You know how they say "love is blind"? Well, to a certain extent: It is true- no matter how much you want to deny. But I would correct it to say "love is oblivious, rather than blind". Obviously, most of us know what we are getting ourselves into, we see and have a glimpse of what the other person is like ( some things we like, some things we don't.), but at that point in time, that super feeling of loooove covers and overpowers the reality of love, and a glimpse at a distance is a lot different from living in it.
Yea you get where I'm going. What happens when that feeling fades ( they say that feeling of oblivious love only last for about 2 or 3 years on average before reality sets in ) and you begin to see things that you didn't think was such a big deal before, or you thought you had no problem living with em; but you realize that you are starting to get irritated by em. Em, you ask? Yes, Em! Those little habits of your other half.
Isn't it ever so common and often that: (Examples are observed from the general behavior of men and women since forever and not directed to anyone in particular)
You walk, and oppss, you trip over his clothes left on the floor. Or how about this: he keeps wetting the toilet seat, and never puts it down. Oh oh and what about him leaving his newspapers everywhere. At first it doesn't really bother you. But still, you tell yourself that its ok and he will listen if you tell him. So Yea, you tell him once. It seems to have fallen on deaf ears. You go ahead and pick up after him. By this time its already starting to get to you a tiny little bit. So you tell him again. He does it ( or doesn't do it) once and forgets the times after that. So you TELL him again. And AGAIN. AND AGAIN. And by now you are beginning to run of patience and you have a twitched in your face every time you see it happen again!
Most of us, while facing these kind of situations, usually walk down either path: the Stink-bomb path or the Silent-Killer path.
As you can imagine, in her frustration bursts out in anger, starts to nag, picks on everything - and often forces the other half running for cover, far far away, holding his nose( in this case, his ears)!
Words like these are ever so predictable:
"What do you think I am? Your maid ah? Why do I have to keep picking up after you? I told you to so many times not to..."
" I come back so tired and I still have to clean up and nag you... I'm so fed up! I'm tired of always being your servant..."
"How many times do i have to tell you..."
"Is it so hard just to put up the toilet seat? Use your common sense!"
Not only does the Stink-bomb NOT respect the other significant half, but she also exerts her pride, self righteousness, and self pity. And the more she does it, the more she pushes him away from her, and the more he retaliates, and often without realizing it until it's too late and she wakes up one day to find that he is present in person but absent in heart. How sad for a relationship to be in that state!
What about the Silent-killer? The Silent-killer is quite the opposite, but yet just as deadly. She doesn't say anything even though inside she is frustrated to keep the "peace".. She rather keeps quiet and thinks by doing that it is better to do that than start a fight. She thinks she is doing him a favour by not nagging him. But is she, really? Quite the contrary actually. By doing that, she is allowing him to be as ignorant and insensitive as he already is ( Yea, you know, guys can be quite insensitive sometimes and they don't notice the "love and service" we think we obviously show) and she is allowing herself to wallow up and grow in her sorrow, self-pity, frustration, anger, hostility, grudge and bitterness. Sure, she argues that she can keep it inside, but tell me, how long can she hang on before the growing bitterness and frustration leaks out and fills the room with silent poison and eventually kills the relationship? It slowly contaminates the relationship and causes both to drift apart (And he didn't even know what he did wrong! ).
Figured out which category you are? I personally feel that I have a tendency to be the Silent-killer. I believe that being women, all of us has the tendency to to be either one - we can't help it, after all we are the off springs of the Fallen Eve. It's just the matter of intensity and extremity and how we deal and overcome these tendencies.
So where do we go from here? Well, let's take it a step at a time:
1. Realization and Acceptance
First of all, you have to come to a realization and acceptance that he is who he is, and must come to a realization and acceptance that he MAY NEVER change. Really, no matter how many times you silently pick up after him, or tell him, nag him, do the silent treatment, maybe even scream at him...nope it's not going to work and he may never realize your kind, noble efforts. Also, you must accept that it is NOT our job to change him; you CAN'T change him and you CANNOT expect him to change.
Accept that he is JUST A MAN, (not god, not a hero, not superman or some supernatural being that can read your mind and emotions), but he is trying to love you the best he can ( Tho it might be different from how you would like him to love you- after all, they are not women). He is just a mortal, just like us. And all of us had fallen short of His glory.
Every time you have the urge to start nagging him, stop and think about this: Does he pick on you? He doesn't. Is it because you are flawless and have no faults? Is it because you are better than him?
Boy oh boy, that's a far cry. No, He doesn't because he accepts you as you are, even tho you randomly have emotional breakdowns or explode during PMSes (He will be going" What in the world is going on? I have no idea what's there to be so emotional or upset about.), even tho you are a clean freak, or when you have a uncontrollable habit to shop till you drop. ( If he does pick on you too then he needs to read this too!) Believe me, these habits of ours seem normal to us, (our women world) but to them it is a very strange, illogical and complicated world.
Have you ever thought that the habits that you have might be irritating to him as well? So just as he accepts that THAT is just you, you should also soften your heart and accept that THAT is just him. So this reflection of yourself should lead you to come humbly down, not to his feet, but to HIS feet.
2. Humbly and lovingly PRAY!
Coming to terms that both of you are mere mortals with the same tendency to sin, indeed, is a good reason to pray for forgiveness of your pride and self righteousnesses, to pray that you have the strength to accept him JUST as he is and love him as he is, to pray for wisdom, strength and patience to know how and when to communicate this matter.
Mind you, sometimes the how outweighs the what.
Imagine kissing him on the cheek and graciously telling him your concerns on the matter. Imagine again you screaming from the toilet to tell him the same thing. It is a WORLD of a difference in the how, and it produces a WORLD of a difference in the outcome.
Which do you think is more tactful and fruitful?
Reminds me of 1 Peter 4:11 If you speak,you should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If you serve, you should do so with strength God provides..."
All the more you need to pray for him. Pray that if he is need of change that God will speak to him, open his heart and stir in him the desire to change; pray that God will teach him His way- that includes teaching him to more sensitive to you, learn to be aware and appreciate your service to him more; pray that he will learn to express his appreciation to you in ways you can understand; and pray and trust that he is in God's hand, and so are you, the both of you! So even if you feel that you are doing him a favor - you will be happier doing it because you know he appreciates you.
3. Changing and covering.
Yes, so change your mindset and attitude- tho it might seem unchanged in daily life( He still leaves his clothes on the floor etc.), that change of attitude and perspective makes ALL the difference. Put away that attitude of judgement and prideful thinking that it is your job to change him- that's God's job; Put away that attitude of resentment and retaliation to tear him down, provoke him and insult him- that's Satan's job. Instead, put on that attitude of graciousness, to encourage, to help, to protect, to cover.
Yes, COVER for each other. You are a team, team mates working on the same project- your relationship. And to achieve the goal ( having a good relatinship with each other) you've got to work together as a team, not point out who's to blame, or who's not doing enough! No doubt we will still get angry sometimes and irritated ( We are not wonder women as well!), but channel that away so instead of exposing each other's "weaknesses", cover for one another's weaknesses with each other's strengths.
I remember the time when I had my own irritating moments but before I let those feeling get to me, I paused and remember that I have my own funny habits too. Then I did a little eye roll, a little shake of the head and then chuckled to myself. Then instead of picking on him I covered it up for him with an attitude of graciousness. Then I later went over to him when he was not busy or not distracted with something else, gave him a little peck and mentioned about the incident and how funny it was and suggested him to try to remember what not to do the next time. He grinned guilty and he did try, but still failed. But reinforcing it lovingly not only helped him to remember what I said, but it also gave him the motivation to be conscious and considerate of how I felt about it. And lo and behold, he has not been doing it. Funny, because just the other day I caught myself doing the same thing and all the more it was a reminder to myself to be gracious just as you want him to be gracious to you! Nut I'm ready to embrace for it. I'm pretty sure that after a while the both of us will forget and resume, so he'd have to perhaps continue to catch himself doing it and I'd have to continue to remind myself not to nag.
Mind you, it is a continuous learning process and we are bound to slip and fall. But it is not a sign to give up but to persevere ever more, keep getting up, and keep learning.
The small things in a relationship are usually the ones to tear the relationship apart silently. So do not think of it as nothing big and shove it under the carpet. Deal with it while it's just a speck of dust and not when it has been accumulated into a massive pile of permanent eyesore!
Sure you may argue, why does it have to be us women who has to do the changing, and sucking up his nonsense. He should be the one to do something about himself too! Agreed! But men have their own battles to fight- they have to learn how to be men, real men! Somehow the world is forcing them to either be women, a scaredy-cat, or a jerk. But let's leave that to them. We need to deal with ourselves.
We may also argue that why do we have to take so much effort to change? Shouldn't the other person accept me for WHO I am? If I nag, that's me, that's who I am! Take it or leave it! Well, isn't that being a little bit inconsiderate and selfish? If that's your case, then you should not expect him to change as well!
Love is not selfish. And we have to differentiate the difference between YOU and YOU! Indeed, you should not change who you are- your personality ( introvert, extrovert;logical, intuitive;structured, flexible). But, you can change your behavior and habits ( short tempered, inconsiderate, quick to speak without thinking). So don't get confuse of the two.
Our job, well, we need to relearn how to be women- not women of this world. Nobody said it was easy being a women, especially in this world where women need to become like men to survive and women want and need to stand on their own two feet ( even if it means pushing down everyone else). Don't let the world take away that beauty of being a women, that beauty that every women was meant to be.
" I tell you things to save you from the suffering; learning from other's mistakes are sometimes better than making your own." -Daddy.