People always say, “The wife deals with her family. The husband deals with his.”
I watched as my husband grew more frustrated. I was belittled, made fun of, and most of the time, mistreated by my family. It tore him a part to say nothing.
I deal with my family.
But I wasn’t dealing with them. The primal instinct of a husband is to defend his wife and keep her from harm. I wasn’t letting him defend me and it caused emotional harm. It caused harm to our marriage. Our fights weren’t about each other; they were about my family.
If I served my family by going beyond our budget to please them, I thought their anger would subside. I thought if I compromised beyond reason they would begin to treat me better. I remember the last family party at our home all too well.
It was awful.
Everyone left early. I fell on the dining room chair with my head hung and a heavy feeling in my soul.
“No more family parties here.” He was firm which was rare.
“Okay. I agree.” I finally realized that I can’t love anger away.
After I left my family, I realized how detrimental it was for him. While I worked at forgiving them and going through the healing process, my husband had trouble with forgiveness. Every time their name came up, his eyes would flash and his lips would press together. It took him longer than I to let it go, and shortly before I left my family I told him he could say or do anything he wished. I was no longer going to prevent him from having a healthy expression of anger or keep him from defending my honor. It’s worked well, too.
Once we removed the source of our ire, we rarely fight!