Marriage Isn’t Learned It’s Experienced

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I love it that my daughters, and even son-in-laws on occasions, seek our council. It’s understandable. After all, we’ve been married since the dawn of time and must know it all…..NOT!!!! Even if we did, there are no short cuts. For the most part marriage is an acquired taste, and something requiring work and adaptation.

I get a kick out of hearing stories of how our daughters’ young, once perfect babies are going through new stages, and creating new parental opportunities. Or how young couples, as busy parents, don’t have time to communicate and wind up at the wrong place or at the wrong time. However, I won’t call out my kids today. I remember what it was like.

My loving wife had to be the most prepared person in the history of the world for marriage. She read a number of books, magazines and even took a class about marriage and the family. Somehow no matter what you know or think you know or have learned, until you’re there, you’re not there. The first time your spouse rolls over pulling most of the blanket off of you (not covered in marriage class), a pattern starts to develop.

Crystal is proud of her high school debating experience. However, it took a lot of experience and pain for her to realize that prolonged marital debating is counterproductive. Winning the debate must be second to supporting your marriage. At times there is no right or wrong there is just agreeing to disagree. This was a concept, which for us, required counseling and a lot of practice.

Often it is something simple. You stand in front of the refrigerator with your bowl of cereal in hand when you realize your spouse must have finished the milk. Oh! That’s what that word on the shopping list must have been. As a side note, evaporated milk just isn’t the same.

How about the argument you get into when your partner failed to change the kitty litter, and you step into the cat’s friendly reminder in your bare feet. The ensuing argument over whose turn it was could go on for days.

Of course children can bring things to a whole other level. The first time your daughter asks the second parent when she got the wrong answer from the first you realize it’s no longer just me against you. It’s us against them.

Yes marriages, even good ones like Crystal and mine, require practice and hard work (times Two). As I’ve stated before, in life, married or not, stuff happens. You and your spouse have different strengths and weaknesses. Neither is perfect or has all of the answers. Progress begins when you each admit your own imperfections. Communicate and learn to use both of your strengths; and work as a team toward common goals. God might add, remember the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control (Galatians 5:22-23). Your marriage is an excellent opportunity to develop those.

A recent visit to our Kentucky kids (Cincinnati in background)

Blog Alert: Our new cat Ella has decided to start contributing her own posts starting soon. Crystal will interpret for her. I am still learning new things about Crystal. I never knew she spoke cat.

Liz with Ella (as in Cinderella)

 

Category: Make Marriage Last

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