My husband pointed out that it often times seems difficult for me to embrace him after we have had an argument or disagreement. In my mind I thought, “Yeah that’s true.” But I don’t know why that is true of me and I don’t want to hurt him. Sometimes I just shut down.
Not knowing how to respond, I told my husband,
I wish I had a reset button.”
He reached his hand across my face and pushed my forehead with a gentle nudge of his pointer finger, while making a silly sound effect. Oh how I wish it were that simple.
There have been plenty of times that my husband comes to me in humility to attempt reconciliation. As much as I appreciate his courage to initiate restoration in our relationship, there is pride in my heart that makes it very difficult to move on.
There have even been times that he gives me a hug and I keep my hands at my side.
Why do I do this?
I want reconciliation. I want us to be in a good place. Yet, I resist being open and available to be part of the reconciliation process.
And it’s not like I stand and think, “I will never let you in again!” No! I want to jump back into being us in love and happy again…I just don’t know how to do that.
I wish I had a reset button for intimacy.
My husband asked me if I desire him. My lack of initiating sexual intimacy was sending him the message that I don’t care to be with him. Hearing him share this hurt my heart. The truth is that I do want him, I just don’t put forth the effort to pursue him and justify why I don’t do this with a million little reasons. When my husband kindly acknowledged his need for me to pursue physical intimacy with him, I shut down. I don’t know how to jump in and act. Hearing that I have neglected him makes me feel like an awful wife. Instead of pursuing him, I want to roll over and sulk.
I wish I had a reset button for my mouth.
When my husband and I are in the middle of a discussion and I don’t agree with him, there goes my mouth running off words that are aimed to hurt him. I don’t use foul language, but my disrespectful attitude, body language, tone of voice, it all contributes the same. And it’s wrong. In these situations, it is almost as if I become more quick and witty than ever and words come out without thought. It is so hard to stop.
I wish I had a reset button for our relationship.
In the beginning of our marriage I was hung up on this one. I was consumed with thoughts about how marriage was not what I expected and how awesome it would be if we could go back to how we were when we were dating. Negative marriage experiences compiled in my heart and all I could think about was life back then. This lie, believing dating is better than marriage kept me from growing as a wife and growing in the areas that could benefit our marriage. These consuming thoughts were holding me back from what I truly wanted, a fulfilling marriage.
I know I am not the only one who at one time or another wished for a reset button, a do over, a clean slate. Being able to start over again is appealing because we think we would do things differently, better.
There is no logical sense in dwelling on wishes for a “reset button” because no such thing exists. It is simply something I imagined, something my flesh desired, because resetting, pushing a button, would be easier than hearing that I am not perfect, it would be easier than addressing the parts of my character and how I operate as a wife that are not good, it would be easier than investing time and energy into making marriage work, making marriage better.
The best thing I think we can and should do, is stop getting hung up on the emotions we feel when we are confronted with the truth that we are not perfect. Pride will tell us that we can’t reconcile because, that we can’t initiate because, that we can’t have self-control because…pride places the blame and makes excuses. Pride isolates you from your spouse.
What we need is a humble heart, a right perspective of the value of marriage and a willingness to re-engage, regardless.
Resist pride and resist the desire your flesh has to make things easy. Participate in the reconciliation, hug back, speak kindly, initiate physical intimacy, be available and have the courage to do something good.
Our do over is the moment after we are confronted with the truth that we are not perfect, that sometimes we make mistakes, that sometimes we neglect our husbands or hurt them, that sometimes we are wrong.
Our “reset button” is choosing to change for the better and acting in that choice.
Oh and we can rest in this truth from God,
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
– Lamentations 3:22-23
Every morning can be a reset. Every new day comes with new choices!