Marriage

Cardinal Rule

Have you ever been around a couple who constantly cuts each other down? Or maybe you’ve been around a couple where one of them makes jokes at the other’s expense? Possibly, you have even had the experience of a couple down right duking it out in your presence. Maybe you are this couple. Why is it so easy for us to says things at the expense of others? We do it all the time in the name of humor. Unfortunately, it does not edify. Have I told you lately that my husband is amazing? If someone ever came to me and said, “Cindy, girl, your husband was doggin’ you today and sayin’ nasty, nasty stuff about you. You might wanna hode yo hoops and take him out!” I wouldn’t believe it. Not because he isn’t capable of it, but because it’s just not likely. He’s done a lot of things but he doesn’t do this. Why? Because we decided early on in our marriage that we weren’t going to be those couples like the ones mentioned above. We were going to speak well of each other. We were going to honor one another in public. If a matter needed to be addressed, we’d address it at home…not in front of others to try to get some point across with a little chuckle. I’ve failed at this more than I’m proud of. And the moment I do it, I am immediately disheartened. I don’t let any grass grow under these size 9’s so I go to him and ask for his forgiveness without delay. What is it for your marriage? What is important to you?

20 thoughts on “Cardinal Rule”

  1. this is something Lorren and I are pretty good at. We slip up in the name of “humor” sometimes…but usually this is a high priority.

    something else that is also important for our marriage is laughing, humor!

  2. This reminded me of the “needlers” on SNL. Anyway I agree. Enough said. And I fail at times as well.
    Thanks for the reminder today. Again, your awesome!

  3. there really are only two covenant relationships in my life:

    – the one I have with God through Christ

    – the one I have with Joy in marriage

    thus, only one thing supercedes my marital covenant. that one thing is not ministry, work, family, or friends…

  4. My first marriage was just like this. To the world he was handsome, successful, a deacon in our church but life was painful and I was constantly the ‘butt’ of all his jokes. I have never endured such emotional distress. It was almost like it was a game that he played. I never told anyone…not a soul..that is was worse at home when no one was around. My entire personality changed because of it. It has taken years to get over the emotional distress he caused. He was very careful how he handled himself around those from church but I was in a living nightmare at home. He now continues this type of behavior at the expense of our son, who is nearly 20.

    God has blessed me with such a wonderful, Godly man now that I would never even consider talking behind his back negatively or in front of him at his expense. He is not perfect but neither am I. But I have been blessed by his unconditional love of me and how he holds my heart like a precious china tea cup instead of breaking it into a million tiny pieces all day long.

  5. It’s marriages like those you described that results in my praising God that I’m single. I have several married couple-friends that behave this way. One day I was invited for dinner at a couple’s home. They started …. I cleared my throat and said “HHmmm. I’m standing right here listening to all this.” The husband replied, we’re just having a little fun.” My response was – “How come no one’s laughing?” While I can’t really speak for the couples who engage in this kind of cruel bantering, I can speak for those who get caught in the crossfire. If you don’t respect each other, could you please respect the people around you?? Thanks so much for bringing this topic up. There’s nothing I love more than watching a couple truly love each other in word and deed.

  6. Excellent post and a good reminder. Of the virtuous woman the Bible says, “The heart of her husband safely trusts in her. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” It is a terrible habit and very destructive to belittle or cut down a spouse or a child. Thanks for a good word aptly spoken. Blessings.

  7. I used to talk smack about my ex-wife after we separated.

    But I stopped doing that because it sucked.

    Now I speak of her honourably as though she is… shockingly… my wife.

  8. This is the exact reason I can’t hardly stand watching shows like “Still Standing”, “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “According to Jim”, as it’s always the nagging wife criticizing her dolt of a husband, or the goofy husband making jabs at his nit-picky wife. Perhaps these sit-coms have led us to believe that insulting your mate (or other members of your family, for that matter) is funny. It’s not. It comes down to respect, and there ain’t nothing funny about not respecting the mate you CHOSE yourself. πŸ˜‰

  9. no, I meant “out of the overflow of the HEART…”

    (I was in the shower when I realized that dumb mistake on my earlier comment…dusting off my Bible now, thank you very much!)

  10. I agree about the shows, Abbi, there is no place for cutting one another down. Don’t get me wrong, there are times JT and I will poke fun, but I gotta tell ya, it’s usually dog gone funny and we’re BOTH laughing. There is no malice. I espcially never cut him down. I don’t even do that at home! And he doesn’t do it to me.

  11. My husband is just simply put “amazing” and I love and adore him so very much. I used to be a very sarcastic person before I was a Christian and before I met Greg. When I met Greg, I learned so much about how a husband should treat his wife and how a wife should treat her husband. Greg is such a great example of how a man should love his wife as Christ loves the church. Greg loves me and shows me how much every single day. I am blessed πŸ™‚ beyond measure. I love what Jean wrote on this blog today. Vickie glad to hear your story and how God is blessing you in your marriage. Cindy thanks for the reminder.

  12. Well, we don’t do this and hopefully never will. We have been around couples like this and decided early on, we just cannot be friends like this. Being around women who “man bash” makes me feel so uncomfortable. Deep down you know it’s an area of woundedness.

  13. I want to be more intentional in affirming my husband. He’s a physical touch kind guy in the NEED area (so you can just imagine the type of affirming we’re talkin’ about here…;), but he doesn’t dole the non-sexual stuff out (TMI?) all the time; so that makes it tough for me. I end up forgetting to touch him b/c he’s not touching me! But at least we know it’s something we have to work on. I have no excuses b/c my husband is a wonderful, handsome, strong, smart, funny, cuddly guy.

    I also want to cut down MORE on the sarcasm. I Looooove sarcasm, when it doesn’t hurt someone. It’s hysterical. But unfortunately it’s also sometimes lazy talk. Instead of saying something sweet or encouraging, we tease and joke. Sometimes that’s good. But I want better.

  14. What is important to me? Hmmm…cool question! Making God 1st…Intentional Time together…Real Conversation…Respect of boundaries and agreements pre-set by both of us…Personal growth time (for talents, exercise, alone time)…Laughter…oh! and definitely Sleep πŸ™‚ (without it we are both cranky and annoying)

  15. Jerome and I pick at each other in fun…all the while laughing with each other. Sometimes I do wonder if it could make others around us uncomfortable. I do believe we should build each other up as much as possible when we are talking with others about our spouse. If we speak of the wonderful things about them…we will focus on the wonderful things about them…and not focus on the little irritating things that don’t really matter anyway. I am so in love with my husband. As I honor him with my words…my love for him grows!

  16. I don’t throw Terry under the bus for fun. I’m usually really mad. But I do try not to do this in front of others…although it is the best way to get sympathy.

    You don’t want to be my friend any more do you?? =)

  17. This is something I am consistently working. We’re pretty good about not fighting in public it is the time that I’m alone with the girls and they are joking about their husbands. I need to remember to keep my mouth shut! Thanks for the reminder. I found you from Mindy says…

    she has a few more links of yours up I’m going to go check out now.

  18. Dear Cindy,

    A friend suggested I visit your site. I tried to email you at your email address, but the link did not work. If you don’t mind, I would prefer to continue our dialog via emails rather than via the blog posts. Two years ago I made some terrible mistakes in my marriage. I was honest with my husband and told him what I did. We went to counseling, and two years later we are now doing amazingly well. I gasp just to see what God has done in these two short years, to redeem and (like you say) resuscitate our marriage. However, I am writing you for advice or encouragement. I am wrestling with a heavy burden of guilt. I feel in almost constant torment about my past sins. Sometimes Satan causes me to remember details that perhaps I spoke to the counselor about but not my husband. Satan accuses me and terrifies me concerning those details. At the time, my husband asked me not to tell him all the details but to instead confess the broad sins and leave the details to a counselor/mentor at my church. I answered every question that my husband asked me….and the questions that he still asks me. I confessed most everything to him; but like I said there were “insignificant” details that he asked me to not to share. I feel like this constant fear and anxiety is from Satan. I believe I have honored my husband and been completely honest with him. I keep fighting the anxiety and fear attacks with Word; but I am getting tired and I don’t know what I should do. Can we talk further about this? I would greatly appreciate your insight and advice. Thank you, D.

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