggling with communication or being loving to your mate and are open to learning how to be a more loving wife, I would strongly recommend this book. It does have a religious perspective and relating everything back to God was really helpful for me, but as my sister pointed out, no matter where you are in your spiritual journey, the advice in this book really can help you live a happier and more full life. She talks in detail not just about being a better wife, but being a better mother, manager of your time and home whether you are in a relationship or not, and all-around woman after God’s own heart. Here are some of my favorite gems from the book:
- On Being a Wife
“You reveal your respect for your husband in little daily acts. Do you, for instance, ask your husband to do something — or do you tell him? Do you stop, look, and listen to him when he’s talking? Do you speak about him with respect to your children, your parents, and others?”
- On Motherhood
“We don’t give motherly love in order to receive praise, thanks, recognition, or good behavior. (Those things may never come.) No, we give our love in a myriad of practical forms simply because God expects that of mothers.”
- On Keeping a Home
“What do people see when they enter your house? Do they find calm or chaos? Peace or pigpen? Evidence of preparation or procrastination?”
- On Time Management
“Say no-Make your schedule. Let it be Plan A. Then follow your plan by saying no to yourself and to others.”
- On Spiritual Growth and Ministry
“We are saved to serve and serving requires that we be full of things eternal, things worth sharing. Our fullness becomes the overflow that is our ministry. It is what we have to give and pass on to others.”