When people say marriage is work…what does that mean? Is it just all drudgery, and mundane. I don’t think so. The work of marriage is compromise and connection. Both of these require an effort to make them work.
You can’t always be right and you can’t always have your way. This is the developmental challenge of every two-year old but seems to come back to haunt us in marriage. I think we get married with the unconscious agenda that this relationship will satisfy or give me what I want. You should be happy but that does not mean you will always get your way. Here are a couple of suggestions:
- You have to pick and chose your battles. Not everything can be a ten or your list of importance.
- Decide….Do I want to be happy or do I want to be right. Sometimes you can’t have both.
Hold Me Tight, a book by Sue Johnson, she suggests three basic questions:
Are you accessible when I try to reach out to you?
Will you be responsive to my needs?
Are you engaged in this relationship?
How you interact with these questions will help you to see the level of connection you have. Can I trust that you are there and responsive? In the dating process this is the fun of the relationship. You learn to respond, anticipate and interact with the others needs wants and desires. Your responsiveness creates a beautiful dance that draws you toward each other and you fall in love. In marriage we take this for granted and stop initiating and responding to needs and desires. To create an attitude and environment where these questions are answered takes time like date nights and shared experiences but also a responsive willingness to be inconvenienced by the needs and desires of your spouse.
What have you done in these areas? Have you found other ways that you would define the work of marriage? Thanks for reading, Would it be helpful if I wrote more in later posts about these three questions?