I was reminded again the other day, while officiating a wedding, of the simple secret of a happy and successful marriage. Want to know what it is? Do you really? Well... If you truly want to be happy and have a healthy & successful marriage, STOP TRYING!
Stop trying to always win, get your way and worry about your happiness. I know it sounds crazy. It goes against all rational reasoning and human nature, but stop trying. That is a scary thought, and really it makes us vulnerable.
"If I don't worry about myself, how can I guarantee that the other person will?"
"If I don't demand love and respect, I will never get it."
"What if I put myself out there and love and they don't love me back?"
"I am only willing to try, when they show me they are. I will show love when they show love"
This makes love conditional; it doesn't work, it never has and never will. Love and marriage is not 50/50, it is 100/100. We give 100% of ourselves to that other person, so much so, that it becomes so hard to know where one begins and one ends.
The fight for marriage is won not in the everyday dealing with each other, but in the internal battle of our own hearts
Do the opposite of what your rational mind and survival state would think. Spend your energy on becoming an expert of love. What is your partner's love language, what are their dreams and aspirations, what are their passions and how can you truly love them and respect them?
Now... don't you dare make your partner read this and say, "You need to read this". CHANGE STARTS WITH YOU. Stop trying to fix your marriage or fix your partner and instead, LOVE. The fight for marriage is won not in the everyday dealing with each other, but in the internal battle of our own hearts--moving away from always trying to get our way, the wanting to win the fight... to be right.
By no means is this a magic bullet to fix your marriage (marriage isn't a baking recipe that you can simply follow the instructions for and make a cake) and I am not saying that the other person has no responsibility in all this. Love is a two way street. But LOVE can't start with an expectation of the other person, stop trying to control something you can't and simply decide to start with yourself. If both sides of a marriage did this, looked to themselves to CHANGE and LOVE, you would both win. It needs to start with us, our actions and our choice.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” // Gandhi
Still don't believe this is possible? I will let you in on a little secret. Do you want to know why I find it so easy to love and respect my wife? Why I am so easy to forgive when I am wronged by her? That I am so willing to swallow my pride, see where I need to grow and am quick to ask for forgiveness when I fail and wrong her? Because she loves and respects me so well, forgives me, and yes when on occasion makes a mistake, she swallows her pride and thinks of me. It is all about radical, unhinged, wasteful love!
When you give such selfless, radical, unconditional, shocking, wasteful love, it seems impossible your spouse wouldn't want to reciprocate. It takes them off guard, they are receiving love and nothing is expected of them (no strings attached) and you are loving and respecting them. Then this crazy thing happens, when you receive that kind of love, you want to give that love back, and you can't let them win at this game, you need to one up them--and the cycle of one upping each other in love just builds.
I know what I am proposing doesn't exactly have a guarantee. I mean, I am not going to sit here and say, just do step 1, 2, and 3 and presto your marriage is fixed and it is rainbows and puppy dogs. Marriage is hard work and takes sacrifice. But that is the key word: SACRIFICE. Love is ultimately a choice.
It is all about radical, unhinged, wasteful love!
I can guarantee one thing, if you continue to fight for yourself and your are not willing to give yourself to the other person, then it definitely won't work. Because this is a cycle as well, but one that doesn't lead to anything good.
What if what I am saying is true? What if there is a chance that this whole radical wasteful love could actually create real change? Isn't love worth the fight? Isn't fighting for why you fell in love with each other, in the first place, worth finding again? When we fight with LOVE and for LOVE, LOVE wins, but only if you are willing to really do it, 100%, sacrificially, unhinged and wasteful. What do you have to lose by fighting for LOVE?
This is what God showed us in the ultimate Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. This is the LOVE that draws us all to Him, His LOVE letter to us all, and the ultimate example He leaves us. If we were to apply the radical love of the Gospel that has transformed our lives form the inside out to our marriages, it may have the same supernatural transformation. Just a thought.
Are you willing to fight for love?
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
You may need to seek the council of a professional councillor or psychologist in the process of being able to bring full healing and healthiness to your marriage and by no means will this article fix any underlying and major issues that may need professional help. This may only be one piece of the bigger puzzle. So please seek out any additional support, mentorship or even professional help that may be needed.
Also, if you suspect that you are in a abusive relationship and are constantly being hurt, used and abused by your partner (verbally, physically, emotional, spiritually, mentally and any other sort) in any form or degree, that the answer is not to put yourself out. This article is not the answer to your problem. What your partner is showing you is not love and will never be love. They are sick and need help (and no amount of your sacrifice and love will change that) and you (and your kids) need to be safe. Please seek it out.
CONNECT WITH US
SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL
Privacy: We hate spam as much as you, so we will never share your e-mail address with anyone.
SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOGS RSS FEED
AND GET ARTICLE UPDATES