What to Do When He Drives You Crazy – Keys to a Successful Marriage
Has your marriage been struggling? Don’t give up on it just yet. You can rekindle that love you used to feel. All you have to do is identify the problem – and it’s always the same in every relationship. Here is the key you need to cultivate a successful marriage.
What is a Successful Marriage?
First of all, what exactly is a “successful marriage”? Recently, I asked my husband to define “success.” I asked because my business had hit a rough patch and I started feeling a bit discouraged. His response surprised me. I assumed he would equate success in business with money, but he didn’t.
Success is when you are recognized as an authority in your field. You know you are successful when others look to you for guidance.
I’ve been chewing on that for quite some time, and today as I sat down to write this article, it hit me. We have a successful marriage. Our success is not determined by the number of years we’ve been together. We can say we are successful because we figured out how to have a happy relationship.
Newlyweds Seem So Funny to Me!
Love is such a crazy thing. Remember the days you thought being apart for half a day was sheer misery? In your dreams, did your man ride a white horse and carry two bags of gold, while slaying ferocious monsters?
I have two married sons, and one of them is NEWLY married. He and his wife are so “in love” it’s sometimes hard not to laugh. You know what I mean. The rosy glasses haven’t come off yet, but soon the day will come when they get hit with a dose of reality.
Marriage is ALL THE TIME and FOR ALL TIME, and there will be moments when ALL THE TIME is just TOO MUCH TIME.
A Happily Married Woman
Now, lest you think that I am a cynic remember that I am happily married – VERY happily married. My husband and I met as teenagers and wed our second year of college. Together, we have raised five children and can claim 28 years of wedded bliss. When he walks into the room, I still feel all warm and fuzzy – just like when we were newlyweds.
At least, I do most of the time.
Sometimes, I feel like strangling him.
Yes, it is true. My husband and I suffer from being human. We get on each other’s nerves, and there are times we need our space. The stresses that arise from needy children, broken-down cars, lack of money, and out of control hormones can sometimes make it seem like our life together is miserable.
But, it’s not.
It took a long time, but I finally figured out the secret to a happy marriage. I had to learn to love my husband as Christ does. Some of the time I’m pretty bad at it, and it hasn’t been easy. The difficulty doesn’t lie with him; it’s my selfishness that gets in the way. The reality is this: for your marriage to be happy, you must find a way to love your husband selflessly. This rule applies to EVERY relationship. If Christlike love is not present, your marriage will fail.
Love Him Like Christ Loves Him
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
Let’s take a closer look at this verse. It says that Christ gave up everything for us, while we were “ungodly.” He didn’t ask us to change first, or insist that we do something to earn His love. He gave it to us while we were “sinners.” He “commendeth his love toward us.” In other words, He proved it when we didn’t deserve it.
Love Requires Action
Love requires action. It requires you to make a conscious decision to give your husband your regard, even when it’s not merited. This decision means that you might have to swallow some irritation or turn a cheek or two. Giving him this gift is harder than buying a present or sending him off for a night with his buddies.
Learning to let go of petty irritations is the most difficult part of becoming a loving wife.
Here is the beautiful thing though. If you worry about yourself and leave your husband to God, things will change.
For example, I am a terrible backseat driver. All of our worst arguments usually start in the car. If I were honest, he hasn’t had a ticket or accident in something close to twenty years, yet for some reason, I am just sure we are all going to die in a fiery blaze of glory on the highway. I admit this fault of mine to prove a point. Over the years, I nagged about his driving so much that he came to expect it. It reached a point that I couldn’t even blink in the car without him getting defensive.
After one particularly nasty fight, Jesus and I had a heart-to-heart about it, and He convicted me. It took a LONG time to undo what I had done, but now we have peace in the car. I finally realized that problem was not his driving; it was a control issue. I was selfish and wanted to be in control. Once I realized that and let go, I was able to relax.
Consider the Bible’s Love Chapter – 1 Corinthians 13
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind… envieth not…vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
So, in a nutshell, here is the key to a successful marriage – quit being selfish. Learn to let go of petty irritations and work on your own faults, not his. Ask help from God, because you will never be able to do it in your strength.
Note: We realize that some marriages are far off track. This advice is for those who just feel like they “fell out of love.” If you feel you have serious marital issues, we suggest you seek the help of your Pastor in finding a good Christian counselor.
About the Author
Kim, and her husband, Craig, celebrated 28 years of marriage this year. Mother to four boys, and one girl, Kim has spent the past 21 years homeschooling her children.Kim directs the Children's Music Ministry at church, teaches children's Bible classes, nannies two sweet little boys, and serves as a freelance writer for several web-based businesses.