April 15, 2000
Being around this couple makes it more evident to me how far Daniel and I have grown apart. Their affection threatens me because I want it too. I think we used to have it but I’m not sure. I am envious of how he treats her. Daniel and I don’t enjoy being around each other anymore. It’s not just me. He feels it too. He told me last night he has to tolerate being around me. I irritate him. And when I see that whatever I may be doing bothers him, I get angry and respond harshly… I feel all of these emotions and I feel trapped by them. I feel stuck. Why can’t I tell him? I guess because when I try it turns into a fight. The other day I sat looking at him and my only thought was “I hate him.” I know I don’t really hate him, but I hate how I feel… I say cutting remarks to get his attention. I don’t pray enough about it. I try to brush it over and ignore it… I foresee one of my uncontrolled emotional tirades. I can see myself losing control with him and throwing things at him and screaming. I don’t want to do that.
An excerpt from my journal while on vacation.
This was my marriage for a long time. A fight could break out at any second. Coldness and distance characterized most days. We didn’t see the best in each other. We didn’t look to serve each other, only our selves. Walls of protection served as emotional barriers to guard the wounded places of our hearts. “Don’t go there” was the mantra that reinforced the chasm between us.
This week we tasted those dark days again. We experienced conflict, distance, and hurt all over again. And again, we were placed at the crossroads. We had a choice to make. Stake our claim for the illusion of self-preservation or stake our claim for our each other.
Even though the choice seems pretty obvious, it is really hard. Why in the world is it so difficult to end the struggle between two people who are supposed to love each other? Because, I have learned, that it requires self-sacrifice and self-sacrifice isn’t easy. Have you ever notice that the things in life that are worth something, cost something? Marriage is one of those things.
Marriage will eventually cost you your demands. It will cost you your pride. It will cost being right. It will cost having the last word. It will cost you your comfort and security.
If you find your marriage and home filled with conflict and you desire peace, trust me, reconciliation is possible. If you want harmony to replace the discord it can. But it will cost you. It will cost you yourself.
The question is, are you ready to lay yourself on the altar of sacrifice? Are you ready to stop blaming your spouse and take responsibility for your own actions? Are you ready to seek reconciliation with God as well as your spouse?
I know how all-consuming a bad marriage can be. You live under its cloud every day. But coming from someone who has seen the other side, a marriage with God’s will at the center is one of the best things this world has to offer.
Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation. Prov. 14:9
...Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 2 Cor 5