How many times have you and your spouse begun arguing only to realize you were both right? Probably not many times, but I am sure it’s happened. That would reveal a communication issue about the reason you are arguing.
How many times have you found something your spouse did wrong?
Now that’s happened often, maybe for some even daily! How often do you point it out to your spouse? Now we are getting to heart of the matter that I call the earthquakes in our marriage.
Why do I call these moments “earthquakes?” It is this sound advice that I hope you will take to heart. “When you find a fault in your marriage, don’t dwell on it.”
“When you find a fault in your marriage, don’t dwell on it.”
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Natural disasters are a part of life in every region of the world. In the United States, where we live, the southeast, especially Florida, is under constant threat of hurricanes. In the north, it’s blizzards. In the southeast to midwest, it is the reality of tornados that can come and go with barely any warning, and on the west coast, especially in California, they face the possibility of earthquakes.
An earthquake is the shaking and moving of the ground because two plates of the earth’s crust have shifted which can cause tremors on the surface. These lines of separation deep in the earth are called fault lines. This is dangerous because our infrastructure can complicate things. Roads can break apart, bridges can become disconnected, buildings can topple, and large cracks in the ground can open. A single event can create much havoc on the surface and a potential to create tsunamis across the ocean!
In our marriages, there are faults. You have faults. Your spouse has faults. Sometimes it is a rare occurring fault, and sometimes you see the same one over and over throughout your marriage. How do you deal with it? Like our advice says earlier, “When you find a fault in your marriage, don’t dwell on it.” It does no good to simply point it out, get upset, create a scene, and then let it blow over only to repeat the cycle at a later date, so what is the recommended course of action?
Mention the fault that you see. There has to be communication, and we need to be open to communication from our spouse about the faults we have. I hope we all understand that we have faults. Now the issue can be how to address it properly. The greatest approach is mentally taking a moment to think of a way to address it lovingly without attitude or anger.
Ask if there is a way to help. The fine line here is in tone of voice and attitude. Asking in a loving way can be very helpful. The problem is that many of us ask with an edge in our voice that is really communicating that if our spouse cannot do it right then you will just have to do it yourself. This would make things worse not better.
Forgive and let it go. Here is where our advice comes into play. We are to help each other, not simply point out where they fail. Whether the issue is truly resolved to your liking is actually not the point. The fault you have pointed out will likely occur again unless intentional action is taken on your spouse’s part which means you cannot hold on to it to remind them about it later. This serves to prove yourself right at the expense of your spouse. That is not an ingredient of a healthy marriage. Self-centeredness is the enemy of marriage.
“Self-centeredness is the enemy of marriage.”
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Anticipate to help. Do not ambush your spouse by anticipating their failure and then pointing it out to show how they “always” do it wrong. In fact, if you are going to anticipate a fault, do so with the intentionality to help. When done in a loving manner, this will show your spouse you are aware of what they need and will take your marriage to a new level of healthiness and happiness. A healthy marriage anticipates each other’s faults to keep them from becoming earthquakes in our lives.
So how do you do in this area? What are your spouse’s faults? It’s ok to think on this if you intend to help them. Remember, when you find a fault in your marriage, don’t dwell on it.