There are very few things worse than living in a house with the man or woman you love and feeling as though you’re living with a complete stranger. There is always the coldness of extreme tension in the air birthed from unresolved issues. No one wants to address the elephant in the relationship because things have now reached the point where it’s easier to live in misery than risk being hurt even more by addressing the issues both of you know is there. This is the stage of the relationship I like to call “The Standstill”. The standstill is a grudge match where his pride faces off against her bitterness. It’s the match that everyone who was ever against your relationship wants to see. Pride and bitterness are partners in crime and they have destroyed many marriage/relationships.Have you ever looked at your relationship and wondered how two people who were so close have drifted so far apart? Click To Tweet
How is it that the person who once made your heart flutter now makes your heart hurt? Pride and bitterness are notorious for turning friends into foes. Please let me explain to you how this can happen.
I want to be clear about something. Problems arise in every relationship. There has yet to be a relationship on earth that has not had its fair share of challenges. So it’s not the presence of challenges that turns friends into foes but how they are handled. You have to understand that your enemy is not the person but the problem. People who lack this understanding spend more time attacking the person than the problem and creating greater distance between themselves and the person they say they love. This person usually tries to belittle their partner by using sarcasm, name-calling, or body language that is very cold and uninviting. They may not know or want to admit it but pride is behind the wheel of that vehicle and they are continually running over their partner’s feelings every time a problem arises.
This is also where bitterness starts to poke its nasty head. Bitterness is a little more subtle than pride because pride likes to make itself known while bitterness gradually works itself up to announcing that it has arrived. Bitterness is similar to a faucet with a slow drip. It drips slowly but if left unchecked it will begin to overflow. When bitterness has entered the heart it starts to speak through the voice in your mind. It’s not vocal at first. It does not roar until it has been in the heart for quite some time.
LET’S PUT IT TO THE TEST
Please don’t get offended by what I’m about to say because this is just my opinion and a generalization. I know there are prideful women and bitter men but usually, the pride issue is plaguing the man and the bitterness issue is plaguing the woman. You’re probably reading this right now thinking you don’t have a problem with pride or bitterness. It’s your mate who has the problem right? I’m going to let you be the judge.
“By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom.” Proverbs 13:10
Sir, whenever there is an issue between you and your lady does it always end in her being hurt and you being right? I can read your thoughts already. You’re thinking, “But what about her?” We will get to that. One characteristic of a good marriage or relationship is the ability to take what’s yours and go your way. Take from the lesson what you need to grow and go your way. Pride keeps you in a place where you feel as though you need to tell her what’s wrong with her. Again I say, take what’s yours and go your way. The scripture above speaks of pride and wisdom. Pride leads to arguments but wisdom leads to peace. When problems arise in your relationship do they usually lead to arguments or peace? If you are trying to be right I can guarantee your problems are leading to arguments. You think just because she’s quiet she’s no longer arguing. She’s still arguing, you just can’t hear her. The wisdom of God teaches us (husbands and men) how to handle our women correctly. This is done only through love and wisdom.
“Do all things without murmurings and disputings:” Philippians 2:14
Let me ask you this wife. Do you find yourself speaking against your husband in your mind? Are you constantly saying over and over in your head that he makes you sick? This is what bitterness does. The scripture says to do all things without murmurings and disputing. We know the word disputing means to argue but I want to park at the word murmur. To murmur means to express your discontent for someone or something in low tones. Do you find yourself doing that often? This is usually done when you are alone or away from your partner. I’m not saying that you are bitter if this is a practice of yours but if this is a practice of yours it won’t be long before you start heading down Bitterness Avenue. Once you get on this street everything he does starts to get on your nerves. He could ask you what the weather is like and you’ll be ready to growl at him. Be careful and guard your heart against bitterness.A lion never announces he's a lion, he just does lion type things... likewise, if you're the man of the house stop announcing it and just start doing man of the house type things. Click To Tweet
Many years ago I heard a preacher talk about expectations and it changed my life. I learned that expectations are like hurdles. Many times we enter into relationships with unhealthy expectations. We tend to expect our partners to act like this or that, think like this or that, or feel like this or that. When we do this we are already placing our relationships in the loss column. Our this or that is based on our personal life experiences and we have to remember that our partners did not have the same life experiences. Even siblings who grow up in the same home have different life experiences. We have to allow them to be themselves instead of expecting them to be like us. Expecting your spouse to be you is completely unfair because that’s an impossible task.
Expectations are like hurdles. We often enter into relationships and then get upset when our partner knocks over a hurdle he or she never knew was there. Good communication skills are a must for a relationship to remain fresh and fun. No one wants to be in a relationship that has lost its flavor.
HUMBLENESS AND FORGIVENESS
There is a simple remedy for any relationship that has been drowning in pride and unforgiveness. Things might seem as though there is no hope, but I promise you this will work. God has prescribed humility and forgiveness for your symptoms. The man needs to humble himself under the mighty hand of God. God will teach this man how to love his wife as Christ loves the church. Christ does not show his love for the church by having a nasty attitude. Christ drew people by his love and kindness. And let me tell you this sir, there is nothing more attractive to a mature woman than a man who is loving and kind. She will light up every time she hears your name. If you want your woman to respond to you more favorably you must humble yourself enough to master the art of love and kindness. As the man, it is your job to lead. Leadership also includes to the functioning of the relationship. I promise you, any man who is willing to lead when it comes to quality time, good communications, love, and kindness will be seen as the king of his castle. He will never have to announce it because his woman will announce it for him.
Dear lady, I know you have been through a lot. There have been many things said and done to you by the man you love that has hurt you to your core. To be honest, you have a reason to be bitter but you must ask yourself this question. Does your reason to be bitter mean more to you than your reason to be better? Allow God to heal you of your broken heart. Allow Him to mend the pieces of your soul (mind, will, and emotions) that have been bruised.
Learn how to take what’s yours and go your way. Even if you do not see a change in him first, don’t let that stop you. Look at that man and begin to speak words of faith and favor over his life. Let him know that you respect him and he is the only man for you. You are a woman! God has given you the ability to birth life into your situation. Know that your forgiveness is the key to ridding yourself of the bitterness inside.
Remember, take what’s yours and go your way.