Four Things You Need to Feel Loved in Your Marriage…

You want to feel loved in your marriage, right? Like more-than-anything-style, it’s the thing you want most, right? If you’re like most of the women we help, this is true for you, too. Yes, respect, but mostly love for us girls. And no, I’m not up for discussing the gender differences today. I AM going to take you on a bit of a journey to help you learn some KEYS to creating the loving marriage that you want. It will feel a bit like rabbit trailing (all over the place) but if you stick with me til the end, you’ll see where we’re going here.

And of course God gave me a timely example to share with you…

7am-ish this morning, after I dropped my husband off at work on the other side of town, I was presented with a choice.

“Prepared” would be the LAST word I’d use to describe my heart when it happened. The moment snuck up on me as I drove in the dark, making my way through morning rush-hour traffic.

Maybe you’ve had a few of those? You know, those TEENY tiny split-second-not-even-sure-that-just-happened-then-its-over-so-fast-you-forget-style moments… and most of the time, we don’t even notice them at all because they happen so quickly.

BUT…

They are the MOST IMPORTANT MOMENTS EVER.

And most of us (myself included) aren’t even aware they happen.

Over the last week, God’s been revealing to me MY “minutia moments” – and they leave me drowning in the awareness of the deep depravity of my spirit without Jesus Christ.

Dear God, save me from myself, before I inflict myself on others. More of you, less of me, more often, please.

So what happened? As I was merging onto I-75 North, I realized I needed to be in a different lane or I’d end up in God Only Knows Where. It terrifies me to drive in city traffic – I’m just a small town girl from the Northwest – traffic to me used to mean passing a hay baler on the two lane road from my house to work.

My heart pounds, I get short of breath, my shoulders tighten, and I am close to panic when I drive in traffic.

But we’re down a vehicle at the moment, and so I volunteered to drive my DH to work as driving the college student was more difficult, more traffic, and more often.

Stick with me, this all applies to marriage in just a moment…and it’s REALLY IMPORTANT.

So I drove. Heart racing, at 7am-ish, I prayed, “God, please – someone let me in…” And someone in a mini-van flashed lights and let me cut in front of them. I sighed with relief. (some of you now think I’m really pathetic – you’ve been driving in traffic all your life and you realize what a complete wuss I am… sorry, it’s just all true – even the wuss part)

As I sped along with the other drivers, a few miles down the road, I noticed someone trying to get over into my lane ahead of me. Blame it on not enough caffeine, the fact I’d been awake half the night, or just my sinful nature, I literally thought, “Someone else will let you in, I need to get home,” and I kept driving. Instead of paying it forward, I let my flesh rule the day.

And God reminded me of this:

You know the moment...That moment of

So here’s the thing – I’m currently in a state of “conscious incompetence.”

There were two guys, one named, “Harry,” the other, “Joe,” and they were studying human behavior. Here’s a link to give you more info about it if you are interested. At any rate, they discovered that there are parts of us that we do and don’t know about. They labeled them into four quadrants:

  1. The OPEN – what’s known to us AND to others, like the color of your hair, whether you ride horses, 🙂 whether you have a dog, or even if you like mashed potatoes.
  2. The HIDDEN – what’s known to us but NOT to others, like where the secret chocolate is, how much cash is in your wallet, and whether or not you actually like mashed potatoes or are pretending to.
  3. The BLIND – what’s known to others but NOT to US, such as the rude way we pick our teeth after a meal, how we interrupt our spouse in the middle of a statement, or whether we’re uber-defensive.
  4. The UNKNOWN – what’s not known to others or to us, such as having a tumor growing in your body, how we ignore the Holy Spirit in the middle of a moment (see where I’m going with this?), or how we’ll react in a situation we’ve never been in before.

It looks like this:

Known to Self NOTKnown to Others

But here’s the super-cool thing: Once something moves from the BLIND or the UNKNOWN to the OPEN or even the HIDDEN, in other words, once WE become aware of this thing we are doing – we are then CONSCIOUSLY INCOMPETENT. We are suddenly aware that we are lousy at something and have an opportunity to grow. This is awesome, because growth doesn’t occur without it. We know that we don’t know something. Think about driving the car for the first time – as an arrogant teen, you might have been like me and not known that driving wouldn’t come as naturally as say, breathing. You didn’t know that you’d have to THINK about where to put your hands, when to turn on the turn signal, when to check the mirrors, when to turn the wheel… that’s unconscious incompetence, or the BLIND – your dad knew you didn’t know.  Then as you started learning, you realized you had some areas of opportunity – things you didn’t know. And as you moved from BLIND to OPEN, you had to THINK about what you were doing… and became consciously competent over time. And my guess is now, you are unconsciously competent – you mentally lose pieces of road as you drive because you can drive without thinking about it. That’s the goal.

Here’s how this plays out with The Respect Dare experience (and here’s a link if you want to read up on this) – and I’ll get into the nitty gritty of the crucial importance of the minutia moments in just a sec…

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So here’s what’s going on with me…

I wasn’t aware of something I’m now calling, “Minutia Moments.” 

Those teeny tiny moments where we have a split second to choose to follow the nudge of the Spirit, or our Flesh – that’s what I’m talking about – not the bigger moments where we deliberate with ourselves, but rather, “There’s an opportunity to do the right thing and VRrrooooom! the decision is made and it’s gone-style” moments.

Because THOSE are the moments that happen BEFORE we head into conflict – before we get emotional – BEFORE we’re so deeply entrenched in the discussion/argument that we suddenly have forgotten what we want (intimacy in our relationship, win/win, positive resolution, etc.) and just a few moments later, we find ourselves behaving in ways that Create Exactly The Opposite of What We Say We Want!

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Here are the four things you need to know to feel loved in your marriage:

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You seriously might want to subscribe. We’re going into completely new territory for the blog for a while – stuff you’ll love, things you may have never heard before, and it’s based on two things: 1) THE BIBLE (of course 🙂 ) and 2) RESEARCH. Not kidding. Really. Subscribe. I’m having my mind blown by the stuff I’m reading lately. I think it might be a little help to you, too. 🙂

For now, I’m daring you to do just two things this week:

1. BEG God to help you be humble and STOP doing the things that don’t work and make things worse in your marriage. Complaint and criticism need to GO. NOW, if you want to make anything better at all ever. And if you start doing it anyway, STOP yourself, say, “Hey, I don’t mean to do things this way – I’m saying stuff that is not good, can I start over?” then begin again! 🙂

2. LOOK  for Minutia Moments – ask God to reveal them to you – and then just DO THE RIGHT THING. Obey the Spirit. Any good comes from Him, right? Our flesh often creates “fight or flight” or fails to create opportunities for His goodness and glory. More on that soon.

Got thoughts? Would love to hear them today! Dare you to join us in this journey – it’s a long one. If you’re toddler-wrangling you’ll want to check out Leah’s blog, and Debbie’s if you’re  tween or teen-wrangling.

Love to you,

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

21 thoughts on “Four Things You Need to Feel Loved in Your Marriage…

  1. Nina:

    Give yourself some grace. You were driving in a lot of traffic – in unfamiliar territory – in the dark. I am sure you were probably just so relieved to have “made it”. Sometimes, it is hard to think of others, when we have just “made it” ourselves. So, with time and experience on that road, I’m sure that you will let the person(s) in.

    I relate. I have just “let go” of a car that I found easy to drive. We can only afford one vehicle, and I am hesitant to drive the van. Since the car is gone, I need to be more enthusiastic about the van. (Taking buses may get a bit tiring.) So, good for you that you did the driving. (I guess it’s my turn to exercise initiative now.)

    Maria

  2. Thank u Nina and tiffane for ur encouragement. Praying and not arguing. Feeling content with Gods living word. But I am fearful I will slip up soon and complain-which leads to arguing. Nasty cycle – praying for him and stepping back and giving him lots of space. Please pray that I don’t give way to fear.

    • Paige, You are going to slip up! It happens.. Its what you do when it happens… Pray to be open to change and quick to say sorry when it happens. You will still fight.
      One thing… HOW are you praying for your spouse? That is really important. We can’t pray that God change them. It won’t happen that way… Pray that God is able to speak to his heart and keep praying for your own change.
      I have said this before on this and other blogs… I HEARD the voice of God tell me, “I will not work on changing him until you have changed.” Harsh right? Well, I worked hard, and little by little I see the changes in my husband.. Keep working hon!

      • Thank u. I have been begging God to change me. Yes I have seen change:). Praying for hubby to draw close to God-he’s a believer but seems far from God Lots of stress- work/kids/me/debt. I’ve slipped up and have said sorry to him- but he just says – no need to say sorry- as if he doesn’t care what I say or do- it doesn’t matter cuz he’s shut me out says he doesn’t want to be close to anyone. . Yes I agree it’s my response to this. Which usually makes me angry trying to get some response from him. Thank u for reminder – it’s my response. Praying for godly responses. Jesus is my healer.

  3. This was really good. Thank you! I drench myself in the Lord, reading, contemplating, praying, and SLOOOOWWWLY but surely I get a little breakthrough once in a while or see a little progress in my heart. I have been confronted with my pride that I have “arrived” and how could I possibly be/do wrong? I can see now that we can be blind to stuff til the day we die. So important to stay humble and open to change. And yes, the little decisions in the little stuff add up. But talk about a lifetime of that when you’re trying to turn a ship around! So glad we are commanded to persevere to the end and that our reward is heavenly, maybe never earthly.

    • Yep. We ARE blind until we die – there’s always something. 🙂 Just do the next small thing. 🙂
      SO glad you are here! 🙂
      Love to you,

      Nina

  4. Please pray for me– have been at this for too long. Have pushed away my hubby with my complaining and arguing about not feeling loved. It happens like once a week where I complain about this and now he doesn’t want to be close to me. Just a hug and kiss when he comes home or leaves for work I should be thankful for that. But he used to be so affectionate with me. I’m suffering the consequences for my sin of disrespect. I get angry cuz I feel unloved which just pushes him away. I get it. But now he is so far. Praying for a heart change for him and for my complaining to STOP. I feel stuck and lonely. But I know u understand where I’m at and thank u for ur blogs which r right on.

    • Paige. I am so sorry. This is hard, indeed. But Jesus. He is in the redemption business. 🙂 Stay here with us. We will be working through the next step. In the meantime, I will pray for you. You are not alone.

      Love to you,
      Nina

    • Paige,
      Its not too late!! I was separated from my husband and he was seeing another woman…. Today we are back together and I know he loves me… I work hard to make sure he feels respected… Its a learning curve to see what works best for you… I have been able now to say I am sorry right away and ask my husband what he would like to see me do differently in certain situations. I take his words to heart and apply them. Our marriage truly is stronger now. There are hurts still and healing to be done yet from the time apart, but every day gets better.. Yes we still fight, but not like before.

        • We are all in this life together to help one another! If I can spill my story and help another woman than I do! I refuse to let me past embarrass me. It has shaped who I am.. And who I am is pleasing to The Lord.. The only one who matters!

  5. Love this! So true! Holy Spirit, open our eyes to the “blind side” of our behaviors – those behaviors which do not extend God’s mercy towards others or ourselves. Pick us up when we fall and inspire us in those tiny moments which make all the difference. We want to be pleasing to You.

  6. I almost skipped reading this today. Glad I didn’t!! I have been on this journey for a while now. I love the idea of minutia moments. I know I am guilty of the little things you mention. I have seen the looks on my DH face when they happen.
    I am praying that GOd help me to STOP and to realize what I am doing and change it! AMEN

    • WE ALL ARE! 🙂 And realizing that opens up a whole new area of freedom, I think – because BUT JESUS. I know you know. 🙂

      Love to you, baby! 🙂

      I’m praying the same thing. 🙂
      ~Nina

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