In any conflict, everyone plays a role and carries part of the blame. As my friend recounted events, her husband was always the victim. He had done nothing wrong- so she couldn't understand how "they" could treat him this way. Men and women she had once looked up to and admired were now "ungodly" and acting "un-Biblical."
Things are not always so black and white.
As I listened to my dear friend, I realized that she only knew one side of the situation. Her perspective on all the circumstances and people involved had been shaped by only hearing her husband's account of the events and conversations that had led to their current state of frustration.
I wanted my friend to be able to acknowledge that there was another side of the story that she had heard. I gently suggested that maybe some of the criticisms were made in an effort to help, not find fault, or that maybe "they" just didn't know really how to communicate what was needed. I guess in a way, I was looking for a way to defend "them" to help her see that "they" might have a point - that there was another side of the situation.
While I completely believe that he had been truthful to his wife, we all hear and then re-tell things differently. For example, if we all witnessed a bank robbery, we would all have a slightly different take on how things went down. The basics would be the same, but we would all have a slightly different story based on where we were standing and whether or not we were preoccupied. There would be a whole list of things that would influence how we would retell what we saw.
Yes, we need to be our man's biggest fan. We must encourage him, take his side and stand by him. Yet, we need to be honest with him. As his help mate, his "prime rib," we need to help him look at the circumstance objectively so we both can learn, grow, heal and move on.
It is hard in the heat of the moment, when the feelings are raw and the hurt is fresh to be able to take that deep breath and look at things from another perspective. My prayer for my friend is that she could see things, not from "their" perspective, but from God's.