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When Differing Levels of Threat Divide a Marriage


“We need to buy sanitizer.” This was my cue that my husband was serious.

Prior to the announcement of the Coronavirus, he never cared about hand sanitizer; now we needed to stock up on it. First, relatives called from overseas to share their concerns. Their continued calls grew more frantic each time. “What are you guys doing? Did you know people in your state have contracted the virus? Are they close to you?” 

I listened but generally dismissed their heightened concern. But my husband kept talking about it and soon he started doing his own research. Soon he was working from home as a precaution. It was becoming harder to ignore his research and concern, and when he mentioned purchasing hand sanitizer, I knew he was serious.

First, I engaged him in conversation, wanting to know why this was a big deal to him.  Since my husband is an analytical risk professional, this simple question provided more information than I knew what to do with.

I tried making light of it — but every time I tried to joke or downplay his convictions he got upset, so I stopped.

In the meantime, I took this as seriously as I could in my own way. I stopped going to the gym because it seemed foolhardy to do so. I eventually stopped going to local coffee shops to work. I started to wash my hands more often. And I continued some of my best practices – drinking my green juice, taking vitamins, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and drinking lots of water.

Just like others were doing on social media, my husband and I started quoting scripture to one another as a joking way to prove whose faith was stronger. The divisions online were a microcosm of what was happening in our home. This was a pointless exercise and only intensified the feeling that the threat of this virus was winning.

Here’s the thing – in these times of heightened stress, there is an increased potential for division in our homes. Something as simple as perceiving a virus to be a different degree of threat can divide husband and wife. 

Why? Because it’s hard to talk to someone when they are vested in their position. And though we are self-isolating, we were not isolated from each other. If we aren’t careful, simple differences of opinion have the potential to wreak more havoc in our homes than a virus ever could.

So what do we do?

The promises and commands of scripture still hold true. While we try to live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18) we still need to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:9). 

With these verses and many others as our guiding truths, we can begin to understand and respect each other. For my husband and I, we’ve established new routines as a result of this crisis. During the day we’re all working. In the evenings, this crisis has created an opportunity to spend more time together – talking, watching movies, playing games, praying, getting to know each other. We’re both learning to hold our opinions back when it would only bring added tension. We listen to each other and sometimes that’s all that is needed. 

In the end, this novel virus provides an opportunity for us all to become more like Priscilla and Aquila – a Biblical couple who worked together, possessing great Bible knowledge while demonstrating mutuality (Acts 18). No one has a better approach because we’re in this together. 

God has given both you and your husband wisdom and faith that shows up differently in times of tension. You have the opportunity to recognize the benefit of each other’s knowledge and mark this life in the time of corona as a blessing in disguise.

Wife Step: How can you and your husband come to a mutual understanding during this time?

Nylse Esahc is a Christian wife and a mother of four who loves life and inspiring others. She recently published her first book – My Best Marriage Advice. She likes to have fun but is very clear on who she is and Whose she is. A prolific thinker, she blogs to encourage others from a Christian perspective at www.lifenotesencouragement.com. She can be found online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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