Resolving Marital Tension
by Megan Wyatt, Founder of Wives of Jannah
"Catch them doing something good" is a phrase many people have heard around kids. Parents are told to look out for what their kids are doing right and praise them and appreciate them for it. This helps reduce the amount of negative commentary kids hear. Interesting enough, this concept works well with spouses.
When a husband and a wife are living with constant tension, irritation, and impatience with each other it's obvious to me they no longer can see the good in each other.
They only see what's wrong.
But while there may, in fact, be wrong things present it doesn't mean there isn't any good either.
Most of the time, there is way more good present but because no one is looking for it, it's not being recognized.
One of the common assignments I often give when working with a couple is to ask a wife or a husband to specifically LOOK for the actions their spouse is doing and recognize it.
Depending on the state of the relationship they may recognize it verbally with appreciation, or simply note it down in a journal or google doc.
The goal is to first see what is going well in the relationship and what good is coming from their spouse.
It's difficult at first because if the good were enough, one might think, there would be no need to search for it.
But miraculous changes occur with that mental shift.
She notices how he gently holds his son's hand after Jumu'ah prayer...
She notices how he took care of picking up her prescription medication from the pharmacy without being reminded...
She notices how he asked about her parents after she had a phone call with them....
She notices that despite being exhausted about his long commute from work he doesn't complain and instead helps her set the table for dinner....
She notices that she has never had a day without hot water because her husband always pays the water and gall bill....
I know what you might be thinking.
"He is supposed to do these things. He's a freaking man! Why should I praise him for doing what he's supposed to do"
And that's where the problem lies. Right there between those words.
There are a lot of things you are "supposed" to do as a woman, right? But I'm pretty sure you'd love it if your husband praised you, appreciated you, recognized you, and saw you.
Being a man doesn't mean not having a heart.
Being a man doesn't mean not having feelings.
Being a man doesn't mean not desiring your wife's compliments, gratitude, or recognition.
Being a man means needing and having all of those things.
A true man is not immune to your silence from recognizing his good but the consistency in pointing out his bad.
He will suffocate.
And the reverse is true as well.
Both men and women need to be "caught doing something good" to use that phrase again.
So take a leaf from the pages of my coaching book and apply this in your marriage.
No matter what stage your relationship is in right now, seeing the good will benefit your heart and your relationship.
You may be surprised at how quickly your heart changes when you look with a pair of fair eyes and an open heart.
Relationship coaching: www.wivesofjannah.com/coaching
Please note: Wives of Jannah posts/content is written for women who are in emotionally and physically safe marriages. If you believe you are being emotionally or physically abused please understand that general marital advice, like this post, does not apply. It can actually harm you further. Please seek local professional help from those who specialize in working with abused women. Take care of yourself. <3