Are relationships and marriage like putting a cat and a dog together and hoping for harmony?
“A perfect marriage is two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other”
This quote has been posted on the wall of our kitchen for years, as a reminder each day of what we are working towards. It has been merchandised in every way possible, yet I’ve never seen it with a name attached to it. So, the other day I decided to see who should get credit for these brilliant words. According to my limited research, this quote was either first presented by the steamy romance novelist Kate Stewart or by a faith-based marriage author and speaker Dave Willis. I found that funny.
Whether this quote can be attributed to the steamy love story or the devout Christian–heck, maybe they are the same person with a great pen name–it is a powerful perspective.
As we grow up, we tend to imagine marriage as this perfect combination of living your life with a lover, friend, supporter, and partner. Those are tough shoes to fill for anyone, and it’s hard for one person to be your everything and do it all well!
- Don’t expect your spouse to be everything to you, all the time.
- Have a sense of humor – sometimes you just have to stop taking it all so seriously and laugh at the two of you bumbling along trying to not drive each other nuts.
- Remember always it takes two to tango–what role are you playing in whatever conflict you are experiencing.
- play for the other one to win- what can you do and how can you be to help your spouse succeed? This doesn’t mean to give up everything about yourself, but remember, if you both are playing for the other one to win, then everyone wins!
- Marriage is conditional – that doesn’t mean you keep score all the time, but it’s important to have agreements on expectations of each other and hold each other accountable to showing up like you promised you would. Of course, there is always room for grace, but accountability and boundaries are important.
- Above all, be willing to do the hard work. It will get hard at some point, and along the way you will BOTH have to do the hard work of humbling yourself, owning your piece of the issue, and being vulnerable in admitting your fears and being willing to be called out.
Marriage is the best when you have a partner with whom you align with most of the time (in fairness sometimes it truly is a case of picking the wrong person–it happens to the best) and you two can work through all the crap that comes up in a relationship.
If you want more great insights on relationships and marriage, check out either Dr. Elizabeth Fedrick or The Relationship School. Both are great resources for those who really want to dive into doing relationships better.