The Moment That Changed Our Marriage

At twenty, I was a young bride.  Granted, early loss and later family friction forced me to grow up in certain ways.  I had been financially independent for three years.  Nevertheless, one of the tacit agreements in our relationship was that my first-born husband would take care of me and I, the youngest in my family, would be taken care of.  Curt was only nine months older than me, but I was younger in many, many ways.  Thus ends the setting of my story.

One Sunday morning [isn’t it always Sunday morning?], three months into our marriage, we had an argument.  Who knows the whys or the wherefores.  We disagreed on some decision, and I was adamant in wanting my own way.  As our little white Toyota pickup drove down Olehanson Road I burst into tears.  Not tears of grief, but tears of thwarted desire.   By the time we turned onto Old Highway 101, Curt had relented, capitulated, backed-off, reversed.

I had hardly finished wiping my face and blowing my nose when I took a few slow, deep breaths. An incipient smile began shaping itself on my face.  Something between a giggle and a chuckle came out of my mouth. What made me say the next words?  Where was the governor of my mouth that moment? 

“I can make you do anything I want.”

The words hung, suspended in the cab of the truck, for an eternity.  We were both shocked. 

It was a silent, sober and subdued young couple that arrived at church that morning.

I didn’t see myself as a manipulative wench.  I thought I was a loving wife.  But the words said something entirely different.  Curt didn’t recognize the pattern that had been developing until it smacked him in his eardrums.  

It was God’s mercy, Kyrie Eleison, that turned the filter off, and let those words tumble out the instant they came into my head.  From that moment, we both knew that things would be different.  I apologized, crying tears of grief this time–grief at my selfish pigheadedness. 

In the thirty years of our marriage, we have probably had half a dozen decisions where we strongly disagreed.  We have hashed out our arguments, talked through the issues, supported our positions.  But we have always agreed that the last word was Curt’s, that he, as my husband, was the head.  Several key decisions in our marriage that were initially very painful for me have turned out to be “hallelujahs” in my life, occasions to be thankful for the wisdom of a godly husband.  He didn’t turn out to be a tyrant.  But, thank God, he is not a pansy.

Happy Anniversary, Babe.  You are The Best!


13 thoughts on “The Moment That Changed Our Marriage

  1. WHoa, I cant believe those words escaped and transformed into live words! Good thing everything worked out in the end (and continuing). Congrats on living out the word marriage and forever. I LOVE to see young couples last.

  2. Carol, thank you for sharing. This belief, that the husband is the head, takes on so many shades of meaning, but like you, I believe it means trusting God to help my husband make Godly decisions and not demanding my supposed wise way — ultimately, I had to realize that submission (in the way God intended) means submitting to trusting God — I didn’t have to worry about my husband making wrong decisions if I truly believed that God, in His sovereignty, was leading, providing, and sometimes, even correcting both my husband and me.Congratulations — thirty years committed to your husband, held in God’s hands — beautiful!

  3. blessings for the next 30 + years! may the Lord continue to guide you and keep you… yes, i agree – Sunday mornings are the mornings that “it” will happen — thank you for your honesty — i too can write a similar post to share and witness— A Biblical Portrait of Marriage, by Bruce Wilkerson was one of the key courses we did together…

  4. Wow! What a story…and so very honest. Thanks for sharing. I take it “Kyrie Eleison” means God’s mercy? Yes, God does slap all of us in the face with our selfish hearts sooner or later, doesn’t He? And I have seen how God has worked in your relationship w/ Curt and it has been an inspiration to me. “Keep on keeping on,” as someone told me 32 years ago

  5. What an adorable picture. What a honest story. Happy Happy Anniversary to a wonderful and much blessed couple. Cheers to Carol and Curt! HurraH!! Blessings be to you on the next thirty!

  6. Happy Anniversary and thank you for sharing that story.  What a testimony! Thanks for your transparency and honesty.  What a gift that you recognized your manipulation so quickly (by God’s grace) and were humble enough to repent and desire to change.  How many marriages struggle for years and years because one or both parties are unaware or unable to admit the problem? What you have shared about your marriage has blessed me many time, my friend.Blessings,Sandy

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