Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tell All Tuesday:What Have You Done For Them Lately?

It's not just Jon and Kate who are getting divorced. Divorce, and marriage trouble in general, just seems to be in the water these days. As I watch my friends and family members struggle in their relationships-and watch some of them eventually part ways-I always end up thinking about what I can do to keep my marriage as happy and healthy as it is today.

Why do people struggle with their marriages? Why do people eventually get divorced? There are entire libraries worth of books on the subject, most written by psychologists and psychiatrists and anthropologists. I'm not a "gist" of any kind, but based on what I've seen through the people around me there's a lot of selfishness and dishonesty going on.

Take Jon and Kate as an example (since I'd not like to give web attention to anyone who didn't solicit it). From what I've seen, Kate treated Jon as a 'gimme' machine...requiring him to do and say what she wanted him to with no regard for him as a person. That's pretty selfish. However, Jon was not blameless-he was dishonest in his relationship (emotionally, I'm not addressing gossip here). Instead of saying "this is how I feel, let's talk about it" he shoved it down until he basically exploded in a rash of unacceptable behavior.

Every marriage has difficult moments-you can't live with someone forever without stepping on their toes at times-but I've come to the conclusion that a good, sound marriage is not related to the frequency (or infrequency) of your fights. To me it's about putting the other person in your marriage above everyone else-including yourself (and your kids, but that's another post)-and being completely honest about your actions, feelings, and intentions.

Well, that and an absolute dedication to work things out even when the other person is being selfish or dishonest as is bound to happen.

Hubby is fantastic about honesty and selflessness. He never hesitates to speak his mind to me-good, bad, or indifferent. The other day he actually said "thanks for vacuuming-you're so much better at it than I am"! Of course, sometimes what's on his mind is not so simple and sweet, but hey-a (clean) fight can be good honest communication too. He also goes out of his way to show me selfless kindness-the very best example of which is his willingness to come home after a graveyard shift and then stay up to help me with the kids. He does that all the time (I am so lucky!) out of the goodness of his heart.

So, I often think to myself, how can I show my husband selfless, honest love? I think it's in the little things-serving his plate first at dinner, picking up his favorite soda when I make a diaper run, listening carefully when he tells me about his day without simply waiting for my turn to speak-they might not look spectacular on paper but they are honest and show him that I love him.

What about you, lovely readers? Tell me-how do you show your other half selfless, honest love? How do they show you that kind of love in return? I'd love to hear about good, solid relationships for a change.

To participate in Tell All Tuesday
*Write a post answering the Tell All Tuesday question.
*Include a link to my original post.
*Don't forget to put yourself in the Mr. Linky below, and to read about how people show their significant others they love them!


Kris said...

You're absolutely right. It's a lot of selfishness and not enough self-less-ness. (Props to me for thinking of that phrasing lol)...and it seems to be highly contagious. Even if you don't do big things you should think to do little things everyday. I try to wash my husband's back as often as possible (if he gets in shower after kids are in bed it makes things easier lol)...or make his favorite meal once a week...or getting up with him in the morning before it's light outside to make him breakfast and a lunch to take with him...and to talk. Without children. He does so much for me without considering himself it's not even funny--and I'll never be able to return favors for all he does but it isn't about keeping score it's about loving someone else more than yourself.

MrsM said...

Kris-You said it! I totally agree.