Constructive vs. Destructive

I am reading  Ed Young’s, The 10 Commandments of Marriage.








I started it a few months ago. It could have been a short read, but my time management skills are obviously lacking. I have a house full of boys who I love, one of them being a seven-month-old who recently started teething. I will use him as my excuse as to why my daily plans aren’t really plans at all. 🙂

I do my best to get in a little bit of this book every day, but some days I only get one page in!

Honestly, taking it slow through this book has been beneficial.
It gives me time between fragments to really take it in, and time to apply it.
So I am digging it.

My marriage is a lot of fun. I have a an honest, caring, hilarious, hard-working, sweet, thoughtful, husband. He always remembers details. He never forgets an important date, he writes sweet things in my cards, opens doors for me, I get sweet texts more than twice a day, we have a rockin’ physical attraction, he still winks at me and kisses my forehead. He invests time into ‘us’ and is good about balancing his work, friendships, and being a daddy. Our sons love & respect him and he makes sure to take time out every day to read to them, ask about their day, and chill with them.
God has seriously given me a gift; this is the only man in the world that I want to do life with.

But even so, our marriage is still very hard work. It almost forces me to my personal max every day. When we have busy lives and polar opposite personalities, it sort of happens.

My personal Recovery has taught me a lot about the importance of continually self-improving.

One big part of my life is focused on evolving, learning, and growing; living in maintenance mode so I don’t risk getting stuck in a state of stagnation.

The other part is about remaining grateful for being alive to live this life, and never forgetting who I owe this second chance to.

Recovery has allowed me to uncover, face, and accept all of my many shortcomings, weaknesses, and character defaults. I know what I need to work on, and I try really hard to learn ways to keep improving. I also know that I am a chronic mistake-maker, and that’s alright too.

I don’t throw or break things when I am angry anymore.
I try not to allow myself to verbally attack, or say mean-spirited /smart-as* stuff that pops into my mind when we have a disagreement.
I rarely use my words as a spirit devouring machete.
I don’t utilize my skills in the silent treatment department, and I don’t abruptly leave as much.

Not perfect in these areas, but they are definitely far and few between.

The 10 Commandments of Marriage aligns directly with three key factors played a humongous role in my growth in Recovery: 

*You can’t fix a problem by saying it’s not there. (It will turn into resentment, anger, etc)
*You can’t fix other people. (Leave that to God)
*Communication is key. (To form lasting and thriving relationships)

I can apply the same principles directly to my marriage. 

I am not reading this book because my marriage is failing or on the verge of falling apart.
I am reading it because over the last ten years, we have gone through a lot.
We have become stronger and closer, but we are still human beings who make mistakes.
We still hit bumps and have arguments.
This past year one, of these bumps threw me right off of the road.
I felt like I was shot gunned right through my gut. (and no, it was not infidelity, or in that realm).

But it was time to choose.

I could have chosen to quit and derail the last ten years piece by piece. I could whine, complain, and allow sadness and anger to take over my life. I could begin to look at my husband as a giant mistake maker, who is unworthy of my forgiveness and who isn’t capable of truly being apologetic. I could could silence my anger by making him look as terrible as possible, by bashing him to any listening ear.

Or, I could learn how to handle this in a constructive way, rather than a destructive way.
I could learn to forgive him, just like he has forgiven me in the past. I could seek wise counsel from people that I trust, and from people who truly want to help us get through this trail.
(Read about that here) I could learn how to make this situation work for us, helping us grow even closer. I could offer him Grace, because I have been given so much of it in my lifetime.
I could try my damndest to love like Jesus. 

So if you are a husband basher, or a chronic complainer of all things marital…
before you begin to lace up your gloves for 12 rounds of very public husband bashing

Think about this.
It is an annoyance to people who are trying to learn and utilize constructive tools to repair a marriage. It does a disservice to other women who are susceptible to being sucked into that kind of talk.

As hard as it may be during your time of need – try focusing on the good. Try not speaking of your husband publicly or within a group of women, unless you are complimenting him or speaking of positive progress that the BOTH of you are making.

As friends we are called to help our fellow ladies and sitting back and supporting this kind of ranting, is not helping our friends who are very much in need of some real help and guidance.


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