Maybe he doesn’t love me as much anymore. Maybe our relationship is turning pale pink from bright red. Maybe I deserve better than him. Maybe he’s not really the one. Maybe he finds other girls more attractive than you. Maybe a time will come when he will finally leave you.
These thoughts haunted me for a while. I couldn’t speak about it because I was ashamed for having entertained these thoughts knowing that I am married to a good man. He makes me laugh every day. He is faithful to me and to the Lord. He does everything to provide me with the best. But why did I still have these thoughts?
I love being romantic. I love expressing my feelings. I love showing my husband how much I appreciate him by greeting him with a warm good morning, a few minutes to cuddle, and a cup of coffee. I like randomly texting him even once during the day to let him know I remember him during a busy day because he matters to me. I love that my husband loves being romantic to me, too. I’d say that these are one of my strengths in marriage.
However, can also be my weakness. I’m not a loving person every day because I am just human- I get tired and occupied by other things. I’m not at my best every day. But even when my dull days come, I know I love Mark. However, when Mark has his dull days, it’s so hard for me to understand without taking it personal.
There were days when I was so ready to shower him with so much attention, appreciation, and affection while he had his dull moments. I felt rejected because he wasn’t reciprocating my emotions and actions. This was something that I shouldn’t have taken too personal because I knew how busy Mark was as his graduation approached. I knew how valid his reasons were.
The enemy used this weakness to make me withdraw from my husband. “You know what? Maybe you need to make him work harder TO EARN YOUR LOVE? He’s too confident that you will never leave him”. The Lord suddenly reminded me, “you know very well that love is not earned. You know how much Mark loves you”. But to tell you the truth, I entertained the enemy’s temptation more than God’s truth.
So, our mornings became cold because even when Mark greets me, I would be passive “to make him work harder for my love”. He also stopped receiving random sweet messages from me because “he should text first or he doesn’t deserve a text from me”. I stopped thanking him for his efforts in making me happy because he “might start slacking off” if I do. Pshh. What was I thinking?! I’m way more than this!
This is the very mindset that makes a man feel that his woman is never pleased, always disappointed, and sees nothing but wrong in him. I made my husband feel this way. I could’ve potentially discouraged my husband in doing his best to pursue me. I made him feel like he wasn’t enough; that what he does is never enough. There are two things I could have done better:
- I could have fought this battle with my husband instead of bringing it against him.
- I could have focused on God’s truth about my husband instead of putting the spotlight on the lies and the maybe’s.
I tried telling Mark how I felt but no matter how gentle I tried to say it, I ended up complaining so much and attacking his efforts and character. It was because I spoke more of the lies, the doubts, and what if’s more than the truth. I spoke without considering his hard work in our marriage. I spoke as if I didn’t know his heart.
Our conversation was an exchange of,
“You’re not that sweet anymore”, “Hon? Weren’t we okay for a couple of days and we spent so much time laughing and cuddling? What’s wrong suddenly?”
Then, I reply with more doubts and “gentle” attacks. My husband ends up trying harder every time and I still end up focusing on the lies about him. That he doesn’t love me as much anymore, or that his ego is being fed too much, or that his eyes were set on other girls. When in fact, he has not done a single thing worth doubting- be it his love, his humbleness, or his faithfulness.
I’m still glad the Lord let me go through this “petty” thing, because I learned so much. I thought this was just an immature thing to go through, that it was all about me being needy and wanting to be maintained. Thinking of that made me feel ashamed of myself. But God had a deeper purpose for it. It was a way for me to realize the importance to truly get to know my husband, his heart, and who he is in the Lord.
On a season when all other areas of my life seemed to be blurred, a friend of mine suggested, “why don’t you write down all the lies you are being told versus God’s truth behind it?”. So, I did.
I wrote the lies and God’s truth about myself, me being a mom, a blogger, my family, and marriage. Here’s a little glimpse of what I wrote down:
Lie: Mark doesn’t work hard enough to make me feel loved.
God’s truth: Even after an exhausting day, he would make time to cook for me, assist me with other chores, and finally lay down beside me. Did he do these things for nothing? Or did he do it because he wanted to make me feel loved?
Lie: My happiness is not a priority to my husband
God’s truth: He always does his best to make me smile. I remember all the times I have cravings, he would go to far places to get me what I want and cook for me if he has to. I remember the days when I missed our daughter so bad. He made a way for me to be able to be with her for at least one week even if he had to bring her to his classes and take her with him while running his errands while I focus in class and just come home to the both of them. That’s because my happiness is very important to him.
Lie: My husband is not romantic enough
God’s truth: Romance is dependent on emotions, love is based on commitment. Because of Mark’s commitment to me, he enjoys being romantic to me. But he can’t be romantic every day because some days, he can also be occupied with other things. Love is his every day commitment to me, to nourish me and cherish me, even on days when he can’t be romantic.
Lie: My husband is starting to be attracted to other women
God’s truth: Mark’s heart and eyes are focused on God. And when he looks at God, He reminds Mark how to love and care for me. If his heart and eyes were focused on me, they may still wander. But since they are focused on God, He holds it dear. He always guides and protects us and our marriage.
Lie: My husband’s love for me is fading
God’s truth: As Mark grew more mature in wisdom and in spirit, so did his understanding of love. And because of this, he knew how to love me better. If anything, that means that his love for me is getting even more vivid! I know how every day, he desires to be a better partner for me. But like me, Mark will not always be at his best every day.
I want to share this clear truth: marriages are the enemy’s favorite target. When spouses are attacked and stricken, the whole family is shattered. It’s like hitting many birds with one stone. And the first attack are small lies that grow into doubt.
After quietly dealing with this trouble with the Lord, my heart felt peace again. Even when there are days that Mark is a little more quiet than usual, I was sure of his love for me.
But then, it hit me again. For some reason, on a Tuesday, I was expecting so much from Mark again. I don’t know exactly why. I was expecting him to text me and to be very warm to me. He was! But I just thought I missed his cuddles and all out sweetness that day (even though he just was a couple days before). I felt like he was being passive. I would have loved it if he was warmer in replying to my texts or stopped ignoring the comments I leave in his accounts. Petty, I know. But my love language is words of affirmation. I get hurt when I get no response from loved ones and I get more hurt when I get negative verbal response. It was the same day that he had so much errands to run for his graduation, too. It was inconsiderate of me to expect that much that day. So, about to believe the lies again, I stayed quiet.
“Maybe he is losing interest” “Maybe I’m the only one trying in our marriage” “Maybe, maybe, maybe….”
Mark asked me if there was anything that was bothering me. I said, “Yes, but I don’t want to talk about it now”. I wanted to be careful with what I say to avoid the same mistakes as I did a few weeks back. I wanted to pray about it first. That night, I gave Mark a peck before I left to meet my girl friends who also happen to be my prayer partners.
And wow, the Lord surely knows what I need to hear! That same night, my girls and I talked about speaking God’s truth about circumstances. When we talked about that, I suddenly realized all the lies I have been getting in my head: that I am not good enough in blogging, that I am not a good wife, that I lack as a student, that I should turn away from my calling because it gets “too personal”, and the lies about my husband.
As the conversation got deeper, one of my friends said, “see?! The enemy is trying to make you turn your back from your calling but God has already revealed the truth to you. He already told you He’d make you capable and He has already shown you many times that He is with you in each step you take!”
Talking about “speaking God’s truth above circumstances”, the truth about my husband came rushing down my heart again: MY HUSBAND LOVES ME SO MUCH AND THERE IS NOT A DAY HE DIDN’T WORK TO SHOW AND MAKE ME FEEL THAT.
When I got home, Mark was so excited to know how my night went. He loves hearing how much fun I had and how much I learned from others. Then, I said, “Honey I am ready to talk about why I was quiet a while ago”. I said, “I couldn’t tell you what was bothering me because I felt ashamed of myself for feeling that way over such small things, but in my heart I also felt like those small things also really mattered. But instead of telling you what made me feel bad, can I just speak truth? Can I tell you what makes me happy instead? Because these are the things I am sure of, things that are true, and things that you always do”. And then, he quietly listened.
I went on by saying, “I love it when you remember me in the middle of the day. Even with a simple and short text”, “I love it when you show me off to your friends online and offline. I really like it when you express how happy you are to have me”, “I love it when you acknowledge my messages and comments warmly because my simple ways and words are my languages of love for you”, “I love it when you verbalize your feelings for me”, “Whenever you do these things, it makes me truly happy”.
He said, “Wow honey. That means so much. Thank you for appreciating me. I’ll make sure to be even more intentional in making you happy. I’m sorry I made you feel that way. But I still want to know, what bothered you a while ago? I want to improve on that, too”.
And so I told him what bothered me and he said, “Thank you for telling me that. I didn’t think those things would make you feel that way, but I’ll work on that”. True to his words, my husband did! Since we recently started spending most of the time of the day together, he also started being more vocal about his feelings for me in person. We’re more on a face to face communication now than texts because we spend more time together than apart while studying and doing work (for now).
Now, every time something feels wrong, instead of complaining, I just start speaking the truth out loud to him and he loves it! He is more motivated to do better and I see him actually working to improve himself. For example, instead of saying “you don’t like helping me out because if you do, you’d be doing the dishes right now”, I say, “honey, it would be a really big help for me if you did the dishes. I’m always happy when you lend me a hand”. Lo and behold, the dishes are gone and he dashes out the door to pick up the laundry and run other errands. It also works when I want him to improve on his romance “It makes me so happy when you are this sweet!” and he remains sweet and romantic for daysss!
So you see? Speaking the truth above circumstances does make a ton of difference. Whether it be on marriage or just your personal life. Sometimes we get too drawn in the lies around us that we start living based on those lies. We think our partners aren’t good enough so we treat them as if they’re not good enough. We think we can never make it, so we stop trying.
Live above the circumstances and speak the truth above circumstances. It’s a really good way to gauge where you are really at. It helps you see whether what’s coming for you is from the Lord or just another temptation from the enemy.
I’m not so sure how many of you can relate to me on this, but I am sharing it anyway knowing that they might be at least one person who has been going through this like me. I want you to know that this feeling, no matter how “petty” you think this is, can also bring growth to you and your marriage when you lift it up to the Lord and ask for wisdom and His truth.
I am always here for you.