One night I frantically woke my husband by screaming and slapping him in the face. As he swatted and searched himself for spiders, he kept asking if I was just dreaming. I insisted it was not a dream. I was convinced he had spiders all over him, including his hair.
As we stood in our dark bedroom swatting spiders off, I suddenly realized it was in fact a dream. Not only did I wake him up in the middle up the night, I did so while frantically screaming and convinced he was covered in spiders.
He said I attacked him. I insisted it was an accident. We went back to bed, but neither of us slept. We both realized the contrast in emotions was caused by a build up of repeat accidents.
It’s a funny story to tell now. However, we learned sometimes these repeat accidents from one spouse toward the other can take a toll on a relationship. They often cause frustration, which can eventually lead to bitterness.
Broken marriages are typically not a result of one big fight. More often, they are a result of small things piling up over the years. Things swept under the rug. If we neglect to resolve these issues as they come, we risk dealing with a pile built too high.
How can we prevent these small frustrations from piling up and causing bitterness over time? Below are three actions we have found helpful.
Share feelings but don’t attack
When someone makes continued mistakes, especially on accident, it can wear on everyone involved. Sit down with one another and talk about how these events make you feel. Often, the person who is continually making these innocent mistakes feels as disappointed as the person who is receiving the brunt of them.
Forgive your spouse
Forgiveness can be difficult, especially when it’s regarding a repeated offense. Sometimes we feel as though we are having the same conversation over and over, et things are not changing. If this is the case, ask your spouse if there is anything you can do to help them.
Evaluate your expectations
When someone is repeating an offense, it’s good to evaluate both their actions and your expectations. Were they acting in sin against you? Or did they accidentally act in a way that simply annoys you? If the other person’s actions are repetitive but not related to a sin issue, sit down together and figure out why the actions continue. Is it possible there are unrealistic expectations on your part that cause the other person to continue not measuring up?
A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
Wife step: Which step do you need to take action on today towards forgiveness with your spouse?
Pam Hill says
I used to have night tremors and my husband would be so angry—after he could breathe again. I would wake him up with terrifying screams, and I wouldn’t remember them afterwards. It happened a lot. Although I didn’t slap my husband because of spiders, I’m sure he wanted to slap me! I totally relate to your stories and deeply appreciate your wisdom from the word. The practical steps will be followed.