When You Say "I Do", You Also Say "I Don't"

When You Say, “I Do”, You Also Say, “I Don’t”…& a Link-Up!

Sometimes when I read an email from a wife who follows my blog I just scratch my head at what the husband is doing in the marriage.  This email is a perfect example.

Dear Jolene,

I am a very new bride and still have so much to learn.  Can you give me advice –

How do I cope with jealousy?

I love my husband very much, but I must admit it hurts me when he leaves a message for a female friend on Facebook, or keeps a photo of one of his ex girlfriends in his drawer.  I don’t want to seem insecure or a nasty nagging wife, but what can I do???

signed, JM

When You Say "I Do", You Also Say "I Don't"

Dear concerned wife,

Every. single. woman. deals with insecurities.  Period.  I wish that statement weren’t true, but it is.  So please know that you’re not alone.  And just because you’re married now, those insecurities don’t just disappear either.  A husband can either help strengthen a wife’s self-image or he can destroy it.  That’s what I see taking place in this marriage, and that’s why I scratch my head by the husband’s actions.

 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.  Prov. 18:22

But before I give this man a hard time, let’s assume a few things first….

Let’s assume he has an old dresser and he hasn’t cleaned it out in years!  If that’s the case, then those pictures don’t necessarily mean he’s longing for his old flame.  It just means he’s unconcerned with what’s in his sock drawer.

And the female on facebook?  Perhaps it’s a co-worker or somebody he’s ministering to???  It could be a number of innocent reasons.  Now mind you, just because it’s innocent, that doesn’t mean it’s wise.

A husband who plays around on Facebook with females is essentially playing with fire.  Satan is the master deceiver and the great tempter.  If the enemy could get a husband wrapped up in a snare of temptation, then he will!

So, let’s assume the husband in this situation is innocent in why he’s got old photos and why he’s on FB, but let’s go further in this scenario.  Let’s assume he’s naive as well.  He’s not thinking his actions are a problem, which, according to the world’s standards, they’re not.  But then again, he’s not being wise in protecting his marriage.  He’s not protecting his wife’s heart nor is he concerned about the potential threat of breaking her trust in their relationship.

When trying to discern a situation, you always need to look at the heart motive behind it.  In other words, why is he doing what he’s doing?

I’ve shared a few possible scenarios…  He could be completely innocent or naive.  Or he’s crossed some marital lines.

Here’s where the marriage vows come into play….

When a woman and man pledge their undying love to one another and they make a lifelong commitment to their future mate, of course we all know they say ‘I Do’ to the vows.

Saying ‘I Do’ to your marriage vows also means you’re saying ‘I Don’t” to your prior lifestyle as a single person.

You’re essentially saying,

  • “I Don’t” dwell on past relationships.  (Get rid of old photos of your past flings.  It serves no edifying purpose to your marital relationship to keep them.  All it does it put doubts in your spouse’s mind and stirs up insecurities.)
  • “I Don’t” have friendships with the opposite sex.
  • “I Don’t” flirt with the opposite sex.
  • “I Don’t” confide in the opposite sex.
  • “I Don’t” have my eyes wander on the opposite sex.

One goal every marriage should have is to build trust with each other, and the way that starts is by acting married, rather than acting like a single person.

Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  2 Tim. 2:22

Now here’s what you can do to help this situation….

Ask him about the photos/fb messaging.  Give him the benefit of the doubt.  Assume the best in him instead of the worst.  Jumping to conclusions doesn’t ever make for a healthy relationship.

Talk with him about how the two of you can establish and build love and security in your marriage.  A wife needs to feel loved by her husband.  God designed her that way.   Hence, why the Bible commands the husband to love his wife like Christ loved the church.  And a man needs to feel respected.  And why the Bible commands the wife to submit and respect her husband.)

Since you’re just starting out in marriage, you need to communicate your needs to your husband so he’ll know how to love you.  After all, he’s not a mind-reader!

If your man’s heart is right, then the jealousy monster that you’re dealing with may diminish.  But keep in mind, garnering your emotions is something you’ll have to deal with for the rest of your life.  However,  jealousy and insecurities will start to fall by the wayside when you find your worth in Jesus Christ and as you continually sit at your Lord’s feet.

Now it’s your turn.  What have you done to either protect your marriage or deal with the jealousy monster?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Live a poured out life for Christ,

Photo credit: Auzigog / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

I’m linking up with: To Love, Honor, and  Vacuum, Women Living Well, and The Better Mom.
Happy Wives Club

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  1. says

    My Rooster got a text message from a girl that works where he does. He came to me and told me that she texted him. He told me also that he didn’t know where she got his phone number. He talked to his supervisor at work and let him know. She had gone into his personal file and got his phone number. My Rooster let the supervisor at work handle it.

    Yes, I felt weird about it. But I trusted him to deal with the issue.

  2. Lauren says

    While I agree with most of your “Don’t”s, I’m not in total agreement with I Don’t Have Friendships With the Opposite Sex. So does this mean I can’t be friends with my husband’s best friend or friends with my best friend’s husband? I don’t see how that is possible. I don’t confide in these people, but what how would you qualify a person of the opposite sex that you share time when you are with your spouse? Are they not your friends, as well?

  3. says

    We have certain boundaries and things in our marriage that we don’t cross.

    We don’t text or facebook message or chat on the phone with friends of the opposite sex. For example, I have men who are friends within the boundary of my marriage, but I don’t hang out with them apart from my husband and we don’t text or chat on the phone or whatever every day.

    My husband is a pastor and so often he will get a phone call or an email from a woman asking him a question about something. So he will answer the question (if he can) but they don’t sit and chat back and forth and he doesn’t confide in them, have lunch with them, etc.

    Thanks for hosting today!

  4. says

    I learn so much from you posts, Jolene. Thank you! And like you say…give the benefit of the doubt…my husband is fond of saying “Always ascribe the best intentions to the other’s heart.” Be blessed and thanks for the link up.

  5. says

    My husband and I have always been able to communicate in this arena. He is a huge sci-fi fan and computer gamer. Sometimes the images in the games can be distasteful in my opinion (as they are massively targeting a male audience). Anytime I feel like I’m uncomfortable with a particular game or show or photo from an game/show/movie, etc, I tell Adam and he removes it immediately. He always checks with me first before purchasing certain things wanting to know my opinion and my preference. I also have access to his phone, desktop, laptop, and tablet so if I wanted to check something I could. I appreciate his honesty and openness with me and I do the same for him. He continually reminds me how beautiful I am, and how much he wants me and no one else. This does wonders for boosting my confidence. He leans over to kiss and say he loves me when we see another beautiful woman in public, or it comes across on the TV or during a movie. I also strive to sort out marital issues with him first and between God and I before I ever consider bringing someone else into the matter. I had a bad habit of running to my family and my friends to complain when things weren’t working when Adam and I were first married. I don’t do that anymore. These are things we do to protect our marriage. We also trust one another, knowing we can ask each other questions if we need to. Both of us have been trustworthy and faithful in our relationship leading to more trust and more fidelity.

    When I feel even a hint of jealousy or when I feel my husband is neglecting me, I remind myself that my beauty and worth aren’t in my husband. They are wrapped up in Jesus Christ. And I know I can always go to my husband and tell him I need to feel his love and know that he loves, values, respects, appreciates me and finds me gorgeous. He’s always eager to comply!

  6. says

    I think your suggestion that men and women can’t be friends is out of line. If you can’t control yourself around people of the opposite gender, then sure. However, if you’ve had friends of both sexes for years it doesn’t make any sense for you to not have friends of the opposite gender just because you got married. Things like this are why so many marriages have resentment in them. Of course, this is just my opinion. Be blessed.