Over the past two weeks, Edric and I have been having a little more friction than usual, especially compared to the weeks following my surgery, when he was super attentive and sweet, and I was meek and gentle (I didn’t have a choice, I was too weak to be combative, and too appreciative of his care to see him as an enemy!)
So recently, I asked him, “Why have you been ‘mean’ to me?” I meant this in the sense that he seemed to be more irritated and impatient towards me. His response was, “Well, you have also gone back to your ‘opinionated’ self.”
I actually laughed when he said this because it was true. I had been challenging him more and less respectful, as well less appreciative. However, during our ride to church yesterday, as we dealt with another episode where he corrected me for several things that he felt like I had fallen short in — time management, being on top of the kids’ schedules — I teared and expressed to him something like, “Can you please be easy on me and more understanding? This is not a normal season in my life.”
I didn’t want to use breastfeeding a sixth child, lack of sleep, recovering from major surgery, digestive issues, dealing with early menopause, and feelings of sadness and fear about my health as excuses, but I kind of felt like they were valid enough to disrupt normalcy, orderliness, and efficiency in my life. I wished he would consider the season I was in, and not think that looking okay on the outside meant that I was totally okay on the inside.
Instead of getting into a conflict with him over this, I prayed to the Lord that he be the one to convict him, and he did. Initially, Edric and I sat quietly beside one other at church, but at some point during the service, he leaned over and motioned for me to come close to him. At first I shook my head to reject his attempts at reconciliation because I wanted some space. However, he insisted, and whispered into my ear, “I will always take care of you.”
Bingo! That was all I needed to hear– reassurance. Later on in the day, we got to talk some more. I listened to him. He listened to me. All was well again.
In marriage, you have to communicate. You have to be honest with one another when there is hurt. You don’t have to do it in a disrespectful way, but you need to be able to say what’s on your heart. If you don’t do this, the resentment builds up and you begin to pull away from one another. You begin to look to other outlets, people, and pursuits to fill what is missing in your own relationship, and to avoid conflict.
Edric and I have dealt with many moments of conflict through the years, mostly revolving around our personality differences. I can be super irritating to him. And there are things about him that irk me. However, we are committed to making our marriage work, and that means having difficult conversations when there is frustration. It means seeking to understand where the other is coming from, and laying aside self-centeredness and pride.
Edric and I are currently dealing with the consequences of surgery on my body, questions about direction and God’s will for us, and the addition of a sixth baby. It’s not the easiest time, but we are enjoying a depth to our marriage that this point in time encourages us to have, to love each other and to stick together through it all.
This year we will celebrate 18 years of marriage. One thing that has made a significant difference is to keep having honest conversations — to keep talking, to keep connecting with one another, to keep resolving conflicts as they come. In the Lord and with the Lord, issues can be fixed and hurts can be healed.
18 thoughts on “Honest Conversations with Your Spouse”
Thanks for sharing this story, Joy. So touching. I cried when I read the part when Edric said that he would always take care of you. You are very blessed for such a hubby that God has given you; and all your lovely children too. May you continue to live for Jesus.
You are a big hypocrite joy! Wake up and stop those victim mindset.
Hi Lora! I am just curious about the statement big hypocrite. Please let me know what you mean in specifics, so I can improve. And what do you mean by a victim mindset? Do you think it’s wrong, for example, to be honest about the things you are struggling with and how you feel and to share them with others, and then to talk about how God helps you to resolve these issues in yourself and in others? That seems to be the opposite of being a hypocrite, and my understanding of a victim mindset is to remain in a state where you don’t want to change, to improve, to forgive, to move on, or to look to the Lord, or to hope in him. So I am curious about your definition of a hypocrite and a victim mindset. Maybe it’s different and I would like to understand where you are coming from so that if there areas where I need to change, to be more Christ-like, then you can share these with me…
Edric was so unlucky to have a wife who doesn’t know what to prioritize. You love being on the limelight and you call yourself a super mom but everybody knows you are not. You always use people’s feelings just because you got raped. For all we know it was actually your parents bad karma. You don’t actually serve god but you serve money and fame all the worldly pleasures. Don’t act as a victim all the time. Stop making people around you miserable too just because you have an attitude which is unpleasant. If you truly serve god then stop flaunting that’s the only time you will find real joy but it’s too hard to that specially when you get to manipulate people and not just ordinary people. All you know was to complain and brag what you have. You think you’re a celebrity?! I don’t hate you but i hate your attitude and that should be changed.
7 Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. 8 And God isn’t pleased at being ignored. 9 But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. Roman8:7-9
You are right. I am not good at prioritizing right now. It’s the truth. It’s really hard to prioritize when you just give birth. As for your comments about Edric being unlucky…I hope he won’t say that. But I know that I am definitely blessed beyond what I deserve to have a loving husband like Edric. About being in the limelight, flaunting, serving money and fame, calling myself a super mom, and thinking of myself as a celebrity, I am not sure where you got these notions. But if I have ever come across in my posts as such, please forgive me. That’s not been my intention. One of the main reasons why I started this blog and maintained my IG and FB accounts was to have a platform to talk about my walk with Christ, the honest realities, the imperfections, and the joys of following him. I want to exalt him. If you feel that my motives are otherwise, that I am not glorifying God, that I am trying to be the star here, please tell me how I can change and improve in the things I post and say. Maybe you have some helpful suggestions. I want to know what you are thinking so that I can improve. Please connect with me through email or send me a message on FB so we can really have a conversation that is productive. The other things you said about me using people’s feeling because I got raped and my parents having bad karma…hmmm…I actually don’t know what to say. These are pretty hurtful statements but I don’t know where you are coming from, which is why I hope that you will connect with me on a more personal level so we can get to know each other better. I always believe that God uses people to show us areas where we can improve that’s why I wanted to respond to your comments so you can tell me what you see in specifics that are actionable. And maybe I really have done things to offend or upset you and I just never realized it, so I would like to have the opportunity to understand and ask for forgiveness for what what this or these things may be…I hope you read this…
Joy you don’t deserve those hurtful comments. Please continue to inspire people and praying to those who do not see the goods of others.
So true.. I laughed out loud when I read about you rejecting your spouse’s initial attempt at reconciliation, because this is something I do as well. It’s my pride acting out 🙁 I really appreciate your honesty because it makes you so relatable. You inspire me to be a better wife, a better mom. Please continue writing because we all need to read positive content in cyberspace 🙂 Ignore the haters, they just need to vent at someone hehe. God bless you always!
Lora and Monggo sorry but that comment is uncalled for you may not like what she posted but Joy doesn’t deserve that unhurtful comments at the very least she needs compassion and understanding and support. I hope you know the saying if you can’t say anything nice don’t say it. Its not easy to talk about your life and be bashed like that.I’m just a silent reader i’m not a member of CCF so i have nothing to gain by defending her but i do know what it was like to have kids and a husband who calls me out and expects to always submit unconditionally.
Thank you Joy,
It doesn’t matter if I am way older than u and
The number of years I have been married .
all I know is that God is teaching me many things through your sharing. I know what and how to pray for my daughter who is married and has two boys 4 .5 and 1.5 years old
Though Not a home schooler. She and her husband are Christians and part of a Dgroup
Just ignore the haters Ms. Joy. Your message to the world, specially to mothers are always a source of LIGHT to this troubled world. Every time I feel stressed and unhappy I always check what you posted and it always brighten up my day. Stay healthy and beautiful. God bless you.
Thank you Joy for being honest and real. I am encouraged by your sharing, really enCOURAGEd. Thank you… and in other observations, “Hurt people, hurt people” – dont mind them. Stay on track. 🙂
Hi Joy thank you for sharing your walk with God in all aspect of your life. I dont know how did I come along with your blog post but all I know is this is not an accident. The Lord uses you in so many ways and your blog about conversation is really helping me and my husband who’s also on the same phase of our life right now. I have triplets 2 boys and 1 girl. Also having some health issue and will undergo surgery soon. Reading your blog helps me to stay focus with the Lord and to keep trusting him. Thank you so much for sharing your life as a living testimony. Please continue on writing.
Hi Joy! May the precious blood of Jesus covers you and your family especially Pastor Peter and Sis Deonna who are so anointed by the Holy Spirit. And appreciate how you response to the hurtful comments, truly you live an authentic Christian life.
Hi ate Joy,
I’m from Viet Nam and I want to say thank you for creating this blog. It encourages me alot when you open to share your difficulties and hard time or imperfections side in your life. It relates to me alot and I know that God always with you and love you. I pray for your healthy, your mind and your soul, they will always be protected by God, by the Holy Spirit. And Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1: 3-4)
Oh my I can’t believe some of the negative comments being thrown at Joy for sharing her experiences. I hope you won’t let these comments bother you Joy and just keep in mind a lot of us learn and are being brought closer to God because of your blog. I can imagine how difficult it its to manage a household and care for six children, including a newborn and yet you make time to share your thoughts and experiences. I have endometriosis as well and we haven’t been blessed with a child of our own despite medical interventions. Your blog has shed some light and made me feel better. After failed attempts, I put everything in God’s hands and I know He will give us a child if and when it is the right time. Some people judge us for not trying harder when they don’t see that God has the hand in everything. They obviously don’t know what it’s like to be infertile. Some even say I should stop loving cats because that’s the reason why I haven’t been blessed with a child (which is crazy). It’s as if they know better than God when it is him that knows what’s best for us.
Many readers love reading your blog and as they say, you cannot please everyone. If anybody does not enjoy reading this blog or thinks it does not bring them closer to God, they can choose if they will keep on reading.
What I know from having met both Joy and Edric in Kenya, together with her family, is their commitment to bring out the best in relationships and the Godly character of relationships. One thing that may be offensive is Joy’s humility, and Edric’s willingness to reach out. What I heard them teach, from her dad and mom to Edric and herself is only practicable for humble individuals, and persons willing to walk it and work it out. If humility doesn’t sit at the bottom of your heart, all she says is hogwash to you. It’s wisdom, if wisdom sounds wise to you. Otherwise… haughtiness and headstrong have never sustained relationships, not to mention how many they’ve ruined. And PS, the person who referenced the tragic rape incident…. May God have mercy on you.
♥ ♥ Joy, keep sharing, keep shining
Even your response to hurtful things people say to you is inspiring. I can see God is using you to really teach us how to be more Christ-like. I can imagine hearing you on TED talks and other non christian seminars to share your ideas and all these things you have learned so many more can see Christ through you.
Take heart! Your life is a powerful message to us by God. Thank you for all your courage. Ill be praying for you that even if more ‘hurters’ would come you would be able to handle them with love through God’s wisdom and gentleness.