Let me ask you a question. Do you think a good marriage is determined by what is absent or by what is present?
Now, before you answer – think about this: what makes your marriage good? For a long time, I have lived under the idea that my marriage is good in part because AB doesn’t mistreat me. Because he has not cheated on me. Because he has not done drugs and is not an alcoholic. Focusing on the world’s standard and putting what he doesn’t do to the front and center of why I would consider myself happily married.
Do you think that is living marriage to its fullest? I don’t think it is. I think it’s luke-warm love.
I recently read a short article about this topic and it left me wondering if too often we settle for what is comfortable and what is “not bad” in our lives.
“I’m blessed because he doesn’t cheat on me”.
Instead, we miss placing our eyes on what is truly wonderful and fulfilling in our marriages.
For instance, all of those things about Anton are true – he is faithful, he does not mistreat me…etc. Not to be down-played, those are wonderful attributes in a spouse. However, should we focus on that?
More so, should I not focus on what Anton does, rather than what he doesn’t do? He is a wonderful cook. I know you’ve heard that many times. Trust me when I tell you that it bears repeating. He is a very affectionate soul. He loves to hug and touch and kiss those around him. He is an encourager. He loves to reach out to his children, his students, and yes – his wife to tell them what they mean to him and how great they are. He is a hard worker and a solid provider for our family. And he sacrifices daily. He is committed and faithful and loving.
What could we do for our marriages if we could adapt the mindset of being blessed by who our spouses are to us and how they bless us. In that, we would be better able to foster trust in our marriage and truly live for each other. Beyond that, we might learn how to put the needs of our spouse before our own – and reap the rewards of watching them do the same for us.
Trust is a beautiful thing in a marriage – and not just in regards to fidelity. In so many ways – trust is essential to loving, accepting, nurturing, being intimate, and even developing a deep friendship with your husband or wife. If we trust our spouses to love us back, with the same depth of gratitude and respect that we offer to them – for seeing and acknowledging what is PRESENT in our marriage, rather than what is “absent” – that’s when we’ll begin to see luke-warm love turn into something remarkable and rewarding.
That’s how we find that magical person we said “I do” to all those years ago…again.
You with me?