My husband struggles with workaholism, a time-stealing beast he continuously tries to tame. As his loving wife I do my very best to support him by praying for him and living with him in an understanding way.
During one of those seasons in life when he was working more hours than he or I wanted him to, I was turning into a shrew. Now granted, I had just cause and he knew it, but adding more pressure was not the answer.
Our home was filled with turmoil because my attitude had pretty much tanked. At one point I even reasoned with myself that I should just pack up the kids and leave because he was never there anyway.
I even remember my snarky thoughts when I declared to myself, He probably won’t even notice for a few days. Which was foolishness, because the only thing keeping that man upright was the love he had for us and his comfort in knowing we were well and safe.
At the core of my problem was that I had forgotten my vows, for better or for worse. This was a worse. A big worse.
My man was not breaking his vow; he was just in a tough season and I had to look beyond that season to who I knew he was and to what was best for our family. And what was best for our family was not making matters worse by demanding my way.
I could let him have it—make my point with a loud voice and lots of words. I could have taken any semblance of love and peace that had been salvaged in our home and stomped it into the earth and ground it to oblivion.
My husband didn’t have time for me, and I was hurt. So I was ready to do something drastic to get his attention. Never once did I stop to consider that maybe God was doing something drastic to get my attention.
God was at work
This tough season in our life led me straight to prayer, to God’s Word, to seeking Him as never before. And that ultimately led to brokenness over the hole in my heart that needed to be filled by God’s love, not my husband’s attention. God was at work even in my hard circumstances.
We weathered that storm because our home was built on a solid foundation. As the storm was wafting into the distance, my husband shared with me one night that his own walk with the Lord had been strengthened because I was so patient and kind with him when he had no right to receive such patience and kindness from me. He said he understood more fully that Christ’s love for him was not based on his performance.
It was just after this tumultuous time that we got the call to leave corporate America to come to work for FamilyLife and serve in ministry.
It is not lost on me that this call may never have happened had I made that drastic move to get some attention.
I don’t know the depths of your pain or the problems you are facing in your marriage, but I do know God is not surprised by what you are going through. Seek Him in prayer, praise, worship, and the reading of His Word. He will keep in perfect peace those who trust Him (Isaiah 26:3).
Copyright © 2014 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in MomLife Today®, FamilyLife’s website for moms.
1. Tracey’s husband, Bill, tells the story of his battle with workaholism in his article, “I Was a Workaholic.”
2. Read more by Tracey in her MomLife Today posts and in her book, Be the Mom.
3. Plan a weekend getaway with your spouse to spend time together and build your marriage—attend I Still Do™ in Washington, D.C., on October 4, or a Weekend to Remember®.