When To Say No- Marriage Unwrapped

Young couple  in bed, toned black and white effect, vignette.

September has been a brutal month in our house. Kids going back to school, fall schedules starting, hubby having a bunch of unusual business travel and I honestly don’t even know what else. What I do know is that I feel like in the entire month of September I have had approximately three meaningful, intentional conversations with my spouse.

It is amazing how short of a time it takes to begin to live as roommates instead of husband and wife. Some people think the decline of a marriage happens with screaming and fighting and drama. But I think the decline of a marriage happens with silence and apathy and neglect.

There are a million things clamoring for my attention. School committees, church commitments, nights out with the girls, the constant needs of my kiddos and my husband. None of those are bad things. None of those seem like the kinds of things that are out to destroy my marriage. But they could if I let them.

I like to be busy. So does my husband. We kind of thrive on it. We also thrive on having a quality marriage. And it is very difficult to do both.

There are a lot of bad things I need to say no to in order to protect my marriage. But there are also a lot of GOOD things I need to say no to in order to protect my marriage. Sometimes those “things” even are my children when they cry and cling and beg us not to leave when the hubby and I go out on a date or away for a weekend. When I say my marriage comes first, I want to mean it.

If you believe your marriage is sacred and one that you want to last for a lifetime, do your priorities reflect that?

You can find all the Marriage, Unwrapped posts here


  1. Um, did we have the same September? Yeah, life has been c-r-a-z-y. The other night, my husband said “Don’t worry babe, it’ll slow down soon.” I had to laugh, because, you know, we’re about to have a baby. And last I checked, life didn’t slow down when a baby was born.

    Anyways, I totally agree with your sentence “But I think the decline of a marriage happens with silence and apathy and neglect.” So, so true. This last week has been particularly rough for our family, with my husband being gone two Saturdays in a row and several nights this week. While they are all good things, it was still really hard for us. Today, a leader from church wanted to meet with some men in our church for lunch {my husband being one of them}. My heart sort of dropped when I heard about it. But, without even asking him to, hubby told the leader he couldn’t go. He {hubby} knew that being with the family {and specifically me} was far more important than any church meeting. And because of that one “no” we’ve had a really, really good day to help kick start our week.
    Sarah @ Loved Like the Church recently posted…When People Say Stupid ThingsMy Profile

  2. So good, Jill. It’s hard b/c there are days/weeks/months like the one you described.And sometimes apathy is easier (this goes toward every area of my life, too!). We went to the mountains last weekend while the kids were at Camp Primo and it was almost like I had forgotten what it was like to talk about theology and movie plots and stuff that didn’t involve schedules, daily life and whatsfordinner.

    Love love love your marriage series, Jill. And your heart for it.

    When are we going to see each other IRL? I miss you!
    oh amanda {impress your kids} recently posted…Embarassed By ParentsMy Profile

  3. Jill,

    You are a wise, wise woman.


    Robin Dance ~ PENSIEVE recently posted…"Sticks & stones" is a downright LIE!My Profile

  4. Such great advice. You are so right about apathy being more harmful to a marriage than fighting. And it can really sneak up on you. Thanks for this reminder! :-)
    Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife} recently posted…{Gluten Free} Meal Plan 10.03.11My Profile

  5. great post. i’ve been there. i try to pay attention to the “things” that could take me away from my man. you’re right, sometimes you even have to say no to the “good” things. It’s a tough balance.
    cam recently posted…Enter the WuMy Profile

  6. I needed to hear this, so thank you. I have been thinking about this a lot. I have a medical issue that is causing me pain, lately. I have refused surgery so far for family availability reasons. But my husband and I are only 48 years old. I know he “misses” me and the “more often physical” side of our life together. I have to work on this.

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