Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Love lets the other win

"The wise and loving thing to do is to start approaching your disagreements with a willingness to not always insist on your own way. That's not to say your mate is necessarily right or being wise about a matter, but you are choosing to give strong consideration to their preference as a way of valuing them.

Instead of treating your wife or husband like an enemy or someone to be guarded against, start by treating them as your closest, most honored friend. Give their words full weight.

If it doesn't matter in the long run -- especially in eternity -- then give up your rights and choose to honor the one you love. It will be both good for you and good for your marriage."

Today's Dare: Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse. Tell them you are putting their preference first.

Steve and I don't disagree very often. Perhaps it's because Steve exercises this regularly. He doesn't insist on having his own way. He usually puts my preferences first. I wonder if there might be things he's giving up simply because he doesn't want to bring up something that could cause a disagreement. I must admit that I am unaware of these things, if they exist at all. Perhaps they don't exist, and our lives and marriage are as perfect as we think they are. I think I will leave this for Steve to answer.

As for me, well, I've already 'fessed up to the one area of contention in our marriage, at least from my point of view. I give in to Steve's preferences, and we visit his family several times a year. It's still not in my list of places to spend our vacation time, but I love my husband. He loves them. So we go.

(Side note: Regarding my previous post about Steve's family, I'm still working on the bitterness; but I have improved. I suppose a lot of my frustration comes from not knowing how or why they hated me from the beginning. Six years later, a lot of hateful and hurtful things have been said and done; and I find myself feeling at a loss for how to move forward. Prior to meeting Steve's family, I knew of only a handful of people who disliked me. I knew exactly why they disliked me. I did something that caused it. I understood it. There was a how and a when and a why to it all. When I met certain members of Steve's family, they hated me immediately. I didn't understand it then, and I understand it less now. Since I don't know what caused it, I don't know how to fix it. Additionally, I can't make sure that my daughter won't do the same thing. And there's the rub - how do I teach her not to offend them when I don't know what I did to offend them? How do I protect her from receiving the same treatment I have received? So there you have it. I'm not angry and do not want to argue with my husband about whether it's right to expose our daughter to such people. I am, however, an extremely protective mama who wants to make sure that my baby knows nothing but love in her life at this early and tender age. How do I do that?)

Steve - I love you. I will go where you go. I'm still working on the "your people will be my people" part. But I love you. With all my heart. Unconditionally. Forever.


Steve here --

I know GASP! Amy has been doing such a great job of posting lately -- then there is me, not so much.

It's funny, not to make you gag or anything but if you could pick out the poster couple for a marriage made in Heaven I really believe that ours is it. I don't know why some people have chosen to do or say things against Amy, I cannot really do anything about them. We can choose to be happy, we can choose to let it go, we can choose to protect ourselves and our family and we can choose to not let others affect our happiness -- they don't have that right!

I chose a LONG time ago (before I ever met Amy) that my family would always come first. More over my Wife would always come first. Her concerns, her desires, her happiness and her needs would always come first. I remember deciding that I would never argue -- I'd simply give in. It's just not worth letting silly things come between us.

This isn't to say that in the heat of some moments I don't express my opinions and thoughts, but I always do my best to yield to Amy's wants and desires while expressing my preferences so that she can decide how she wants to proceed.

I'm getting better and recognizing her subtle hints -- 'Don't you think we should paint the wall red?' Translated roughly means PAINT THAT WALL RED, NO OTHER COLOR WILL DO -- IF IT ISN'T RED I'M GOING TO SCREAM!!! As time goes on I'll get better at these hints but for now I'm still working on it.

I can't define a moment that I 'gave in' to avoid argument. But I would give in on anything -- my job, my happiness, my comfort, my anything -- for Amy.

I love you, Babe! -- Thank you for being my Wife!!!


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