On Feb 9 2016, I will be married for 12 years to my best friend and the most beautiful woman God has ever created in my eyes. I thank God for sending her to me everyday. Well, most days…Just kidding. We have had our ups and downs, our disagreements, and differences just like any other married couple but we have come through the other side each time with a deeper love for each other than before. I can honestly say that I love my wife more today than ever before. As I reflect back over the past 12 years I would like to share 3 things I wish I would have known about being married.
Don’t try to change or control your partner
Hint: You will never change your partner. Never forget that! They are who they are because God made them that way. Accept them for who they are. Instead of trying to change or control your partner try to see things from their perspective. Get into their world. Be quiet and listen to what they are saying. You know, if I would have kept my mouth shut most of the time and just listened to what my wife was saying , asked questions until I understood what she really meant I would have found out that we were really wanting the same things in most situations, we just had different ways of communicating it. Men and women are wired completely different, on purpose. God intended it that way. If we can learn to respect each others differences and look at our differences as a positive thing then we can really get ahead working together.My wife and I could not be any more opposite, but I am learning that this is not a bad thing, this is a great thing! The areas where I am weak she is very strong and the areas where I am strong she is weak.
It’s not always 50/50
I came into marriage thinking I will do my share and you will do your share. We will split all duties down the middle. It seemed logical, but it does not work like that. Instead, I have learned that marriage is different each day. Some days its 80/20, other days its 60/40, and every now and then it will be 50/50. There have been times when I’ve had to pull more weight and there are times when my wife has to pull more weight. So the key is to always give 100%. Don’t look for the other spouse to catch up in pulling their weight once you feel like you are done with your half. This mind frame will leave you disappointed and frustrated. This type of thinking will never work because men and women have different measurement standards. We also are both doing things to contribute without the other knowing. So instead of criticizing, complaining or arguing about how much you have done and they haven’t done to contribute, start helping them when you feel like you are caught up because there will be times when the scenario is reversed. Always give 100%. If your spouses 100% is only 10%, 20%. 30% etc. someday’s then be grateful that you are able to help them that day with the load that life brings. Rest assure there will be days where this is reversed and you will be the one depending on your spouse to pick up your slack. The bottom line is that marriage is a team, not two individual efforts. As John Maxwell puts it, “Team work makes the dream work”
We cant make each other happy
Don’t depend on your spouse to make you happy. That is too great of a burden for them to carry. Happiness is a choice that we have to make every single day. It comes from within. There is not a single person on this earth that has that kind of influence. How dare we put this responsibility on our spouse. When we constantly judge our marriage relationship based on if our spouse is fulfilling all of our needs and wants in life then you will find yourself unhappy and unfulfilled. When I finally learned this secret to life it was energizing and renewing. I began to love my spouse in a different way. I began to love her with an unconditional love and grace. In other words no matter what happens, I choose to love her and forgive her every day regardless of what she has done for me. You may wonder how can I do that? Well,the truth is I can’t by myself and you can’t either. No one can. We are all selfish humans that by nature looks out for ourselves. For me, it was not until I understood the unconditional love, grace, mercy and forgiveness that God gave me when he sent his only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins, could I try to offer the same kind of love to another human. When I think about all the wrong I have done and still do and to know that God still loves me and does not judge me based on my works, but by faith in Jesus, I then can offer the same type of grace to my spouse in every situation. When we place our faith in that and that alone, then we become full of happiness and joy that no person can give us.
I hope and pray that these tips will help you in your marriage as they have helped me. If you have a tip that you would like to share. Please comment below.
Mark 10:9, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”