I usually would never title a post with such a serious name. I am always skeptical when I read an all-encompassing title such as this one. I’m skeptical because well, how could another person possibly know what is the most important thing for my marriage. Whatever they’re thinking probably is the most important thing for their marriage, but certainly can’t be for every marriage. So if that’s what you’re thinking, I will encourage you to keep reading. I think you will agree with me on this one. And even if you don’t believe it’s THE most important thing to remember, I am convinced that you will at least agree that is in the top three most important things to remember when it comes to a healthy marriage, and will understand why I named it the most important thing for a marriage.
I actually read this little bit of advice from a book, Love and Respect. (I actually did a book review on it a few years ago, so if you’re interested you can check that out here. It is definitely one of my favorite marriage books. It really opens your eyes to what a husband or wife really needs from their spouse.)
The most important marriage advice I’ve heard is to remember that your husband (or wife) is a good-willed person, specifically when they do something that hurts you. Remind yourself that he loves you, and whatever he did to make you upset doesn’t change that. Also remember that whatever it was, he did not purposely do it just to hurt you. He might not have even known that it did hurt you.
I think this might be better shown through an example. Let’s say you ask your husband to take out the garbage the following morning, and he forgets. And let’s also say that you guys have been going through a harder season where it feels like he seems to forget a lot of things that you ask him to do lately. I think it can be so easy to jump straight to the conclusion that he keeps forgetting to do these things because he doesn’t care about you. (I am always very quick to jump to this conclusion.) This is when it’s important to remember that your husband is a good-willed person. Remind yourself that while it may be easy to think that he did this because he doesn’t care about you, he more likely didn’t do it because he forgot, and that’s it. I think it’s also helpful to remind yourself in this moment of the last thoughtful thing your husband did for you so that you don’t jump to the conclusion that he doesn’t care. Dwell on the reason why you know he cares.
While I’m not saying that this will just make everything better. It still might make you upset or angry, and I am not saying that those feelings are wrong or not justified. I just think it’s important not to run with those feelings. Once we start believing that our husbands do not care for us, we get into very dangerous waters. I believe if we start thinking that they don’t care, that’s when the foundation of your relationship starts breaking down and it can only get worse from there. Without trust there is no relationship. We really need to be able to trust our husbands for us to be able to work out issues or for our relationship to thrive.
Please note that I do recognize that this may not be true for every relationship and that I am aware that there are abusive relationships where this basic truth does not apply. If you are in a relationship and you do not feel that this is true, and you do not feel that your husband genuinely cares for you or know that he does things to purposely hurt you, please think about seeking help. You do not deserve to be in a relationship that is hurtful or abusive.