take a step toward {day 4}

realhardloveGabe and I are speaking at Real Live Marriage in Danville, Indiana next weekend (Friday, Feb. 15 @6:00 pm). Well, technically, I’ll be speaking, and Gabe will be there, nodding his head and implying, “Yes. What she said.” If you live near Danville, the event is open to the public, and we’d love to meet you. Details here.

I’ve spoken on marriage a lot in the past decade. Much of that has been on sex, maybe because it’s not always easy to find someone willing to get up in front of a bunch of women or couples (or 170 men) and talk about such a sensitive topic.

I personally think it’s a barrel of fun. Really.

The coordinator of the event told me I can speak on anything God lays on my heart. And while sex is always an easy way to keep people’s eyes (and ears) wide open for the duration of your talk, I wasn’t getting the sense that’s what God wanted me to focus on.

And sex can be a tricky one, because while lots of couples just need a little boost to get things back on track and headed in the right direction, many others have some deep wounds and hard stuff going on. A little sex pep talk isn’t going to fix anything.

I asked God to give me a word, and here’s what I heard him say:

“Take a step toward your spouse.”

Just a step. One step. Toward, not away from. When things are hard, and you’re feeling zero love for each other and a whole lot of animosity and resentment, it’s so easy to take step after step after step away from your husband (or wife), away from your marriage.

To turn toward the wall when you’re lying in bed. To snap at him when he says something that rubs you the wrong way. To spend another hour downstairs on the computer when you know he’s waiting for you upstairs.

To send another negative text to your friend, mom, sister about his laziness, incompetence, rudeness. To sigh and huff and roll your eyes. To pay him back for the way he treated you recently.

To complain about him to your kids. To purposely do something you know annoys him. To shoot him that icy glare you’ve just about perfected.

The silent treatment.

When marriage is anything but easy, and we don’t think our spouse is doing his/her part, we give in to the anger, the frustration, the bitterness, and start heading the other way.

Taking a step toward your spouse is HARD. So hard.

But so worth it. My marriage is proof of that.

One step you can take today is to invest some time reading some wholesome (but fun) material about loving your husband or wife. And I’ve got a deal for you.

Last week I told you about Bundle of the Week, where you get 5 related e-books for the low price of $7.40. This week’s topic? Marriage.

And one of the e-books featured? The Husband’s Guide to Getting Lucky by yours truly.

One of the other e-books, Entangled, is a powerful (true) story written by my friend Amy Bennett on a tough topic: emotional affairs. It was Amy who was caught up in one, not her husband. The other three e-books (A Simple Marriage, 15-Minute Marriage Makeover, and Stripped Down) look really good too.

If you click on this link and buy the bundle, I get TWO DOLLARS (one because my book’s in the bundle and one because I’m an affiliate). You can sign up to be an affiliate too if you want! So far in 2013, the bundles have sold 500-2200 copies a week.

And I’ll make you a deal. If you a.) buy a bundle or b.) just share the link to the bundle (or this post) on Facebook or Twitter, I’ll give you a copy of The Husband’s Guide (for a friend, if you bought the bundle), Once Upon the Internet, or my yet-to-be-re-named-or-released e-book on marriage (the new and improved e-book version of Blushing Bride) AND a chance to win a copy of Is That All He Thinks About?

Did you catch all that? Basically choose either A or B (buy the bundle or share the link to it), leave a comment, and you get a free e-book and you’ll be entered to win a paper copy of Is That All?

And, in the interest of full disclosure, sometime between when I started writing this post this afternoon and when I finished writing it tonight, I had the perfect opportunity to take a step toward my husband WHEN I REALLY DID NOT WANT TO. I got an F on my first attempt (because I didn’t make an attempt) and a B- on my next one, because I didn’t like his response to my “step toward” and had a pity party for myself.

Sigh. (Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.)

Thanks for sharing about the Bundle of the Week! You guys are the best! See you back here tomorrow! A sweet friend of mine will be sharing An Affair: Part 1.

13 thoughts on “take a step toward {day 4}

  1. Pingback: week-end re-wind {day 10} | Marla Taviano

  2. Kevin


    I bought the bundle, read your book “The Husband’s Guide to Getting Lucky”, and found your blog. I just can’t even imagine what a difficult year you and Gabe have had. How did you make it though without either: a) killing Gabe or b) getting a divorce? 🙂

    1. Marla Taviano

      Well, it’s like this. I HAVE NO IDEA. No, actually I do. It was all God. My journal is plastered with “I WANT TO KILL GABE” and “I CAN’T DO THIS FOR ONE MORE SECOND.” I’m (slowly) working on another e-book chronicling the whole messy story. Thanks for stopping by, Kevin!

  3. Sharon

    Your word from God? He mighta given it to you just for my benefit. Okay, I’m sure others will benefit, but it is brilliant!

  4. Cheryl Pickett

    Really love this. One step, just one. As you said, that one can still be hard, but for whatever reason this was just a bit of fresh air for me at the moment. Thank you, blessings.

  5. Laura

    Wow. Really, just wow. Every. Single. Paragraph…I can relate to. Yes, every one. Sigh. God must have wanted me to see this today. Thanks, Marla. (And thanks for your help last week with the jewelry. You pointed me in a GREAT direction!)

  6. Yalonda

    My friend, have you been looking in my window?? I am queen of the icy glare… And I have an eye roll that can cut pretty deeply. I’m going to concentrate on stepping toward him when I’m irritated! Great advice… THANK YOU!!

  7. Lisa Davis

    I’m REALLY good at the silent treatment…not something I should be proud of! Jimmy wants to discuss problems immediately and I need time to cool off. That’s why I tend to turn to silent treatment 🙁 BOO!

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