Thursday, March 26, 2009

Let Love Guide

This blog is really not all about marriage; however it is one of the biggest life changing decisions that we could make. I believe a strong marriage is the building blocks to help shape and mold us, our kids, our communities and our country.

I view marriage as having 3 basic parts: like, romance, and love. All 3 of these can be happening at once or none at all. I think many people have a skewed and unrealistic view of marriage. We confuse love for our feeling and romance. But love is not a feeling (although it does involve plenty of them), it’s a commitment. Because we often associate love with our likes, many marriages fail. Love is so much more... Love is what carries our relationships forward when we have had the big blow up fight and don't like our spouse at that moment.

My wife often will ask why I love her and I would say typical guy things such as she is a good mom, caring, she takes care of my needs and many times my wants, and she is pretty. All those things are tangible and they can change. What happens if she couldn't do those things anymore? Do I stop loving her? See all of those things that I liked about her when we were dating caused me to want to commit to her and now I love her. If those things that I like about her fade, I will still love her. Its that thing that causes a parent to love there kid even when they make wrong choices, even choice that hurt them.

Its call unconditional love.

I heard the same illustration twice recently from two unrelated sources. The husband and wife were likened to your hands. They look similar. One is probably stronger than the other, but you need them both. When one hand hurts, the other compensates. You can function with one hand but you were designed to function with 2. You would be foolish if you stopped using one hand because you considered it inferior or when one hand was hurt you cut it off. Well when you base your marriage on feelings, on likes or dislikes, or on romance; you will probably stop using it or cut it off. I recently read the love should guide your feeling not the other way around.

There truely are volumes that can be written here, however this is a blog, not a novel.

So... The Dare. This might be easy. Is there something your spouse enjoys that you don't? Show your love by caring about the things they care about.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dare To Be Wrong

I believe that after 13 years of marriage, I can start to understand the relationships that some older couples have. I have listened to older couples for years speak about how they love their spouse more than ever. I think I always wanted that for us, but I didn't really believe I would achieve it.

Stay with me on this. It is a lengthy one but I believe it will help.

The running joke with us was that I was never wrong. Even when there was a chance I was wrong, I would change my mind or opinion so that I was right. This joke was actually not funny. Even though I may have been right in some cases, my pride would well up so big that we would have a huge fight.

"Let not the sun go down upon your wrath". Yeah right! That was easier said than done. But very recently I learned something. I saw a comedian do a skit called "Men's brains vs women's brains" (Watch it. its quite funny. The idea of it we can all relate to. The skit illustrates how men and women argue. He says men's brains have little boxes and take out only the specific box that relates to that argument. Women's brains are a ball of wire and everything is connected. Definitely take the time to watch it.

Anyway, I think there is a reason why everything is connected when the big fights come up. That reason goes back to the fact that it was never resolved the first time. I find that as my wife and I argue more rationally now, not only do we not have the big fights. We don't fight about stuff that has happened 2 years, 3 months, and 21 days ago. See there was a problem with me. Hear what I'm not saying. I believe everyone of us (man or woman) has a responsibility to fix ourselves. To do what is right not for ourselves alone, but for our spouses. Don't compromise standards or morality; but most big fights are not about that.

So what is "The Dare"? Set up guidelines for yourself today that you will hold to in any argument. You may not need them today, but you will need them. The first rule should probably be... Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. The last should be don't go to bed angry. You fill in the rest. If you are in a good place with your spouse then discuss these with them. Most importantly live by them and understand that this is for you.