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Friday, November 22, 2013

What Your Spouse Needs.from You

Hugs? Yes, absolutely, but everyone needs them, not just spouses.

Attention? Yes, but so do your kids and pets.

Money? Don't go there.

Nice tries all, but they miss the mark. What your spouse - wife or husband - really needs is RESPECT.

You'd think it would be a no-brainer. All too often it is - a literal no-brainer, as in "he picked up the laundry and left his brain on the counter".

How many times have you seen couples that trade verbal 'zingers' in your presence? Watching two people who should have a care for each other - and who should know better - trade barbed comments across a dinner table isn't pretty.

Maybe they think it's funny?

Actually - yes, they do. When Barbara and I divorced (we are remarried, don't worry!) we went to counseling. I was a smug, self-satisfied jackass, and I spent a good part of the time making what I thought were clever comments...until the counselor (a Catholic priest) told me to shut the f*** up.

I learned, too late, and then kept learning until we were able to reach back and save our marriage.

Insulting each other in public is bad, but talking about a spouse behind his or her back is worse, because it sets up the unwitting party as the 'last to know'.

And it's so common. Hang out with men, and soon enough you'll hear them complain about their wives, and tell stories about how airheaded their 'woman' is.

And - I'm told - women do much the same thing, in talking about their husbands.

"Hey, we're just venting." Really? Venting is talking to a neutral person, like a clergyman or a counselor. Talking to someone who's already 'on your side' builds a consensus against your mate.

Yes, a consensus. Against the person you promised to love, honor, and cherish (unless you're venting to your buds).

Marriage is the ultimate vulnerability to which an adult can be open. We come open-handed for a reason.

Honor that.


  1. I think we are simply not taught how to treat each other ... we see bad examples and as a younger person, we think that is how marriage is. My uncle talked awful to his wife for years at every family gathering ... all for laughs. And sadly, he got the laughs. After nearly 30 years, she left him. Broke my heart ... but I wasn't surprised. We can't change the past ... but we can purpose to do better hereafter. How people survive without God, on bended knee ... is beyond me.

    1. That's such a sad story, Shelli, but unfortunately so typical.

      The plague of humanism in our society breeds arrogance - we think we're the king of the hill. Unfortunately, it's a dunghill of which we're royalty.

      Unless we turn to JC,and accept the humility that He accepted, which leads to true royalty, and the grace that attends it.

  2. Spot on, my friend. Undermining each other in public, behind each others backs, or even behind closed doors - it's taking an axe to the root.

    Great post, great reminder.

    Hugs and prayers to you and Barb.

    1. Beautiful metaphor, Becky. Exactly right.

      Hugs and prayers back at you!