The sum of SMALL things: When we don’t face small issues

It was over dinner when I released the kraken and unleashed sharp words towards my husband. I’m not proud of it but it was the case. I have been bottling up my disappointments for the past week and it was one dinner that I had to say it though I regret not being respectful about it.

Days after, he posed a question and said “when did this all start?”

 I tried to trace where it all started and then I realized it was during one (emotional) dinner at home. I was telling him about something sensitive and personal, and it was the first time I brought up that topic. As I was pouring my heart out and on the verge of tears, he casually said “wait I’ll just get water”.  He then proceeded to the kitchen, took some time and went back to the dining table and said casually, “ok, tapos?” (“ok, and then?”).

So I swallowed my tears, just shrugged it off and said “yun lang, tapos na yun” (that’s it, it’s done). He asked if I was ok and of course I said I was ok, which was true at that time because in my mind, t’s not as if he intentionally wanted to interrupt me and be insensitive.

Along that week I faced disappointments and rejections here and there from him.

But the final straw was that Sunday – the beginning of another week. I ran my first race for the year which was 11 km. I finished the race at 1 hour 28 minutes even if I hadn’t run 10km in my regular work out. When I got back from the run and since it took some time, Jason told me he told my mom that I was just probably walking my way (to finish the race). It was funny if I wasn’t serious about finishing the race. (:p) That time it was just nothing but later it struck me that he doubted my capability of finishing the race.

Between then and the kraken, I was bottling up, becoming irritated at him and was critical of him by pointing out his mistakes. All these reactions I didn’t notice until he brought it to my attention on me being critical of him. He asked how my spiritual life was, and I was defensive said, why was he asking? Later it escalated and I was emotional as I voiced it out.

But really, after that moment it didn’t make me feel any better. It would have been ok had I been loving and respectful about it.

If I could put into words the things I needed those times it would be

1. to be understood

2. to be cared for

3. to be believed in

At a later day when we were more open with each other, by God’s grace we were able to find out that sometimes those little things of disappointments, rejections, and insensitivities can become a big thing when ignored. The sum of small (ignored) things is a big mess. I feel that it’s okay to let small things go at that particular moment. But eventually we should communicate how we feel to avoid the bottling up. Of course I am still in the process of applying this…

Sometimes people wonder why they have fallen out of love. I could only speculate that there were hurts, disappointments, and cracks along the way that escalate into a point of no return (or so they think, because nothing’s impossible with God!). We are thankful to God that He has enabled us to cling onto Him to guide and lead us in this marriage. I am glad that Jason was given the wisdom to bring up that we must face even small issues before they grow.

When Jason found out about those “small things”, he understood where my critical nature was coming from and he sincerely apologized. He also acknowledged my emotional needs and I forgave him of course. On my end, it was also impressed in my heart that I put myself first than him. That I was selfish and self-centered by just considering my emotions, being sensitive and too caught up with how I feel and not giving him the benefit of the doubt. I was too focused on my emotional needs being met and I was also keeping record of those small things.

I was then reminded of and rebuked by the verse in 1 Corinthians 13:5

Love is not rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

Ouch. But God is clear about love and the bible clearly says how love as a verb is. One way to apply this is in marriage. Another thing that I need to do is surrender my needs (wanting to be understood, cared for and believed in) being met to God, because truly only God can meet our needs and He has assured us of this many times in the bible. Towards Jason, I can voice out these needs to him so he knows where I am and where I’m coming from, but I shouldn’t demand it from him.

The moment I surrender it is the moment God can work in and transform my heart and I can be loving and respectful again to Jason, still by God’s grace.

The sum of small things doesn’t have to be a big mess. Because the sum of small things when talked about with a right and surrendered heart is a marriage that gives life, one that energizes.

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