By Zhang Lei
Recently, it has become a hot topic on the Internet that incompatible outlook on world, life, and value is the main cause of a marriage reaching an impasse. The incompatible outlook doesn’t refer to a husband and wife having different interests. Instead, it means that when one has different interests, hobbies and lifestyles from the other, he will blindly reject any decisions of the other one, and even force the other to live according to his own lifestyle. When a married couple can’t reach agreement due to their different interests, they usually lose their temper and get into a quarrel or war because neither of them will give in. If it should continue like this, their marriage will be brought to an end.
I once had such a marriage life because of the different interests between my husband and me. For example, he likes traveling around for sightseeing while I like staying at home. When he asked me to accompany him to travel, not only would I refuse, but instead I would say it was spending money for suffering, and that I’d rather buy some delicious food or nice clothes. This made his good mood grow bad. Besides, it should have been a good thing to buy a new automobile, but because he loved SUVs and I liked cars, neither of us gave way to the other: When he happily drove an SUV home, I ignored him with a long face. And because of that, we got into a cold war and didn’t talk for one month. One more thing, I liked gardening; however, my husband not only didn’t help do the watering but mocked me and said I was getting nothing better to do. … As time passed, due to our incompatible outlook, we would come into conflict before we talked more. Like this, we talked less and less, and then we even talked nothing. My husband got home later and later; even when he occasionally came back early, he would play with his phone. Seeing his happy and released expression in chatting with his friends on WeChat , I felt upset. As a husband and wife, we were supposed to be intimates, but we were just like strangers. I felt our relationship was a bitter satire on our marriage.
One day, I cooked two bowls of noodles for our breakfast. He took only two bites when he said to me, “I don’t like noodles at all, but you cook them every day. You can cook something else for a change. Don’t always cook noodles.” “I only like noodles. If you don’t like them, then don’t eat.” I replied disgruntledly. Hearing my words, my husband violently pushed his bowl toward me and got the noodle soup to splash onto the table, onto the floor, and onto me. He said crossly, “We were simply enemies in the past life!” Then he slammed the door and went away. Seeing his attitude, I was heartbroken: We are just in our forties, but we two have been incompatible like fire and water. How are we to get on in future? Rather than living in such pain, we’d better separate from each other. With tears I packed my things, drew up a divorce settlement, and put it on his bedside cupboard. In the following week, he didn’t sign it, but just smoked and smoked, coughing badly. We both felt sad about our broken relationship. I thought: Naturally a husband and wife sleep in one bed and should be the most intimate partners. But my husband and I are getting stranger and stranger, as if there were a gulf that couldn’t be bridged between us. Coming to where we are today, what on earth is wrong? If I had foreseen my marriage life would be like this, then I would rather haven’t gotten married. However, marriage isn’t like a piece of cloth which can be thrown away if I don’t like it. After all, our son has grown up. But what should I do to change our situation? I was thrown into confusion …
Until later, I saw the word of God: “The source of man’s opposition and rebelliousness against God is his corruption by Satan. Because he has been corrupted by Satan, man’s conscience has grown numb, he is immoral, his thoughts are degenerate, and he has a backward mental outlook. Before he was corrupted by Satan, man naturally followed God and obeyed His words. He was naturally of sound sense and conscience, and of normal humanity. After being corrupted by Satan, his original sense, conscience, and humanity grew dull and were impaired by Satan. Thus, he has lost his obedience and love toward God.”
Only from God’s word did I come to know why my husband and I lived such a painful life. Because after our corruption by Satan, we are of less and less human likeness, and all that we reveal are satanic corrupt dispositions: arrogance, superciliousness and selfishness. This results in people being unable to get along well with each other, and so it is with husbands and wives. Thinking back on these years when my husband and I lived together, no matter what I did, I took myself as the boss. When we had different opinions, being controlled by my self-righteous satanic nature, I would hold to myself and force him to do things according to my will, not considering him in the slightest, much less having a heart of loving him. As a result, we often quarreled and gave each other the cold shoulder; we were unable to enjoy a harmonious life that a husband and wife should have had. And I lived in pain every day, even to the point of wanting a divorce. Having understood these, I was suddenly awakened. And then, I came before God to speak my mind to Him, “God, I once walked hopefully into the marriage hall, and dreamed of us loving and supporting each other to the end of our lives. But in real life, we become more and more estranged. And now our marriage even exists in name only. Dear God, thank You for guiding me with Your words and letting me find out why our marriage reach a dead end. God, I want to save our marriage and change our situation. May You help me.”
Afterward, I saw the following passage in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life: “We should not impose our preference on others, much less force others to accept what we dislike—this is not making others do things they are unwilling to do. When doing things, we should take account not only of our own interests, but also of others’. Besides, we should learn to be more considerate to others, to benefit them and to listen to their opinions more. If others have some shortcomings or do something wrong that is unfavorable to us, we should treat them correctly instead of finding fault with them or taking vengeance on them, we should learn to fellowship about the truth to help them achieve changes, and we should have an accurate appraisal of them. In this way, there will be no difficulties in getting on with others.” Yes. If we can respect, love, consider and understand each other, if we don’t arrogantly ask others to listen to us but can understand and support their interests, and if we don’t force them to live according to our own lifestyles, then we can get along well with each other. In that case, how can our marriage fall into a dilemma? Therefore, I made up my mind to act based on these words. Only thus could I resolve the conflict between my husband and me and live harmoniously together with him.
In the following days, I tried to not interfere with his way of life. Not long after, he said he would have a trip to Shennongjia with his friends. That’s a place where I thought there was nothing worth visiting but mountains and trees. Besides, he would drive there; who knows how much petrol would be burnt. It was simply a waste of money. When I was about to say “I don’t think it’s worth visiting,” I suddenly remembered the word of God: “Everything that happens to people is when God needs them to stand firm in their testimony to Him. Nothing major has happened to you at the moment, and you do not bear great testimony, but every detail of your daily life relates to the testimony to God.” I realized that my corrupt satanic disposition was going to flare up and so I told myself inwardly: I can no longer ask of my husband to live according to my interests like before. I should practice the truth to treat him with love and respect his interests and hobbies; only in this way can I have a normal humanity and bear witness for God. Thinking of this, I hurriedly prayed to God asking Him to keep me from being self-centered again. After my, my heart calmed down and I said to him, “If you want to have a trip, then just go. After all, traveling is your hobby.” At my words, my husband looked at me with surprise. I felt a little embarrassed, saying, “In the past I went too far. Not only did I not support your hobbies, but I always got sarcastic with you, and even tried to change your interests and hobbies into the same ones as mine. All of these result in us coming into conflicts, being like strangers, and almost getting divorced. Today, God’s word has made me understand that this thought and behavior of mine all come from my conceited satanic disposition. From now on, I will put God’s word into practice. I won’t force you to act according to my interests, and I should accept and support what you like, and learn to live out a normal humanity in accordance with God’s word.” Seeing my sincere attitude, my husband also said with a smile, “I was wrong, too. I also wanted to impose my interests on you. I can’t do this to you anymore.”
My husband was gone on his trip. He uploaded some pictures of scenery he took along his way to WeChat Moments, and for the first time, I liked the posts of his pictures and left a message “Have a nice trip!” I no longer took digs at him about his interests, but instead I tried to accept and support them. At ordinary times, I also tried to speak my mind to him, and asked for his advice on my own initiative when I had some ideas. Gradually, he also could open his heart to me and be supportive to my hobbies. From then on, our house started to be filled with laughter. This was all because of God’s guidance. It was God’s word that made me walk out of the impasse of marriage caused by incompatible outlook. Only God can save us from pain.