3 Reasons I Did Not Confess to My Mate And WW Linkup!

Balm of ConfessionThere are many reasons why I didn’t confess my faults and sins to my husband in the early days of my marriage, but three of them stand out more than some of the others.

  1. I thought that confessing “I was wrong” about something to my husband was the equivalent of handing him the keys to a bulldozer, so he could plow right over me.
  2. I felt that if I was right about something, it would be “wrong” to apologize to my husband—no matter what my inadvertent “rightness” had cost him or our marriage.
  3. I also believed that because his sins seemed so much worse and more glaring than mine, that by confessing, I would only be pacifying him. In doing that, I was robbing him of the negative consequences (conflict and anger) that he needed in order to wake up to his bad attitude.

These primarily, and probably so many other lies and distortions, kept me from humbling myself and seeking to take responsibility for what only I could take responsibility for. Instead, I let my focus become all about getting my husband to take responsibility! And as long as I held these views and this stance, my marriage became mired in more and more messiness.

I don’t want to rush through this, so I’m going to unpack each distortion for at least the next three weeks.

Distortion One – “I’ll be hurt worse!”
First of all, I guess I’d forgotten that my husband loved me and didn’t want to “plow” over me, because as soon as I let my guard down and apologized, he was more than willing to admit his faults and sins too!

But perhaps you’re married to a spouse who is downright hardhearted and does want to “plow” over you, no matter how humble you are! Then I would say that you won’t be able to stop that completely. Actually, you might be egging it on, because you refuse to be humble and admit your faults to your spouse.

Yes, I know, your mate has faults too! Huge mistakes! Big!!

So you can wait all your lifetime for him or her to do the right thing, while your marriage languishes. Or you can be the mature and humble person, who recognizes your faults and sins, and extends the olive branch so that at least one gesture of healing grace is applied to the wound. Of course, if you want a “confessional culture” in your marriage (which is what encourages the healing), then you will need to apply this balm of “healing grace” over and over without an expectation of getting something in return! You’ve got to be in it for the long-haul.

Now I’m not saying that you should let emotional abuse go unaddressed or undealt with! I’m also not saying that you must resign yourself to a lifetime of being the “bigger person” who apologizes and takes responsibility ad nauseam. I’m simply saying that . . .

[Tweet “True healing change takes time—and months aren’t even scratching the surface! “]

And the more hurtful the environment has been, the longer you’ll have to work to be humble, apologetic and vulnerable.

Most importantly, you can’t do this on your own! You must . . .
[Tweet “Seek God’s healing balm for your own wounded heart in order to extend healing grace to your mate. “]

Next week I’ll be sharing about Distortion Two – “I’m right, so I shouldn’t have to apologize.”

 

What are some of the lessons you’ve learned about the importance of confession and apologizing to your mate?

 

What parts of confession and apology are still confusing to you?

 


Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, Wifey Wednesday, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, So Much at Home and Wholehearted Wednesday.

Let’s get this Wedded Wednesday Linkup started!

Messy Marriage

Find our other WW buttons and guidelines here.

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  • True healing takes time…yes, it truly does. And I agree even more with your other statement: You can’t do this on your own! True healing comes from the Lord above, He can put that back in any marriage. If only one spouse is serving God then He will give you that strength, wisdom and perseverance to be the peacemaker in the relationship so that all things point to HIM. Beautiful admonitions here!

    • You know, the sad thing about not choosing to confess is that not only do we miss out on healing, but it deforms us. We continue to grow older but the disease of our marriage takes on a life of its own. That means that if we ignore this principle in marriage, we think divorce is the answer because of our hardened hearts and deformed marriage. But like you’ve said, when we turn to God He gives us the strength to persevere and the power for it to be redeemed. Thanks for your encouraging words, Nannette!

  • Jacqueline@Deeprootsathome.com

    Thank you, Beth, for hosting this link-up! Have a blessed week!

    • You’re welcome, Jacqueline! Thanks for linking up and sharing that fantastic post of yours!

  • Nan

    Some people have a hard time admitting they are wrong, have a hard time saying they are sorry (if they say it at all), and feel that they know more than you.

    If I were married to one, I would really struggle in a marriage like that, because I would probably want to smack him occasionally, lol! 😉 Unfortunately there can be a problem with arrogance with someone who can’t be wrong. And I think there’s a fear there too, of either vulnerability or insecurity or whatever.

    Anyway, thanks for hosting today!

    • You are too funny, Nan! Yes, that would certainly be on my mind, even though I’d be trying ever so hard to restrain my arm! Lol! I’m grateful that my husband and I both recognized the need to confess and forgive. It would’ve been so much harder if he had resisted, like so many spouse’s I’ve heard about. And you named it, Nan, “arrogance” certainly is the seed that sprouts this ugliness in marriage and life! Thanks for coming by and weighing in, my friend!

  • Mary

    Thank you for this as always! Your tweet above about letting God’s healing balm work on my own wounded heart really touched me. There was so much left unsaid and misunderstood when my husband passed away and the healing has taken years to happen. It’s hard when you can no longer talk to the person about he hurts that multiplied in the marriage.
    I appreciate this safe place each week to share a few of my own thoughts and feelings on relationships. Hugs and love!

    • Yes, it’s the number one temptation I dealt with–always trying to focus on my husband’s heart instead of my own, Mary! Even though you have regrets about that marriage, I’m certain you have a wealth of wisdom and God-defined refinement in your life now because of it. Thank you for your encouragement to me, my friend! You’re a sweetheart!

  • Alyssa

    I know that feeling too! Sometimes I realize that I expect to be plowed over because, when I’ve been stewing over something, my heart-reaction is to plow someone over. By the grace of God, it hasn’t spilled out into an actual conversation yet. But I know that God doesn’t want my heart to stay there and is still working on transforming me!

    • Oh yes! I’ve been there too, Alyssa! Where I’ve let my resentment over these issues in my marriage take on a life of their own. Then I’m the one who is stirring the pot, so to speak! I do hope that you find ways to release that pent up anger to the Lord, to good friends who hold you accountable and in respectful ways to your husband. It’s something I will be unpacking moving forward in this series so I hope you’ll come back around! Thanks for your vulnerability, my friend! Hugs to you!

  • When I think I am right and he is wrong… But God’s ways are different from man’s, hence the struggle when we desire to please our emotions rather than God.
    …The way of the transgressor is hard. Proverbs 13:15
    I choose favour from God over gratification of the flesh.

    • Yes, you nailed it, Ugochi. I am trying to please myself rather than God when I let my pride over my rightness get in the way of humbleness and mercy. It’s a daily challenge to die to myself–more than I’d like to admit! Thanks for your encouragement to me and trust in the Lord, my friend!

  • I was just writing a post about this. For me focusing on the fact I have been forgiven by God helps me to remember to forgive my husband. I agree with you that once we share with our men they are more likely to share with us. Thank you for hosting the link up!

    • Yes! So true, Cassie! That’s the biggest motivator for me as I forgive and, eh hem, forgive some more! I always come back around to the fact that I am a flawed and sand-paper like human who hurts my offender or others just as much as they hurt me. But God’s grace still gets richly poured down upon my head! Who could receive such a gift and then not extend it to others? Thanks for your encouragement and thoughts. I do think our men are more fearful of this because they feel they must appear “strong” for us. But yes, modeling this grace-giving and humble-submitting is good for all involved!

  • Beth, my husband and I have had a few tough years. I so agree that God’s healing balm sure helps us extend healing and forgiveness to our mates. I know from experience that without God true healing and forgiveness, especially for a major hurt, is impossible. The Holy Spirit must work. Thank you for your transparency. Blessings on your ministry of helping marriages be stronger.

    • It always amazes me how many couples I work with that haven’t apologized for the major hurts they’ve inflicted upon each other. I would think that would be the first place I’d start! But then, when you live in that kind of fearful or prideful culture in marriage, you don’t realize how freeing confession can be. Thanks for your kind words here, Carmen! I’m so glad you and your hubby figured this one out!

  • I’m wondering if sometimes we’re just not able to confess our faults to each other because we didn’t see it modeled along the way. Or if we did, we soon realized that it was unsafe to do so. Or we were punished anyway so why bother …

    • I think that’s true, Linda. It wasn’t modeled very well in my family of origin. I can remember my mom apologizing one time to me when I was a teen and my dad apologizing backhandedly when he had a health scare not that long ago. But I NEVER saw them makeup or apologize to one another. I think that would have been such a game-changer for me as well as for them. I’m sure they only responded that way because it wasn’t modeled for them either. They both came from fairly abusive homes. Thanks for adding to the discussion, girlfriend! You have an incredible week and know that I’m praying for you, your mama and that sweet grandson daily!

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  • Crystal

    Beth, I found you over on Sheila’s Wifey Wednesday, and I’m so glad I did. I am learning to apologize to my husband earlier. For years it was a struggle to apologize because all I saw were his glaring wrongs. But saying I”m sorry brings release and freedom, and I’m glad I learned that. : )

    • I’m glad to meet you and visit your place as well, Crystal! And yes, apologizing certainly does bring release and freedom. I’m glad you’ve learned that secret as well! Thanks for joining the conversation and for encouraging me as well, new-found friend!

  • I love your emphasis on marriage. Apologizing is hard in any circumstance, but there’s certainly freedom in the “I’m sorry.” My husband is better at it than I am…although 40 years of marriage does present many circumstances it is necessary.

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