All I knew was my husband wasn't living up to my expectations.
I started questioning his motives and intentions. Every action he took or didn't take seemed like a personal attack.
"He left his socks on the floor just to spite me."
"He forgot to text me from work because someone else was on his mind."
"He didn't want intimacy tonight because he doesn't like me anymore."
Then I started to distance myself emotionally from my husband. If he was in the house, I would only give him passive-aggressive hints about how he had disappointed me that day or I'd give him the cold shoulder, expecting him to know what he had done wrong.
I could only see things from my perspective. I could only see how my husband's actions were affecting me. I could only see my unfulfilled dreams and shattered expectations. I only knew my hurt and my pain. I was so trapped inside my own thoughts I couldn't see how my thoughts and actions were affecting my husband. I expected him to make me happy and be the amazing man I had always dreamed he'd be.
And what man wants to come home to that? Even the Bible says:
It is better to live on a corner of the roof than to share the house with a .
He saw an angry and distanced woman and stayed away. I saw an insensitive man and wanted to punish him for it. Both of us were hurting, but each was too hurt and proud to let the other one know it.
Then one day, a friend painted for us a large, beautiful canvas that symbolized our unity and told our story--something I had never thought about before. We were a family, we had a history, and we had a beautiful future that was ours to create. Why had I been trying to run away from that for so long?
This was the first time I remember ever seeing my husband and I as a unit, as a family, as a team. I no longer saw us as two single people who were married or two adults who shared a house and a kid. It was as if a veil had been lifted from my mind. I had a "duh!" moment.
The change in my heart was dramatic. All the things that my husband did that used to drive me nuts no longer did. In fact, it was the opposite. I saw the socks on the floor and instead of a mess I saw the man who came home tired each night to provide for us. Instead of a cold, distant husband I saw a man who was struggling with his own issues, with worries, and fears that he had no one else to share with. I had been so blinded by my own fears that I couldn't see that he was fighting a losing battle with his own insecurities and with feeling he could never measure up to the world, his boss, his family, and now even his wife.
But the walls around my heart had been torn down. I opened up to him and shared my fears. But most importantly I shared that I wasn't angry at him, that he was not my enemy, that anything I had held against him was gone and was not going to be coming back. God had done a complete heart-transplant on me towards my husband. And what God does, no one can undo (Isaiah 22:22).
This moment came after nearly a year and a half of struggle with my own thoughts about leaving my husband. It came after months of prayer and advice from mentors. It came after allowing friends and family to speak hard truths into my life and allowing the Lord to change me, instead of praying for him to change my husband.
Marriage, after all, is His idea and was from the beginning, and not just a hum-drum marriage, but a marriage that's deeper and richer and sweeter than anything I could have ever imagined for myself.