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Ask Amy is Right

I thought your first two columns were great.  "that's why God created restraing orders"  hilarious and a needed instruction.  I found them wise, helpful and entertaining --sort of funny coming from a guy.  I wouldn't have thought I would enjoy an advice column.

You wrote, and I certainly won’t entertain, “My husband only pays attention to me…”

It seems to me that "my husband won't pay attention to me unless he wants something from me" is an important and thorny issue. 

So many people's blueprint for marriage has to do with self.  I have found that my happiness has to do with serving.  After 30 years of marriage (maybe 15 very difficult, 35 altogether now) I discovered the more I sought what I wanted the less I got.  I found that if I would first find a way to do what was pleasing to God and let Him worry about what I wanted; well it just works out a lot better.  Let me say loudly, this is still something I'm working on and it takes a lot of effort and I often screw it up badly.

A dear friend asked me one time when I was bending his ear with my marriage complaints, "What would God have to do for you that you could release this and trust Him?"  Or another way to put it, "What would your relationship with God look like if it enabled you to be emotionally available to serve your wife in this trial?" It takes a lot of trust/faith.  I am not saying one should endure infidelity, abandonment, or violence

If a person is not getting what they want in marriage I am convinced that God Himself wants to work with them to find a way to produce their happiness.  Usually that paradoxically involves a painful death to self.  I would state strongly that there can be little joy in marriage without death to self.  For me, I cannot do that without God's help; but I find when I'm ready to give up on my way and seek to do it His way, He is ready to help me  --and it gives me joy.  Just some thoughts I wanted to share.
Thanks for your column, I'll be praying that the living God will continue to give you wisdom and an ability to put it in an enjoyable way.

M. Walker, Anderson, SC