In marriage, there’s a rule you must follow. Eliminate the words “always” and “never.” In other words, don’t say to your wife, “You’re never are ready when I’m ready to leave.” That’s a buzz-kill right off the bat. Plus, it’s just not true. “Never” is a very difficult word when it comes to speaking truth. I used to say that the Cubs would never win a World Series and history had my back. The Cubs hadn’t won a World Series since 1908. It hadn’t happened in over a hundred years! But 2016 changed all that. The curse ended and the Cubs were champs. There’s a chance that in your marriage, the universe shifted and your wife waited on you. “Never” doesn’t work. It’s insulting and it’s just fake news.
But there are times when you should adhere to “nevers.” These are the good “nevers” of marriage.
Never re-preach a message to your spouse on Sunday.
Example: The wife says to the husband, “That was a powerful message on idolatry. Don’t you think your fixation on your bass boat kind of… well…” Stop right there. He’s got the Holy Spirit to convict him and a wife being a human highlighter pen is not helping.
Never telegraph your anger in cryptic, coded actions.
Guys, when your wife offends thee, avoid walking around doing huffy things like shutting closet doors a little more strongly than usual, answering innocent questions sarcastically, or in worst cases, throwing the garbage can lids on the roof of your house. Leave the word huffy with the bicycles. After decades of practice, I’ve found a much better communication method: USE WORDS.
Never assume he’s heard you the first time.
Most men have an ability to go into completely different universes when performing even the most menial tasks. Most women can text, talk on the phone, change a diaper, and fix a broken piece of china with superglue all at the same time. For most men, it’s like this: “Everybody be quiet and give me room. I’m shaving. Most of us can’t even comprehend the cerebral gymnastics of multitasking. If he’s doing anything, even clipping his toenails, ask him to stop, then grab his face with the palm of your hands and speak slowly.
There are plenty of “nevers” in marriage, just not the kind of “nevers” you say in arguments. There are also some incredible “always” rules that can make your marriage sizzle. Always encourage. Always forgive. Always put the toilet seat down. Always seek to improve your connection. Always work together in parenting. And always love. And the greatest these is always love.