I had a talk with a friend recently. He and his wife had just had a fight. It was not huge, it was not mean, but he knows his wife and knows that there will be hurt that he has to deal with. He is fearful that this will put a wedge between he and his wife, he felt (and still feels) that he needed to talk about those issues. Now he fears she will fall into a pattern that she has fallen into in the past which something like this: “I can’t trust you with my heart (or my body) because you hurt me. I have to pull away until I can trust you again.” I really feel for my friend, it is a hard place to be and yes, I have been there also.
There are some things that you need to know about that attitude, in case you or some of your friends ever exhibit it:
Withdrawing may make you feel better, but it will harm your relationship with your husband. It will cause him to withdraw from you. It will cause him to become even more critical and less patient. In short it will make the problems a whole lot worse than they currently are. (No, it is not right, it is not the way it should be, but it is the way it will all most certainly be.)
Remember that some problems do have to brought up. Chances are you have done this to, you have had to bring up some problems that made your husband uncomfortable. You did not do it to make him mad or to be mean, but you did because it was something that needed to be dealt with. The same thing is true for him. He sees something that he thinks needs to be fixed. Instead of getting mad at him, be grateful he cares enough to bring it up.
Acknowledge the hurt you have, but seek to forgive. Your hurt is real, your pain is real. However, no matter how much you are hurting, you still need to forgive your husband for what he did. You need to do this whether he asks for it or not. (Yes, it would best for him to ask for it and I truly hope he will.) It has always amazed me that Jesus spent so much time talking about the importance of forgiving others, He basically said, if we don’t forgive, we won’t be forgiven.
Your husband will never be perfect. That is okay, neither will you. Seems like I heard a great teacher say something like, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” You need to treat him the way you want to be treated. (Matt 7:12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”) Do you want to be held to a standard of perfection? No, I don’t blame you. Don’t hold him to that standard. Do you want to be forgiven when you behave wrongly, whether you ask for it or not? If your answer is, “No,” then forgive when you are wronged.
If we all think about it, we know that we should not expect perfection from our spouse, but I think sometimes, we conscientiously expect it. Let us do what we can to change this habit and to understand that we are all going to have bad days.