Friday

Update on My Impossible No-Fussing Marriage Resolution

Remember that Impossible, Ridiculous Until-New-Years Marriage Resolution I made? I purposed to spend my weeks till Christmas not arguing, fussing, or any other negative presentation to my husband. No complaining, no "Why can't you just..." Basically a fast that I was not sure would prove harder or easier to keep than fasting on food.



It has been several weeks, and I have to say I've been surprised by what I have learned from this unusual experience. It started because I felt guilty for realizing that, in attempting to make my marriage better by pushing and fussing, I was actually making it worse. However, I was not sure whether fasting on the above would make anything better, or just leave our marriage in this blank, neutral sort of place.

I was trying to do it for the right reasons:

And so this will be my fast. Not for my husband's sake. For me and for the Lord. Just like fasting food gives us a chance to exercise self-control, as well as giving us an opportunity all throughout each day to choose to re-focus on feeding ourselves spiritually rather than physically, so this fast will give me an opportunity to grow in the Lord and honor Him. Each time I want to say something negative to my husband, it will be a trigger to me to hand that thing over to the Lord. I need to make a habit of giving the Lord my emotional needs, rather than dumping them all on my husband.

 My fast started over a month ago, and like I said, I've been surprised at what has happened. It's hard to explain succinctly, but I'll try.

1. The first few times I had to bite my tongue were hard. After all, biting your tongue kind of hurts. But a fast of any kind is never easy.

2. I noticed pretty quickly that, when I kept my mouth shut, whatever I was buggered about didn't become bigger than it actually was. We were able to move on and enjoy the evening rather than starting a long discussion that would only go in a bad direction. Hmmm.

3. When I would start feeling negatively, if I put it into a spiritual fasting perspective immediately, I was able to sacrifice my "right" to feel upset and give it over to God as an offering. If I didn't catch it in time, however, though I might be able to not verbally express it, the feeling remained, and I struggled to let it go.

4. Even if the feeling stuck, though it showed in non-verbal ways, just the fact that I chose to keep it myself verbally made an impression on my husband.

5. His gratitude for the above, along with the mere fact that I haven't been negative on purpose, has made him feel particularly pleasantly toward me lately.

God is blessing this fast. Just like a physical fast purifies and in the end benefits, seems this kind does good things too. I hoped it would draw me closer to God and help me develop better habits of not just spitting out how I feel. It has. It has also made my relationship with my husband more fun. We are better friends. He doesn't have to tiptoe around me as much, and I am not always remembering the last thing that disappointed me or waiting for the next thing to upset me.

Interesting...

As weird as it may sound, I've mostly forgotten I'm doing this fast. I only think of it when I get a feeling and want to say something negative, then I have to inwardly talk myself through the process I'm developing. Other than that, I am enjoying the freedom of a relationship without fuss--literally.

As the Bible says in Proverbs 29:11, "A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards."
Another translation puts it, "A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back."

Giving up foolishness shouldn't be a hard thing, but if it's a habit, it is. =) I think I have decided I want to continue this fast even after January 1st arrives and passes. It is a good thing, forcing me to keep my mouth shut when it should stay shut, forcing me to take to God my disappointments rather than unloading them on my husband, and also training me to wait to speak until my harsh feelings subside and I can present my perspective in a calm and appropriate way. 

Down the road I'd like to think through some step-by-step tips on how to do this in an everyday, in-the-moment sense, so keep an eye out for that post ahead!

Till then, we'll see if I make it till New Year's. How about you? What do you think about the fasting fussing idea in the first place? Want to give it a try with me?


Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 
Proverbs 29:29


P.S. After I wrote this post, just this evening something happened and I caught myself speaking in that negative, frustrated tone before I caught myself. I realized it, shut up, and went and sat down and waited. Wouldn't you know it, the thing that I'd reacted to turned out to be him doing something considerate for me rather than the opposite. Good grief.

9 comments:

  1. I have so appreciated this challenge!! I cannot say I have lived up to par each day as I am sure I have let some negative slip here and there. But, I have definitely been able to catch myself more before I speak or react and it has definitely helped our relationship alot! My husband has warmed up to me more instead of walking on eggshells :) And likewise, I have caught myself seeing that when I wait and watch, my husband is doing something good for me instead of what I was thinking he was doing! I hate to admit it but I struggle with fear and my thought process. I have been in so many damaging and out of my control situations that I tend to think the worst and feel like I have to control the situation (in which I do a terrible job :)) I am so thankful that the Lord has been dealing with me these past years and healing my heart so that I can see and feel the way He intends for me to be. Your ministry has been an important part of this process! Thank you again for allowing God to use you for His Glory! ~God is good! :)

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  2. Thanks for this note, Kimberly. It's always nice knowing you're not the only one, isn't it? And more fun trying to adapt and change together than just alone. I'm glad you're in this with me! And I'm glad you've seen positive results as I have. Here's to continuing and making this a habit!!!

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  3. Ugh, do I have to :-P... well, of course I don't HAVE to... but I will. Thanks for the honest encouragement :).

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  4. Ha, you crack me up Amy! Welcome to the club. =)
    I found a blog I really like that I think you might like to look into. She had this awesome post on tomatoes on sandwiches (which has a lot of meaning that obviously doesn't make sense here)
    http://spiceandlove.wordpress.com/

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  5. I've done this kind of "fast" before and I've seen how amazing the benefits are, Kimberly Rae. But I've gotten lazy or forgotten just how beneficial it can be for my husband and for my own soul. I'm going to join you in this fast and surrender those critical and hurtful words to Christ every time they want to bubble forth. It will be hard but so worth it! Thanks for this great challenge!

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  6. Yes, yes, yes! I definitely need to join the club. It's easy to be loving and kind to those I hardly ever see, but in the ins and outs of daily life those closest to me are the ones who experience the "old nature". Thanks for the reminder of something we need to "put off" (Ephesians 4). I have to consciously work on the "tone of voice" that I respond with. Scathing sarcasm can fly past my lips easily and I have to ask God to "put a watch before my lips"!

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  7. Welcome, Beth and Casandra! I'm glad you're in on this with me!!! I know with Christmas coming up, sometimes with visiting and trying to keep the kids busy and activities to attend, these are times I find myself getting most frustrated at our different ways of dealing with life's exceptions. So here's hoping all of us truly have a Merry Christmas and make it about our Savior and not ourselves!

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  8. Kim I truly thank you for this posting. Just today I just ask God to help me through a fasting of not fussing at or with my husband. It's just the little things that he does that send me into a mood that I hate. Please be in prayer with me and thanks for this site.

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    Replies
    1. God bless you, Linda, and especially your heart to honor God this way. I know what you mean about those little things. =)

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