Choosing to get married is a daunting decision. It needs much prayer and thought – without the rose colored glasses. Yes, we love one another, but the flip side of love is hate, and that coin may flip without a moment’s notice.
While dating, we may have shared everything, never had much conflict, and enjoyed all the same things. Will this last a lifetime? People change; and our likes, dislikes, goals and priorities vacillate.
Will we maintain our connectivity when the disagreements arise? Will we don boxing gloves and insist on our own way, or will we work together to find a third alternative on which we can both agree?
Finding a mutually acceptable course of action increases our love for one another, and maintains harmony in our home and relationship. We put each other’s needs above our own; yet, we do not discount or sacrifice our needs in order to “get along.”
We calmly discuss our differences. When we realize that we are on the same side in our marriage, we will fight together to meet each other’s needs, rather than to fight against one another and insist on meeting our own needs at the sacrifice of our mate.
When we have a block of uninterrupted time, clearly communicating our needs, as well as understanding our partner’s needs, helps us to avoid spur of the moment conflict.
When our spouse brings up an infraction on our part to which they need resolution, we do not bring up our dirty laundry list of our needs unmet by them. This is not a competition, but an opportunity to increase our love for one another.
Once the offended partner feels that we really care, we can then take the opportunity to introduce our unmet needs into the conversation. They will be more open to resolving our issues once we affirm their need as valid.
Father God, help us to pay attention to our spouse’s concerns, to validate their need for fulfillment, and then to work with them to change the way we relate to one another in that area. Remind us not to resort to name calling or disrespectful or disparaging comments during our conversation.
Help us to simply deal with the incident, and not to disparage their personality or negative habits. Give us the wisdom to see the issues from their perspective and not simply our own, and to value their feelings and opinions as valid and worthy of our attention. Remind us that respecting and valuing one another allows us to protect our relationship.
Thought for the Day:
We all have distinct needs and perspectives that are valid and need to be addressed, taken seriously and valued as viable in order to prevent anger, resentment and bitterness from clouding our love for one another.