Marriage Monday…What’s really bothering you?

After a three week sabbatical, I’m back!  It was a wonderful three weeks of speaking at the MOPS convention, moving Erica back to Texas, volunteering for a day in Joplin, and getting my boys started in school.  It was a good break…but I did miss hanging out with all of you!

On Saturday, Mark and I navigated a challenge.  Of course, it was perfect timing for today’s Marriage Monday.  (We don’t make this stuff up…we live it ourselves!)

Jill says…
On Saturday morning, I started off the day cleaning up the kitchen.  The counters were cluttered with stuff and the more I cleaned, the more frustrated I got with Mark.

Mark says…
I could tell Jill was irritable, so I asked her if she was having a bad day.

Jill says…
I told him I wasn’t.  Inside, I knew something was bothering me, but I honestly couldn’t articulate it.

Mark says…
I just let it go and eventually she seemed to work through whatever was bugging her.

Jill says…
Finally, I decided to talk to God about the condition of my heart.  Something was bugging me and I couldn’t figure it out.  I prayed, “Lord, what is bothering me?  Why am I frustrated?  Help me to unravel the mess in my head and my heart.”

God answered my prayer later that day as I worked around a large pile of papers and stuff that I’d gathered on the corner of the kitchen counter…Mark’s pile.  80% of the clutter on the counter had been his!  I was frustrated because I’d spent so much time picking up after him!

I thanked God for answering my prayer.  I then told Mark that I’d figured out what was bugging me.  I apologized for my irritability and he apologized for leaving his stuff scattered all over the kitchen.

Mark says…
It was so good to hear from Jill what was actually bothering her.  I knew something was, so hearing what it was was so helpful.  I didn’t even realize I’d left so much laying around.

Jill says…
So often when things like this happen, our tendency is to stuff it, communicate non-verbally (tone of voice, body language, etc), or to not try hard to figure out what’s at the core of our feelings.  In fact, in the past, I would have just done that.  I would have just pushed through the feelings instead of digging into them.

Mark says…
But when we dig into why we’re feeling something, it helps us process things emotionally and spiritually.  It untangles the knot in our head and our heart.

The next time you find yourself frustrated with your spouse, see if you can identify what’s at the core of your frustration.  Once you identify it, you can choose to offer grace (this is just who he/she is…I’m going to choose to let them be human) or choose to communicate with love what you are feeling and how your spouse might be able to handle that situation differently in the future.

So…what’s really bothering you?  Talk to God and let Him help you sort through it!

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6 Responses to Marriage Monday…What’s really bothering you?

  1. Val says:

    I’m so glad you guys write so honestly about marriage. We were in the midst of one of those… “Loud” moments of marital “fellowship” (AKA a fight) this weekend and I was thinking, “no one talks about the conflict stuff on Christian blogs. It makes it feel like no one else ever has tough moments.” And then I thought of your blog, Jill, and was so thankful that you guys talk about the good parts and the tough parts. You have such great wisdom. I appreciate you!!!

    • JillSavage says:

      We all tend to struggle with the same things, Val. It’s just nice to know we’re not alone!

  2. Welcome Back, Jill!

  3. Paige says:

    I have been very irritable with my husband for months now. Don’t get me wrong we have nice days, but there is something in me that I can’t put my finger on that just makes me growl. I have been searching my heart to try and find the reason for these feelings but I can’t find the reason. I know he is hurting because I snap at him regularly and I’m hurting because I can’t figure this out. Things that I can normally let go just seem huge right now. I don ‘t like feeling this way at all but I can’t find what is at the heart of this. How do I pin point the problem?

    • JillSavage says:

      Paige, I would pay attention to how much your heart is being tied up with judgment. Sin divides us from God and from others. Judgment is a sin. It’s when we sit in judgment of others…when we have a critical spirit. I know judgment is creeping into my heart when my husband can’t seem to do anything right. When that starts happening, I know it’s time for me to clean up my heart with God (call it what it is, ask for forgiveness from God and ask for forgiveness from my husband). Then when it starts creeping in again, it’s time to tackle it with truth.

      When I start internally criticizing my husband, I realize that I’m believing the enemy’s lies about him. So I have to replace those lies with God’s truth. That helps me turn it around.

      You have a really good question here, Paige. I think I’ll devote an entire blog post to this issue. Thanks for bringing it to the table!