6 Ways to Be Safe for Your Spouse ~ and the $40 Giveaway!

Life's not easy, is it.

There's plenty of push and shove in the workplace and you can't help but wonder when that pink slip's going to appear on your desk.  You're scared at what your kids are being exposed to and you're concerned for your aging parents.  There's political wrangling at the church and it looks like the country's going right down the tubes.

Meanwhile your family's health issues alarm with their unexpectedly relentless onslaught.  And the cupboards are looking mighty bare while that mounting pile of bills threatens to completely do you in.

Yet, by some measure of grace, most of us seem to be able to muster up the ability to be polite and gracious to those we rub shoulders with during this daily grind.

So how come our spouses too often get the short end of the stick?

When we finally meet up at the end of the day, exhaustion's the hallmark.  We are preoccupied and often impatient and rude toward the one we've committed our 'for better or worse' life to.  Worse yet, we can't seem to tear ourselves away from our screens to connect at levels greater than distracted grunts of acknowledgement or the occasional 'uh, huh.'

This is hardly a compelling invitation to deeper relationship.

Bottom line?  We all need a safe place to fall, a secure arena where we're fully accepted and appreciated for who we truly are.  Our heart's desire, male or female, is to be held, to be cherished, to be heard, to be safe.  And marriage is the optimum place to have trust flourish by having these needs tenderly nurtured and faithfully tended to.

And chances are if you extend this lovely grace, it will, in some measure, return to you.

But if you are unwilling or unable to offer this life-giving gift, be sure that there's a very good chance that your spouse will sooner or later do one of two things.  

Either check out emotionally, perhaps physically.


Find someone else who'll supply what he's yearning for, whether it's an emotional, sexual, intellectual ... or even a spiritual connection.

So ... what's it look like to be safe for your spouse?
{I am using the word *him* below to avoid the awkward *him/her* thing}

1.  You are fully present.
When you discern that he'd really like to connect, you step away from your screens or your endless to-do list.  You build trust by being still as he speaks, looking straight at him, gently tracking and listening closely not only to his words but the underlying cry of his heart.

2.  You do not butt in.
You refuse to throw your two cents in every time he takes a breath, instead giving him the quiet gift of listening well, giving him full permission to be a verbal processor as he sorts through what's on his heaping plate.

3.  You are non-judgmental.
You are grace-filled and don't minimize or brush off his concerns.  You don't morph into judge and jury at the first opportunity.

4.  You don't lecture.
You don't preach, lob Scripture at him, or toss pat answers his way.  You discern when to offer words of encouragement or direction, and ask permission before going there.

5.  You are respectful.
You don't put him down ... to his face or behind his back.  You refuse to make jokes at his expense, use your kids as weapons against him, or use your marriage problems as fodder for conversation with friends ... or as detailed prayer requests.

6.  You refrain from sharing deep intimacies with social media bystanders.
You show respect for the sacredness of your marriage by keeping your most intimate marital experiences {emotional, conversational, sexual, spiritual} as your own private treasure.


I may be a pastoral counselor, but when it comes to doing marriage well, I'm still a lifelong student.  For example - I just scrapped a ready-to-publish post on spiritual issues because after getting my husband's take on it, we decided that it was just too tender and private to hit the internet.

In what ways are you safe for your spouse?

Every comment you leave on these Marriage Mini-Series posts
puts you in the running for the giveaway of a $40 Amazon gift card!
More details to come ...



visiting with
 Anita  .  Beth  .   Lyli