How many options are on the table when you have a disagreement with your spouse? That is, are they able to disagree or refrain from giving you what you desire without you losing your cool, getting huffy, or pouting? If not, then there is a good possibility that you are controlling your spouse through your emotions.
We Speak More By What We Infer
Most spouses in the midst of a disagreement will say, “Whatever you want, dear.” or “I don’t have to have it my way.” However, we speak louder by what we infer with our actions and emotions than what we say with our words.
Many a spouse only leaves but two options on the table when there is a disagreement: Agree with me or suffer the consequences of an upset spouse. Though this is hardly ever their outright intention, it is what they infer. If you don’t believe me, ask your spouse. You may be surprised by their answer as others usually have a better handle on ourselves than we. Maybe this is why the scriptures teach that “all the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes”. (Proverbs 16:2)
There Must Be Another Option
Spouses should be careful to watch the mechanisms of their hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). That is, we are often unaware of the ways we manipulate other people without even knowing it. Below are a few helpful suggestions for spouses that struggle when they feel disappointment in a relationship.
Get an eternal view of your life
A few weeks ago, I was leaving Columbus, Ohio after conducting a marriage/singles conference. As our plane took off, I looked out the window and noticed how small the entire city looked from the air. As I gazed upon the city, I thought to myself how small our problems are compared to the vastness of the universe.
Honestly, I believe the problem with many a spouse is that all they see is what they see. That is, because they do not see their life from God’s perspective, their problems look bigger than they really are.
The wonderful thing about worship and meditation in the Word is that the things of this world, including our marriage issues, start to look strangely dim the more we gaze upon Christ. Spouses that fail to have this eternal view of life will be prone to feeling their disappointments are much bigger than they really are.
Have faith in God
Psalm 84:11 tells us:
“. . . no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
The verse is pretty cut and dry. If God wants us to have something, we will have it if we are walking in obedience to Him no matter what our spouse does or does not do.
Consequently, when dealing with disappointment or unmet expectations, I find it beneficial to ask the question, “Is this particular something that I want going to bring glory to the Father?” If so, then God wants me to have it more than I want it. Therefore, if God want’s me to have it more than I want it, then I will I not have to worry, manipulate, or put pressure on people in order to get that particular something. God will have my back as long as what I want is for His glory!