When Marriage Is About Give and Take
I could tell by the tone of his voice over the phone he was upset. He came straight home from the doctor’s appointment and shared the news: His diabetes had progressed and he needed to make (more) immediate life changes or get on more medication.
I could hear fear in his voice—not for his own health, but for his family.
And I love that about this man I’m married to. I’ve watched him lay down his dreams, desire, his life for us. He has made a life of loving us.
They say marriage is give and take.
They are right.
It’s been the secret of our 19-year union. Through the ups and downs—and there have been many—we are committed to fight together, not apart. Although some days we do this loudly.
I love my husband.
And if nearly two decades has taught me anything, I’ve learned that sometimes we have to give up and give in to get the best out of our marriage. It’s all part of give and take.
Three things you can give up to make your marriage better:
1. Pride: Let’s admit when we are wrong.
Which is hardly ever, amiright? It’s all too easy to divide marriage down the middle into rights and wrongs. Because we are human and humans excel at this. We are the best at holding grudges, stewing, making excuses. It’s time we humble ourselves and admit when we are wrong. Apologizing, making amends, confessing is how we make marriage work is all part of that give and take. Pride will destroy a marriage and a soul.
2. Superiority: Let’s hush when we are right.
Gloating over your mate being wrong? That might be worse than never admitting wrongdoing. Sometimes we nail it. And just because we can wave the “I told you so” banner boldly, doesn’t mean we should. Some of the most powerful moments in my marriage have been when one of us was right and we didn’t say a word. It’s called grace, and you just can’t have too much with your spouse.
3. Selfishness: Let’s support our spouse even if it costs us something.
No one has to teach us how to be selfish. We just are naturally good at it. Sometimes our spouses need our support—in a job they hate, in a health crisis, emotional support or a battle for their soul. When we join them in their fight, we are reminding them they are not alone in their struggle.
So, we have a new family game plan for my husband’s health. Give and take. More of this, less of that. And the great thing is it’s really for our family’s health. Because we are a team and we want him around.
The bottom line is this: I love my husband. I love my marriage.
And I’m willing to give up some things to make it better.