I asked my husband if he had any suggestions for my blog post this month. He immediately said, “You could write about extending grace to your spouse when they mess up.” Why did he suggest this? I had just sent him to the store to buy something – one thing, mind you – and he came back with the wrong product. I could have lost my cool and made him go back, but I just rolled my eyes and we both laughed. This tends to happen a lot in our marriage. We hear each other, but we aren’t hearing each other. We are both so drained from taking care of our little people and working that we only tend to invest half of ourselves into one another. It’s almost comical, but it’s really a reminder that it’s okay to make mistakes.
My husband and I are approaching our ninth anniversary and it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. In fact, it has taken us nearly a decade to finally realize that we’re totally different people, we’re both going to do stupid things that will irritate the other, and we can’t mold one another into the perfect partner. What we have learned is how to be merciful to each other when we do screw things up. We have learned that extending grace to each other is more important than being right.
When my husband forgets to set the trash out and check the locks on the door at night, for example, I could freak out, scold him about the smell of all the poopy diapers that will surely permeate the perimeter of the house until the next trash pick up day, and exaggerate about how we could have been robbed and murdered in our sleep…OR I could simply say: “I know you had a rough day at work; thanks for all you do for our family.”
When I’m impatient for items on my honey-do list to be completed, so I start halfway doing them myself and cause an even bigger mess, my husband could gripe at me for being overly eager, or he could hug me and say: “I promise I haven’t forgotten; I’ll take care of them.”
Marriage is about compassion and forgiveness. If you can’t laugh at the mistakes and move on from the misunderstandings that are bound to happen on a daily basis, you and your spouse will spend way too much time feeling frustrated and angry with one another. Instead, try to take a deep breath, smile, and remember why you married each other in the first place. What I keep in mind is that I love my husband’s quirks and I wouldn’t have him any other way. What ways are you extending grace to your significant other?