Marriage Advice From The Family Pet

Have you ever been in a season of marriage
when you thought it was doomed?

I have!

Thirty years ago,
when I was married to Hot & Hunky,
we had a season early on when I didn’t think he traveled enough!
I didn’t like him and he didn’t care for me too much either.
We were in the land of contempt on the road to divorce. 

Out of frustration and soliciting sympathy for my situation,
I confessed our mess to my friend,
who invited me to her church
to hear a speaker talk about marriage.

I thought,
What the heck, I’ve got nothing to lose. 

The speaker told her story about not feeling any love toward her husband.
pleasant communication,
demonstrations of love,
affections of all types,
were distant memories.

That sounded very familiar…

Out of desperation to save her marriage,
she climbed into her prayer closet and
 asked God to flood her heart with love
for her hubby.

“And you know what?” she drawled.
“God did just that.
My heart filled to overflowing with a
love and desire
for my husband.”

She went on to tell how even after
1000 years of marriage
she never lost that feeling for him again.

Ugh, I thought,
Good for you, Mrs. Butterflies and fairy dust.
You aren’t married to my guy.

That would never work at my house.
And whatever a prayer closet is,
I don’t have one.

Funny thing about miracles.
They cling to your heart. 

When you hear about a miracle of any kind
it creates a curiosity for more.
It generates an atmosphere for other miracles to occur.
It raises hope and grows faith.

I decided to try to persuade God to intervene for us,
well … at least for me.

“God,” I said flatly, looking up at the ceiling,
“You know the situation with us.”
“If you can,
fill my heart with love for my husband.”

There wasn’t a moment of silence
when I distinctly heard a thought
run across the backyard of my brain.


“God,” I said perplexed,
“I know I have a lot of issues with his smelly dog.
He nips at me and chews up my clothes
and piddles on my carpet,
but don’t you think we should work on this marriage issue first?”

was all I continued to hear reverberate in my head.

Am I supposed to learn to like the dog
in order to make peace with my husband?


That’s when I started taking marriage lessons
from the family pet.

I observed when my husband left for work, 
that dog would pace from window to window,
pining for his guy.

When my husband came home,
 the dog couldn’t get to the door fast enough
to welcome him.

When my husband watched television,
that dog was right there,
watching him lovingly,
waiting for a touch, or
a kind word.

No matter how my husband disciplined the dog,
it never held a grudge
or withheld affection from my hubz.

I took note of all this and thought that


I decided to see if I could
get my husband to like me
as much as he liked his mutt.

I started kissing Hot & Hunky goodbye every morning.
  I told him to have a good day and
I thanked him for working so hard.

When I heard his car in the driveway,
I locked the dog in the bathroom so
I could be the first one at the door
to welcome him home.

I let go of past offenses and
made myself available for affection.

I began to do other things the dog couldn’t do.

I fixed his coffee and laid out his pills,
learned to make his favorite meals,
starched his shirts they way he liked and
looked right at him when he talked.

At first Hot & Hunky thought I was up to something!
He checked the bank account to see if I was overdrawn.
He circled my car to see if I’d had an accident.
He monitored my whereabouts thinking I might be having an affair.

I just smiled and kept competing with the dog for his attention and affection.

It didn’t take long for
Hot & Hunky to respond positively.

Before long,
I could honestly say
we had a great marriage. 

Instead of waiting for him to
shape up,
wake up,
move on,

I took the initiative to
do what I could to make a difference.

I prayed.
I listened.
I obeyed.
(even though it sounded like foolishness)
I got the marriage I wanted.

How about you?
What have you done lately to protect or contend for your man?

  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Colossians 3:12-15


  1. Michelle Soliz on September 9, 2016 at 1:48 am

    I just LOVE this!!! These are honestly things both spouses should be doing for each other but the sad fact is that we all at some point or another let the busyness of living life take over and rearrange our priorities.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 9, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Yeah, it’s not rocket science. It’s simple golden rule stuff. Letting go of SELF stuff. Easy to say, harder to do. Glad you liked the post.

  2. Ruth Ann on September 9, 2016 at 3:30 am

    I love your story also. I tried the route of buying hubs whatever his heart desired, answered his every whim, waited on him hand and foot. He wasn’t a real God type believer. I on the other hand prayed to God and asked for advise. It was extremely hard as there was verbal abuse but I truly felt in my heart that God was showing me who rally as the strong one . The one who was thankful for all he had done for me. That person was me.
    After 46 years together hubs passed away from lots of health issues. I talked and prayed with him and I do believe at the end he do become a believer. Praise God.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 9, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      Ruth Ann, What a lesson to learn! And what a big relief to think he’s in heaven with Jesus.

  3. Patti on September 9, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    This is so wonderful!

  4. Nicole on September 9, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Love this, thank you Robyn <3

  5. Susan D. Fennig on April 11, 2017 at 3:07 am

    I can learn a lot from this dog & my dog. (By the way my dog looks just like Nicole’s dog. Thank you for this article.

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