I should’ve known better. I was pretty old when I got married so you’d think I would’ve already learned to have something that’s very crucial in a good marriage — emotional maturity. Alas, I did not. I was jealous. I was critical. I was manipulative. I wish I could say that I am no longer any of those things, but I can’t!
Without emotional maturity, it’s very tough to have a stable, loving marriage, unless you’re married to a saint or a very beaten down man. Are you emotionally mature? Check out these 5 signs of emotional maturity to find out.
1. You criticize carefully.
We all have things about our husbands that bug us or anger us. It’s how we handle and express that annoyance and anger to our husbands that shows our level of emotional maturity. An emotionally mature wife will keep her cool instead of exploding. She will respect her husband as a person instead of attacking him with sarcasm and low blows. She will choose the time of her criticism carefully, because who wants to be corrected before they roll out of bed or when they’re exhausted. Finally, all criticism is bathed in love. Its goal is to sincerely help our husbands, not get in a dig.
2. You graciously sacrifice your wants…sometimes.
We don’t always get a tangible reward for sacrificing, but sometimes we do. One morning, when my children were at the “all hands on deck” stage, my husband blithely told me he was going out for coffee. I was in a grouchy mood. I didn’t want to stay home with the kids. “What about me?” I wanted to whine. But I didn’t. I acted graciously and sent him on his way. When he returned he told me that he had driven by a house he and I had both loved but was previously out of our price range. But that very morning the price had dropped substantially. Long story short, letting him go out for coffee led us to our dream home.
Sacrifice is comprising in action. We give here, to get there; not in a manipulative way, but so neither husband or wife feels like they are doing all of the giving.
3. You are kind even when your husband isn’t.
Even the nicest husband loses it once in a while. When your husband says or does something unkind your initial reaction might be to give it right back to him. Emotional maturity requires a different choice. Don’t escalate. You can firmly express yourself, “You know, that wasn’t very nice and I feel hurt by what you said.” That’s far different and far more mature than, “You are such a jerk! Why don’t you look in the mirror before you attack me!”
4. You are emotionally steady.
There is a quote about a former king of England that scares me, “He was at his best when times were good.” Yikes. In other words, she’s great as long as life is going her way. Toddlers—and teenagers—are not emotionally mature and aren’t expected to be. When they don’t get their way, they’re furious. Their emotional ups and downs are extreme.
An emotionally mature wife faces the good and bad times with an underlying steadiness. She’s not a robot, but her husband can depend on her to handle situations maturely and thoughtfully.
5. You admit when you’re wrong and don’t hold a grudge.
Emotionally mature wives lose graciously, and when they do have to admit defeat, they don’t pout about it or hold a grudge. They move on from disappointments with an attitude of, “Well, I can learn something from that situation for sure.”
I will often argue points that I am not 100 percent sure of. This is not a good trait. It has forced me into many situations where I’ve had to swallow my pride and apologize profusely. I get lots of practice at admitting when I’m wrong!
Tell us! Where are you on the emotional maturity scale?