My husband was the first to suspect something.
He had concerns about that new friend of mine. Concerns that I brushed off. I thought he was imagining things and told him not to worry.
Besides, my friend was going through a tough time and I felt I needed to be there for her. She had problems in her marriage and could use someone who would support her.
She needed a friend.
So I met her for coffee and we talked it all through. She poured out her troubles and I listened as a good friend does. I heard about how he lets her down and how he doesn’t understand her. I sympathized as she told me about his failures as a husband and what a disappointment he was as a dad. Just terrible.
But she wasn’t one to only talk about herself. She wanted to be there for me too. She was a bit worried about my marriage as well.
My marriage? I mean, not that we’re perfect or anything. But I kinda like my husband.
Okay, I like him a lot.
Really? she pressed. It doesn’t bother you that he talks to you that way? All that he puts on you? Her heart was “heavy” for the load I had to carry.
By my second cup of coffee, I was starting to feel sorry for me too. Of course, I didn’t want to be taken for granted and now I wasn’t so sure I was appreciated for all I do. So I left the cafe feeling troubled in my spirit, as though something wasn’t quite right.
And you want to know something? It’s because it wasn’t right.
While my intent was to be a loving friend to her, this woman wasn’t such a good friend to me. She didn’t really want help for her marriage. She actually liked complaining about her husband—and, apparently, mine too.
It might have taken me longer than it should have, but what was happening eventually became clear. She was tearing down both her marriage and mine. Not okay.
So maybe my new friend needed someone and I’m sorry for what she’s been through. But what I need is a friend who supports and encourages me in my marriage.
So if you want to go out for coffee together? I’d love it. But just so you know, here’s the type of conversation I like to have:
- How I’m married to a rather good guy.
- How you can see ways in which I’m growing (and maybe a few more I could work on).
- How you’ve been praying that we would learn to love each other more fully.
- How you’re cheering us both on.
- How you’re excited to see what God is doing in our lives.
- How you’re learning to love your husband even better.
- How you’re determined to be the best wife you can be.
These are the kinds of things I want to talk about with my friends. And if you’re struggling and hurting in your marriage? Quite honestly, my heart goes out to you and I really am a good listener. But let’s talk about ways to build up our marriages rather than tearing them down. Let’s look for things that will offer help and hope in our relationships. Let’s see what we can do to strengthen your marriage – and my marriage – over a cup of coffee.
Because that’s what real friends do.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. (Heb. 10:24)
In His grace,
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