When we get a chance to talk to newly or soonly weds, we warn them to be honest about what bothers them FROM THE BEGINNING! Far too many folks think it’s loving to not mention things that drive them crazy. They think it will go away without them saying anything (it won’t) or it will stop bothering them (which is highly unlikely.) Be it rudeness, annoying habits, or failing to do something wanted/needed, not speaking up is saying “It’s okay, keep doing (and not doing) things just the way you are.”
What you put up with you live with. Forever!
Then a couple of years later in a last straw moment, the person blows. Maybe they only mention one thing, or maybe they dump the whole list. This is, of course, exceptionally unfair. Even more unfair is the expectation that having mentioned it everything will change – immediately. Never mind it’s been okay for months or years, now it’s a problem and you better knock it off right now!
If you’re very newly married, this post could save you huge amounts of trouble later in your marriage. But what if you’re not newly married? Are you unhappy with anything your husband does or doesn’t do but have never told him? (And hinting doesn’t count!) The longer you wait, the worse it will be. The argument will be bigger and the chance of change will be smaller.
If you’ve made this error confess it to him. Tell him you’ve been wrong and unfair and you’re sorry. Give him a loving list of the things you can’t continue to live with (or without), and ask him to think and pray about how he can work to change them. Then give him plenty of grace and patience.
In addition to giving him your list, ask him to make a list for you if he’s not mentioned something. Then ask if he will agree to not hold back in the future, and promise to do likewise.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I wish I could share this with every newlywed in the world!
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