SHOULD WE CHANGE FOR OUR SPOUSE?
Should We Change For Our Spouse?
by Markey Motsinger
It's amazing what marriage reveals. One day you think you're a good communicator, and the next you're being told that you play the devil's advocate, and it's not your spouse's favorite thing.
A couple of months ago, my husband, Ryan was tossing around an idea, and instead of asking questions and building him up, I started playing devil's advocate. It didn't end well.
In my heart, I truly don’t mean to be negative or depressing, it just comes naturally. Ha! This got me to thinking:
Why do I play the devil’s advocate? (By the way, why is it called this?)
I have a different opinion
I don’t know how to share my differing opinion
Sometimes I just want to share my opinion (hear my voice) and not ask good questions.
I fear that my opinion won’t be asked and I won’t get to share it before a decision is made.
My opinions aren’t the end-all, be-all, but I want them to be. How selfish! Here's the next question I have:
Why do I fight so hard for my opinion to be heard?
I feel important and smart when my opinions are heard and used.
I usually have something riding on whether my opinion is heard or not.
I want to prove myself worthy of being included in the conversation.
What it boils down to is a lack of identity in Christ in this area. I don’t feel enough, important or valued, and I am trying to seek it through these discussions.
Why do you fight so hard to win? (I know I am assuming here that you fight with someone in your life!) Most fights happen because we fail to ask good questions. We jump straight to assuming we know what the other person is saying, and we end up walking away offended.
It's hard to look at conversations from anyone's perspective except our own. It’s also hard to listen and be excited for the other person's ideas when the end goal doesn’t line up with your expectation or desires.
There has to be a way that we can put our desires aside and focus on encouraging and supporting other person ideas. This takes strength, selflessness and gaining an even stronger identity in Christ, but it’s worth all the work when we see our relationships get stronger and easier to navigate.
I am taking steps to learn how to communicate better. Not change who I am, but change how I communicate. This has taken me reaching deep and figuring out why I feel the need to play devil's advocate and why it's so hard for me to change. I may never be perfect at this, but I am devoted to becoming better. Is there anything you consistently hear from your spouse? How could you take this feedback and allow God to show you if there is anything He wants you to change about it?
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