Working with your husband or wife (and still loving each other at the end of the day) can seem like a gigantic impossibility. I work with my husband all day, every day. I’ve heard people say it’s not healthy to be around your spouse all the time. I’ve also heard people tell dating couples that you can have “too much” of each other. Others say, “I wish I could do that, but we’d kill each other.” And the list of reasons goes on and on.
Whether you are doing a weekend project together, putting the kids to bed, or working a full time job with your spouse, here are a few principles to help you work together better.
Working With (and being married to) Your Spouse Takes Perspective
When conflict arises, ask yourself, is this worth ruining our relationship? Very few things are that big, so, while he may have some quirky things that you don’t like, you do quirky things too. Whether it was 2 months ago, or 20 years ago, you chose to say yes when he asked you to marry him. You admired him and loved him enough to want to spend the rest of your life with him.
Our pre-marriage counselor asked Joe and me this question, “Are you making a mistake?” We both incredulously stared at him and exclaimed, “No!” He then smiled and said, “Someday you will question this decision, and in that moment, I want you to remember that you knew you were not making a mistake.”
Remember your choice – you did not make a mistake. At the end of the day, I am so thankful that 15 years ago he chose me. When the kids move out, we will still have each other, so I choose every day to love this man that God gave me.
Find Room for Improvement in You when you Work with your Spouse
He is not perfect, and neither are you. You cannot change him, and you will just get frustrated trying. For example, my husband still wears socks with sandals. When we first got married, I nagged and pushed, but now I’ve grown a little bit, and have chosen not to care. He still wears them, but this questionable fashion choice doesn’t change the quality and character of the amazing man that I married.
Since you can’t change your spouse, work on changing yourself. Work to become a better wife: Be kinder, gentler, and more patient. Society tells us that we are all okay the way we are, but don’t believe it. Would it be acceptable if your baby never learned to walk or feed himself, if your four-year old never potty-trained, or your teenager never learned to drive?
Life is about growth, and growth means change. I hope I am not the same person I was 15 years ago or even 1 year ago. Set goals about the kind of woman you want to become. I want to be a godly woman who brings stability into my home, not emotion. When I work with my husband, and we’re together so often, it brings me face to face with character issues I want to work on. I can’t teach my boys who are watching me what a good wife looks like if I refuse to evaluate myself, and never change and grow. Never stop improving!
The term respect is not necessarily popular, but without it, the two of you will always struggle to be a team.
First – Respect him because you should. Women often treat their husbands like he is a little boy who never grew up and is not worthy of respect. When we fail to show simple respect for our spouse, it is usually because we think we are better. People who work together ought to show respect to each other, especially if that person is your husband or wife. Don’t look down on him for simply being a man; men are not inferior to women no matter what society says.
Second – respect his differences. Could you imagine if we were both emotional? It is a blessing that God made us different.
Some of the differences I admire about my husband are:
his ability to drop everything and play (Moms are often too busy feeding and cleaning to remember to play.)
his emotional strength (He is touched by special things but never ruled by his emotions.)
his decisiveness (He is not worried about what others think.)
his leadership (He makes a decision, and leads us through it.)
What are some of the differences between you and your partner? Allow your differences to complement your relationship.
While I am not an expert, I have learned a few things in my marriage as well as in counseling couples in our church. I love my husband and enjoy being with him all the time. He is my best friend, and the man that God gave me. If you do not have this type of relationship, I challenge you to think differently, work on improving yourself, notice the positives, and choose to love him the way he is. As you grow, you will notice that working together is doable and even enjoyable.
About the author: Dana Huss serves as Ministry Coordinator at Northside Baptist Church in Davenport, IA, where her husband, Pastor Joseph Huss, is lead pastor. They are the co-founders of Northside Learning Center, a dyslexia tutoring facility. She also home schools her two sons, Ben and Josh.