December 18     

Today's quotation:

A great marriage is not when the "perfect couple" comes together.  It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.

Dave Meurer

Today's Meditation:

Romanticized notions have ruined many a marriage, I believe.  Somehow-- often from movies or friends or romance novels-- we get these ideas of what marriage "should be," and when we build up this ideal in our minds, it becomes incredibly easy, and sometimes inevitable, that we become disappointed in our partner.  Which is quite a shame, because our partner usually doesn't deserve our disappointment-- they deserve our love and commitment and understanding.

Yes, there are definitely people who are bad partners, who treat their partners horribly and need to be ditched at the first possible moment because they'll never change for pretty much any reason at all.  This isn't about them.  This is about those people who would make great couples if only both parties were able to let go of artificial expectations and accept the other just as they are, learning to "enjoy their differences," for differences are what make a partnership exciting and enjoyable, as long as we accept each other and make a strong effort to make things work with someone who is a bit different than we are.

Marriage does take effort if it's to be successful.  It doesn't just happen.  The effort shouldn't be terrible and tedious, but it should be there.  We need to be willing to compromise, willing to let go of some expectations, willing to accept different ways of doing things if we're to make our marriages work.  And that's part of the joy of marriage-- our willingness to be giving enough to give up some things that we generally want in order to reach a compromise that will work for both of us.  There are certain things that I don't ask of my wife, and certain things that she's given up (for the most part) for me, and we're both fine with that.

If we look at marriage as this wonderfully romantic bliss for the rest of our lives, then guess what?  We're probably going to run into a bit of trouble.  But if we recognize the fact that we're going to be facing a bit of work-- much of it working on ourselves and our own ability to compromise in order to make things work-- then at least we give our marriage a fighting chance.  Marriage can be wonderful, or it can be difficult and trying.  Let's try to make it wonderful by not putting excessive and artificial expectations on our partners.

Questions to consider:

In your own marriage or in those you've seen, what are the things that most surprise you about what marriage truly is?

Why do so many people develop a simplistic, romantic view of what marriage should be?

What are some of the difficulties of marriage?  What are some of the rewards?

For further thought:

Marriage is not just spiritual communication and passionate embraces; marriage is also three meals a day, sharing the workload, and remembering to take out the trash.

Joyce Brothers

more thoughts and ideas on marriage



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