Hi everyone! I finally got round to posting this second part. I had been a bit down with a cold last week, but I'm fine now. Anyway, as I was saying in my last post, there is a big difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it. Sometimes I would do, or not do something I know is right and then have to evaluate my behaviour afterwards. I'll continue with the good but sometimes difficult things I struggle with putting into practice.
Patience: We all know patience is a virtue and one that every relationship requires. If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have said I see myself as a very patient person. But now I'm discovering I'm not! It was quite a shock to admit this at first, but now I'm realising I need more and more patience everyday. In fact, recently I had an argument with my sister and afterwards I realised that I should have been more patient to hear her point of view before jumping into conclusions. The same thing in my marriage, I'm figuring out that need lots of patience when arguments happen, when I'm grumpy and hubby asks me to do something, or when things are not going my way. I also need to be patient with other people's faults, including myself. We all make mistakes and nobody gets it right all the time, so I'm learning not to over-react when somebody gets on my nerves.
Forgiveness: Here's the deal, we all know we can't have healthy, happy relationships without forgiveness. Best friends, siblings, married couples, etc have arguments. We are all human and sometimes we unknowingly hurt or annoy someone close to us. Sometimes though, when the other party says "I'm sorry" you don't feel like forgiving them immediately. I know this is bad, but sometimes I hold on to my anger and keep punishing hubby for something he has apologised for. I know it's not fair on him but the idea of him saying he's sorry over and over again is tempting. But one day the tables turned on me: I was apologising for something and he wasn't minding me much. Then I said in frustration, "I've said I'm sorry, what more do you want me to do?" and that was when it clicked to me that I do the same thing to him too. When someone genuinely apologises, the best thing I can do is to forgive quickly, even though I may not feel like it at that particular moment. I've learnt that I need to make the choice first and then let my feelings catch up later. Now I'm also learning to put things behind me once a matter is resolved, so that our relationship can return to a peaceful state quickly.
Appreciation: I've heard that one of the things that couples argue about is the fact that their partner stops appreciating them for who they are and what they do, and instead starts taking things for granted. I've been guilty of this too - one time I was grumpy about something I wanted and hubby had not yet gotten round to responding. Then my former boss said to me, "FG, you've got to appreciate the people in your life who don't let you down". It made me think that perhaps I had stopped appreciating my family and good friends, including my husband who has been nothing but good to me since I met him. I had started taking him and our relationship for granted. I thought about it some more and I realised how easy it is to fall into that trap. I shouldn't take it for granted that he's been a faithful husband - I should appreciate it. I shouldn't take it for granted that he provides for the family - I should appreciate the fact that he's a responsible man. So what if he doesn't take out the trash more often - I should appreciate it when he does. It can be hard to put into practice though, especially if you have certain expectations that you feel your spouse falls short of. But I'm learning to appreciate him more and more for who he is and what he brings to our relationship, instead of focusing on what he's not doing. I'm asking God to help me, when I need reminders on what I have been blessed with.
That's all I can think for now, I hope you'll bear with me. I've been quite busy but I promise I won't be too long before I write my next post!
As always, stay blessed and favoured!