I actually wrote this before I left town last week, but I forgot to post it! So, this week, you are getting two for one on Family First Friday! Woo hoo!
Brett and I have been married close to six years. While that is not very long, I can honestly say I have enjoyed every moment of my life with him (and look forward to many more years). I am also proud to say that in a society where marriages fail far too often, I have many friends who are in healthy, satisfying, joy-filled marriages.
As I have mentioned, I read a lot of books about marriage. So I cannot remember where I heard this from, but there are two interesting things that have stuck with me:
1. Couples who refuse to have divorce as an option (or back-up plan) tend to stay true to their commitment.
2. Couples tend to have the same amount of conflict in a given day, but it is the reaction to the conflict that is vastly different.
My first encouragement to you today is to NEVER EVER EVER entertain divorce. Refuse to see it as a viable option. And refuse to let the word even enter into your home. And definitely never bring it up during a conflict.
My second encouragement to you is to consider how you react to conflict. As I mentioned when I first started my family series, I am saying this to those who are in safe, healthy situations (where no abuse is taking place).
One of my mantras throughout my half decade of marriage is "I am going to be married to Brett until I die, so I might as well enjoy it."
This statement alone has diffused many a frustration in my life.
An example ...
You ask your husband to bring home milk from the grocery store and he forgets.
- Remember he is human and makes mistakes. Extend grace and don't get worked up about it.
Or you can...
- Get very frustrated and take it personally. Then you start to recall all of the times he has forgotten something you asked. Before you know it, you've spiraled into anger.
The first one will enhance my marriage. The second will chip away at it. Divorce does not typically happen overnight...it is a series of events that build upon one another until one day you cannot stand the person you once were madly in love with.
Now, there is definitely a time for conflict, and there is definitely a time to calmly address issues. Conflict is normal and will happen (obviously), and conflict can strengthen a relationship. Address issues that are problematic or are hurting you (or just need to be discussed). Definitely do not become a doormat and suppress feelings.
But to turn everything into a conflict is a grave error. We are all human. We all do things differently. We forget. We mess up. Extend your spouse (and children) the same grace you extend strangers. Let things go.
I sort of got off on a tangent. My point is that you have the power to make life miserable or make life fun. Your reactions to the every day, ordinary events in life have the power to sustain or destroy the joy in your home. Let's choose joy today!!
You are married to your spouse forever. You might as well enjoy it!
What are some ways you choose to enjoy each day with your mate??