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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Open-Heart Marriage {Five Minute Friday / Inspire me Monday / The Weekend Brew}

Time for Five-Minute Friday , hosted by Kate Motaung. The challenge is to write for five minutes on a given "theme word", posted by Kate on Thursday night...and then stop when the timer dings.

Today's word is open..

We're also linked to Inspire me Monday.


Can you be open in your marriage? can you open up your heart?

Emotional intimacy is one of the key points of a good marriage...but it's much harder to achieve than it might seems, because as the relationship deepens, we learn more about the person with whom we've chosen to share our life.

Including how to hurt him or her, and we we often - too often - use that information, either deliberately, or in reaction to a perceived hurt...or even a perceived threat of hurt.

It's a vicious cycle, and we learn that marriage is not a terribly safe place, sometimes. We're vulnerable...too vulnerable.

How can we step out of this conundrum? Can we even get out?

I think, yes, we can, but it takes an act of will, and no little courage.

  • First, we have to learn that pain is a part of the deal, and that we can absorb the blows - without hitting back. We can be bigger than the arrows loosed against us. We can let it go
How? By trusting the marriage, rather than the moment. The promise, and the history, are worth far more than a few words said in anger. let it go.
  • Second, we can guard our end of the conversation, and check - every time we speak - that we are not about to say a hurtful thing, or that we're hitting back.
Not easy, but what this really takes is the discipline to think first, then talk. Don't try to implement this in the heat of argument, first off!

Practice on the easy stuff. Like, before you say, "Good morning", think about how you might want to phrase it differently. get into the habit of thinking first. then, when the chips are down, it won't be so tough.

And you'll have taken the first step to being a person with whom your spouse can open his or her heart...and helping your spouse become someone to whom you can open yours.


If you have a moment, please visit me at my other blog, "Starting The Day With Grace".


  1. Great advice, Andrew! Especially practicing thought before speech with simple, neutral things :). A good marriage require openness, intentionality and lots of forgiveness :).

    1. Absolutely right...especially about forgiveness.

  2. It always amazed me, the amount of grace my husband shows me when I fall short. Very much like the Christ-church relationship model I would say. And, always working on this makes for a happy marriage.

    1. I love the way you said this. Thank you - your comment matters, and I hope it inspires many readers.

  3. mmm ... how do I become safe for my spouse? that's what I'm thinking as I leave here today.

    thanks, Andrew.

    1. It's a hard thing to do. part of it starts, maybe, with being safe for ourselves, and turning off the self-loathing/conceit dichotomy that many of us have playing in our heads, in a wordless conversation, through much of the day.

  4. I love your words of advice: "...the discipline to think first, then talk." We all need to practice this, in life as well as in marriage.

    Great post!

    1. Thank you! Yes, it's a discipline needed in life, from school days onward.

      When i was teaching, I'd often deal with frustrated students who would come to my office, and say things that I could see they wanted to take back. They said what was on their mind, and I was glad that they felt free to do so, but in some contexts they could have ruined relationships or wrecked careers.

      The question, "Do you want to rethink what you just said?" could work wonders with some.

  5. Yes, Andrew...think first then talk! Sounds so easy, but in reality, it isn't! But it certainly is something I need to do for sure!

    Thanks for sharing your post on "Open"!

    1. You are so right...

      Thank you for being here!

  6. Great ideas on marriage and making it safe for you and your spouse. It is too easy to hurt whether deliberately or accidentally. Thank you for sharing at The Weekend Brew.