1 Incredibly Simple Thing I Have Done That Has Vastly Improved My Marriage

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I was never a big fan of the show King of the Hill.  The comedy was pretty dry for me and not that appealing.  However, one of the few episodes that I remember had one of my favorite quotes in it that I have ever seen on a TV show.  The episode is called Bobby Goes Nuts and I will spare you the details.  However, after Bobby refuses to obey his injured father, Hank, Peggy steps in, hands her glasses off to Hank and says,

“That is it.  I would not let a stranger, let alone my own son,
think for one second that they could get away with showing any disrespect
toward the man that I love.
You do that, and you have to deal with Peggy Hill.”

It has always made me smile.  Peggy was never the perfect wife, but she was entirely and unconditionally devoted to that uptight redneck husband of hers, just as much as Hank was devoted to her.  And when she saw that Hank couldn’t defend himself from Bobby’s disobedience, she felt no shame in stepping in to defend her husband.  It was one of the few moments in the entire series that I felt was redeeming.

I am like Peggy — Michael is the most kindhearted, gentle and honorable man I know.  I couldn’t imagine sitting idly by and listen to anyone disrespect him.  Heck, I get angry when I hear some of the stories he tells me about things that happened to him in his past with other people!  And I would and do stand up for him when I hear someone say anything less than flattering about my husband.

But I realized one day that there was one person whom I would tolerate badmouthing my husband, and sometimes relentlessly.  During one difficult period I actually allowed this person to badmouth my husband quite fervently and without a hint of retaliation, showing him great disrespect and dishonor.

And that person was me.

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Any time I felt upset with Michael, or felt unappreciated or disrespected myself, I would silently seethe and run through all his bad qualities in my head, going over his failures and mistakes for extended periods of time, sometimes even days on end if I was really upset.  I don’t think there is a single person in the world who doesn’t do this when they get upset at their spouses.  It’s a natural response, to begin building a wall when we have been hurt.  And it is one of the worst things you can do when you are hurt, is block the other person from finding a way into your heart again.  We can cause ourselves and our relationships so much pain and anguish when we dwell on the negative qualities of our partners.

So I promised myself that I wouldn’t allow myself to think any negative thoughts about my husband anymore.  Nothing.  Not one single negative thing.  I stopped dwelling on his negative qualities (a list that is truly quite short and unimportant) and focused solely on his positive (and there are a LOT of those!).  I gave myself permission to release any anger I felt towards him, to give it up and leave it with Jesus, and to focus solely on his strengths, rather than his weaknesses.

Now, when I am upset over something and feel anger, I don’t dwell on it for very long.  I release it, give it away and start thinking about the good things.  He might be tired and laze around on the couch all weekend, but he worked so hard all week beforehand!  And he made sure that I got a chance to have my bath last night and watched the kids.  And he stopped watching that television show that I didn’t like when I’m around.  And he made sure there was enough money in the grocery budget to buy me more cocoa.  And he really appreciated my frugal meal creation that I made last night.  And he sat through a TV show he wasn’t crazy about because he knew I enjoyed it.  The list just goes on and on…  How can you stay angry at a man as wonderful as that?  The truth is, you can’t.

Once I started focusing and appreciating all his good qualities, the few bad ones melted away, to the point where I hardly even notice or focus on them.  I am so proud of the man that he is, and trust him implicitly to be the leader and protector of our household.  I am forever grateful to him for the sacrifices he has made for our family and the role he fulfills everyday.  I refuse to let anyone do or say anything negative about him, myself included.

Us sharing a chuckle outside the restaurant on our 5th wedding anniversary.

Do you struggle with negative thoughts about your spouse?  How have you combated them?  Share in the comments!

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