My wonderful bride recently posted There is Hope for Change, which is about her journey from sexual abuse to a healthy sex life. In the post, she talks about tipping points.
Often changes seem to happen all at once, with little or no warning. A woman goes from not wanting sex to not being able to get enough. There were some small changes along the way, but then BOOM. It’s as if God flipped a switch. I’ve seen similar changes in how both husbands and wives feel about their spouse, or how they treat their them.
These changes are the result of reaching the tipping point. If you put several bags of sand on one side of a see-saw, and then add small weights to the other side, the sand side won’t slowly raise off the ground, getting higher with each weight added. You would keep adding weights until the two sides had almost the same weight, then the next weight would cause the sand side to go all the way up. While each added weight got you closer to the tipping point, there was no visible change. The last weight caused the full change, but all the other weights were required to get there.
Not all changes are like this, but many are, and it can be frustrating. The one who’s working to change feels things shifting, but their spouse sees no change. Saying “I’m close” means nothing because there’s no evidence to backing up the statement.
If your wife is working on a change, you can’t know how close she is to the tipping point. You could discourage her one weight short of the change. You could also encourage her to add one more weight, and even if it’s not the final weight, it’s closer. Give her the benefit of the doubt, and be encouraged by any hint of effort on her part.
If you’re working on a change, realise your wife may not see anything until you hit the tipping point. Do not be discourage; keep at it.
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