Are you and your spouse competitive? We certainly can be, and it’s often when one of us digs our heels in and refuses to budge that a lot of anger builds up. In our last workshop our presenter warned us of the dangers of going down the “Winners – Losers” highway. It’s a tug of war where nobody wins and everyone loses. What has to happen in the game of tug of war? Someone falls in the dirt or the other team drops the rope. If one falls, the other may feel like a winner, but in marriage, the relationship loses. We need to learn to do it differently. Ask ourselves, “How important is it to really win the argument?” Perhaps the one who is willing to drop the rope is the bigger winner because they refuse to engage in this “Winners – Losers” game. We need to recognize that it’s often a matter of pride. “I know I am right and before this is over, you will too!” Ouch. Not a good road to travel. So who will be the bigger one in your relationship?
Just a couple of weeks ago she called in tears. I went over some options with her on how to try to get her marriage back on track. “I want to do all of these,” she said. When one is desperate to do whatever it takes to heal their marriage, this is a typical response. All of these options we talked about were good, but I knew it was important to focus on one thing at a time. So, this couple decided an intensive weekend would be the best thing to do at this point.
This week her call was much more encouraging. “We are so grateful for this ministry. We are in a much better place.” Now, they are ready to tackle some additional issues in their marriage. If you are interested in knowing more about intensive weekends, please check them out under the “Troubled Marriage” section on this web site.
Our son is getting married in a few weeks. He’s the baby of the family. He’s an adult and a great and responsible guy. But as his mom, I’m having a hard time letting go. However, I know I need to do that. I think as parents we need to do more work in this regard than the children. I’ve got to accept the fact he is forming his new family. I’ve got to understand his wife comes first – not his parents. I need to begin to see he and his wife as friends. I need to see him as he is now, and no longer see him as a child. I need to back off some. He is no longer my unfinished project and I don’t need to bring up flaws I perceive. I want to focus more on the positives. That doesn’t mean we will always approve of everything they do, but they are adults and they no longer need our approval. We may sometimes just need to agree to disagree and continue to love each other. Welcome to a new chapter in both of our lives.