My Requirements of My Husband Led to Our Tense Relationship
Because of my mother’s unhappy marriage, I established a standard for my future partner. That is, he should love me tenderly and have a place for me in his heart. However, under the dominion of fate, I married a man who can neither talk much nor speak kind words.
Since we got married, my husband has worked abroad while I has been in China. When encountering things, we would talk about them through WeChat, and if nothing happened, we seldom got in touch. Every year, he would come back home only once to see us. And each time I expected him to bring me a gift from abroad, but he always brought gifts to everyone else in our family except me. According to him, he was just worried that I wouldn’t like what he bought, so he planned to go shopping with me and bought me whatever I liked when he was back. Even though I didn’t say anything, I felt very upset in my heart and was full of grumbles. I complained inwardly: Can they be the same? Rather than you come back and take me to buy some things, I can go on my own! Why did you bring everyone else gifts but not me? Obviously you don’t take me seriously at all. The more I thought about it the angrier I got. I gave my husband a cold shoulder and ignored him when he tried to talk to me. In my heart, I always wanted him to value me, to care about me, but what he did never satisfied me. And because of this, I often gave him the silent treatment.By degrees, our relationship became more and more estranged, and we had nothing to talk about.
Thus, I fell into pain, often weeping alone in secret at home. I thought: How come my husband doesn’t show a bit of consideration for me or take me seriously? …
When the time came for him to come home again, he still didn’t buy me anything. At that time, I was undergoing therapy for my illness in the bedroom. He opened the door and took a glance at me, and without speaking any words of concern, he just turned and walked out. I was very dissatisfied with his attitude toward me. The next day, I could no longer control my anger, and shouted at him, “You really don’t care about me! You seemed not to have seen me yesterday when I was undergoing therapy in the bedroom. You didn’t even inquire after me. I am your wife. At ordinary times, when you work abroad and need to hire workers from home, it’s I who always help you handle it. I’ve paid so much for our family; shouldn’t you take some care of me?” Hearing that, my husband got unhappy and said, “Even if you didn’t help me, I could also hire people by phone.” After I heard what he said, the grievance hidden deep in my heart welled up; I cried and scolded him, “Do you take me seriously or not? We’ve been married for so many years, and what do you take me for? You don’t care a bit about me. When I underwent mammary tumor surgery, you were not at my side; I’ll forget about it. But you’re at home now, and you still don’t care whether the cut heals or not. Do you know how sad I am when you treat me like this?” The more I spoke, the more I felt wronged. Seeing me like this, my husband explained, “It’s my fault. It’s been a while since you underwent the surgery, so I think you should have been well enough. I don’t think that much. It’s my fault. I’m wrong. Don’t be upset, and forgive me this once, okay?” No matter how he explained and apologized, I merely couldn’t listen to him at all. He had no choice but to sit, no longer saying anything. Whatever I said, he just nodded and said yes. Like this, the storm of my anger was over. Although I didn’t quarrel with him anymore, there was already an estrangement between us. Every day we had nothing to say and just did our respective things. Living in one house, we two were like strangers without any kindness, so I felt very distressed.
One day, my husband went to the hospital for a check-up, and he was found to have something wrong with his body. When he came back he started searching for how to cure it on his phone. Afterward, he bought many remedies, and soaked them one by one in several bottles. Seeing him caring for himself so much, I thought crossly: It’s been months since I had the surgery, and a recent reexamination shows there’s still some swelling in my body. But you just don’t show any concern for me. By contrast, you take your own minor illness so seriously, and find this or that way to treat it. You really think too much of yourself. You are too selfish! With this thought in mind, I sat in the sofa with a straight face, looking outside the window and not responding to my husband when he talked to me. After a while, I couldn’t control myself any longer, so I said, “Alas! It seems that nobody else can be counted on. I have to take care of myself! Look at yourself. You’ve racked your brain to cure such a minor illness. How considerate of you to prepare so many remedies!” My husband got what I meant, so he looked up at me, saying, “Haven’t I bought oatmeal for you?” I gave him a glance and said firmly, “Even if you didn’t, I could go to buy it myself.” Snapping back at him, I continued, “Why don’t you treat me so thoughtfully? For your own good, you’ve really tried your best.” He looked at me in resignation, bowed his head and went on doing his thing. Even though I had spoken out my mind and given vent to my anger, when seeing his resigned look, I felt uncomfortable too. I hadn’t wanted to do this, but I just couldn’t control myself. I really didn’t know for what I usually got into conflict with him for such things.
Putting Aside My Requirements to Ease Our Relationship
When I went back to the bedroom, I felt a little remorse, thinking: I always make a fuss over these things; am I like a believer in God? Which part of me looks like a Christian? Is there any difference between me and the unbelievers? I became more and more uncomfortable at this thought, and then I came before God to pray: “God! I am unwilling to be like this, but I just can’t control myself. May You guide me to understand Your will in this matter and let me come out of pain.” After my, I opened my computer to search for the words of God pertaining to this aspect. I found many, and then I read and pondered over them. I saw God’s words saying, “People do not require much of themselves, but they require much of others. They must be patient and forbearing of them, cherish them, provide for them, smile at them, be accommodating to them, and yield to them. They must take care of them in many ways, and they cannot be strict with them, provoke them, or do anything that they would not like. Man’s reason is so lacking! … Currently you have too many requirements and they are too excessive. Your many intentions prove that you are not standing in the right position, your position is too high, and you have viewed yourself as overly honorable as if you are not much lower than God. Therefore you are difficult to deal with, and it is precisely the nature of Satan.”
Having read God’s words, I suddenly understood the root cause of the estrangement between my husband and me: I view myself too high, always require my husband to have a place for me in his heart, and want him to be around me, to consider and care about me all the time. No matter what he does, he must take me as the first, think about me in all things, and consider me the center, and he shouldn’t have a bad or unconcerned attitude toward me. So when he didn’t treat me according to my requirements, I was unhappy and displeased with him. Even when he had a problem with his health and made medicine for treatment, I found fault with him, blamed him for being too serious about his health, and got angry at his caring only for himself but not for me. As a husband and wife, we ought to stand in the same position to respect and consider each other; however, not only did I not do that, but I even had many more requirements of my husband. Isn’t this being too unreasonable? I was so arrogant. Realizing this, I resolved to stop making requirements of my husband and change my attitude toward him. But because I didn’t find the way to get along with him, I just didn’t keep a long face anymore. Outwardly, when he talked to me I would answer him, and our relationship seemed to become somewhat close, but there still was a distance between our hearts.
Closing the Distance Between Our Hearts Brought Me a Happy Life
One day, when I was practicing my spiritual devotion I saw this passage of God’s words: “Look, at the beginning, it is possible that a husband and wife might not understand each other very well, because they haven’t ever lived together and didn’t grow up in the same family. After living together for several years, they will have gotten used to each other, and locked horns a few times. But if you are both of normal humanity, you will always commune the words within your heart to him, and he to you. Whatever difficulties you have in life, the problems in your work, what you’re thinking in your heart, how you plan to sort things out, what ideas and plans you have for your work or children—you’ll tell him everything. In that case, are the two of you especially close to each other, and especially intimate with each other? If he never tells you the words within his heart, and does nothing but bring a paycheck home, and if you never speak to him of the words within your heart, and never confide in him, then is there not a distance between the two of you in your hearts? There surely is. He is distant from you, and you from him, because you don’t understand the thoughts or intentions in his heart. Ultimately, you cannot tell what kind of person he is, nor can he tell what kind of person you are; you don’t understand his needs, nor does he understand your requirements. If people have no verbal or spiritual communication, there is no possibility of intimacy between them, and they can’t provide to each other or help one another.”
After reading these words, I was suddenly brightened. I knew what to do. I knew how to close the distance between my husband and me. We two should learn to open ourselves up; no matter what ideas we have, we should talk more about them to reach the point where we can understand and be intimate with each other and know what’s in each other’s minds. Only thus can we truly resolve the estrangement between us and become intimate. At that time, I remembered I seldom took the initiative to talk to my husband at normal times; if we came into conflict, I would be even more unwilling to speak to him. Every time he would take the initiative to speak to me. Now I wanted to practice the truth, but it was a little difficult for me to lay aside my face. I thought to myself: If I talk and open my heart to him actively, then he won’t take me seriously at all in future. There were a few times when I wanted to open my heart and speak my mind to my husband, but all failed because I was unable to let go of myself. Being hopeless, I could only pray to God, asking Him to lead me, “God! I’m so corrupted by Satan. I value myself too high, so I can’t lay aside my face to talk openly with my husband. God, may You help me so that I can practice the truth to resolve my estrangement with him….” Having finished my prayer, I felt the strength to practice the truth.
In the evening, I proactively talked to my husband. I said honestly, “Every time when you came back from abroad, you would buy gifts for everyone else but not for me. When I was ill, you didn’t know to care about me. I thought I had paid so much for our family, but you never said anything thoughtful to comfort me. So I was angry and felt wronged. I thought you didn’t at all care for me or take me seriously. Then I would come into conflict with you, not want to talk to you, and even lose my temper with you. Through God’s words, I know that all this was because I was too arrogant and selfish. I always wanted a place in your heart; no matter what you did, I wanted you to value me, care about me and consider me. Under the revelation of God’s words, I see that I was so unreasonable, and that I had too many requirements of you. Now I understand that no matter whether we are common people or a couple, we should consider and respect each other. In future, I won’t make requirements of you anymore. I will pay attention to this aspect of transformation. When we have different opinions on something, we can talk it over. And when we have some ideas, we also should talk with each other calmly and commune more.” When I finished speaking my mind, I felt released in my heart. “It’s inconsiderate of me,” my husband said guiltily, “I never thought that my so-doing hurt you. Actually, I know that you’ve been working hard for our family. I know it, but I just can’t express it in words.” I felt very warm in my heart at my husband’s words. Later that day, we talked much, and it was the first time that we had had a heart-to-heart talk since we got married. At that time, all grievance in my heart was unloaded, and I felt relaxed as never before. My heart was much closer to my husband’s.
From then on, I often practiced putting aside myself to speak my thoughts to and talk to my husband proactively. And no matter what he encountered outside, when he came back home, he would tell me about them. Each time he said some of his difficulties abroad, I would fellowship about God’s words with him to solve them. He was very happy and said that when having time he would also read God’s word. Gradually, his attitude toward me changed, he had more talks with me, and he would actively do the housework. He also said to me, “These years since I have been working outside, you took much care of our family. Now I’m back. You can have a good rest. From now on, I will treat you well, and I won’t let you feel wronged anymore.” I finally heard what my husband had never said all these years. I was touched very much. In the past, when I relied on my corrupt disposition to blindly ask of my husband, not only did he not say any considerate words, but he paid no attention to me at all. It was painful when we associated with each other. Now, under the guidance of God’s words, the conflict between us has come to an end, and our relationship has been close, too. I give thanks to God from the bottom of my heart.
All the glory be to God!