Both of my parents were married before they met and married each other. They’ve now been married to each other for over 30 years. One of their mantras is,
“divorce is not in our vocabulary”.
Why is this important? In a day in age where half of marriages end in divorce, this signified 2 peoples’ willingness to make it work. This isn’t the staying together for the kids type of commitment, this is the commitment that they will always work to work it out.
This commitment to each other signifies a couple’s willingness to set aside ego, personal desires, selfishness, and anger for something greater: their spouse. This is a commitment founded on love which when planted in their hearts, can see couples through the rough times.
When my wife and I started out, I said from the beginning that this was it for us. Divorce isn’t in our vocabulary. We don’t joke about it, we don’t hold it over each others’ head like a club waiting to swing. It’s not an option because that would be the easy way out, which too many people see as the answer to their problems. In response to a smart comment his wife said, a man I know once said jokingly, “if she’s not careful I’ll divorce her.” There is no place for a joke like that in a loving marriage.
I’m not saying that divorce is never necessary. In cases of abuse or neglect, it is a saving grace. Divorce in all other cases though should not be taken lightly. Spouses should act like adults, both husband and wife accepting personal responsibility for their own behavior, and putting their partner first.
In your marriage, strive for unity and peace.
Here’s the practical advice:
- Put away childish things – make sure you’re not putting your desire to play x-box or hang out with your friends before her happiness. Go to the movie she wants to see once in a while. Its not all about you.
- Commit and recommit – when you marry, you commit. Recommit often to yourself and to your spouse, your willingness to make her happy.
- Be prepared – with the mindset of this is forever, you have to be ready to do what it takes, including changing your own behavior. Maybe you play video games once a week instead of every night.
- Pull your weight at home – you married a wife, not a maid. Unless you can afford to pay for a professional maid, you are part of the cleaning staff at home. Get up and help. Clear your own plate from the table. It can make a world of difference in how she feels the equality is in your partnership.
Above all else: Love Your Wife