“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NAS)
Over the years I have been lucky enough for almost half of my life to have my best friend by my side. Many times I have taken him for granted, thinking he would always be there or not realizing how very lucky I was. However, I have been given many opportunities to realize that “two are better than one”.
We have been through many trials together, and have grown with one another. There are so many moments I reflect on, that without him by my side I would have been lost.
Why is it that so many give up so quickly?
Don’t get me wrong, there were times when I thought “this isn’t the person I signed up to marry”. Oh really? Actually I signed up for to death do us part. In this day, it seems that individuals are ready to call it quits when things get tough or their partner is not behaving as they would like them to. The expectations grow and resentment spills into the relationship.
I am sure the statistics are stifling, divorce has become commonplace. What happened to sticking together through thick and thin? I believe that society gears our girls up to thinking that the princess will marry the prince who will carry her off on a white horse in a beautiful sunset. The reality is, the princess marries the frog or vice versa (dependent on perception). It is not a fantasy, it takes work from both sides, it takes forgiveness, turning the cheek, biting ones tongue, seeing the good before the bad, and taking a deep breath and letting go.
I have learned that men and women speak and think quite differently. I have observed that many spouses don’t see divorce coming when it is at their door, primarily because the communication at some point ceases to exist. The female expects the male to “know” what she is thinking; meanwhile the male does not hear any complaints – so that must mean she is happy. Women think very fluidly, everything in life is interrelated. If someone has an issue with her at the beginning of the day, it seems to feed into all areas of her life. Whereas men seem to compartmentalize things, work is work, home is home, kids are kids. So if for example, there is an argument earlier in the day – that moment has since past – it is not related to the evening time spent with his wife. I know I am talking in a somewhat stereotypical way, but for the most part this is how women vs. men think. Most men see love through intimacy, whereas most women see love through actions (whether it be physical, or words). A marriage break down occurs usually when one side of the equation does not want to understand the other side any more. He/She no longer understands me, no longer acknowledges my feelings, speaks for me…. Do you see the tone? It is the comparison trap. The comparison trap then lends to a sense of entitlement which in turn leads down a road where, the only option is for the marriage to cease to exist. “I am a different person now, we are on different paths”. I often wonder, if the person left the marriage and we were to fast forward down 5-10 years would it be the same pile?
Which leads me to my comparison trap I fell into…. A few years ago I was living this, I felt like my husband didn’t understand my needs. But in all reality it was I that didn’t understand everything my husband was giving our house hold. I would work all day, and then come home feel exhausted and resentment would seep in, and an individualistic mentality of my needs should come first. Yes I know, a bit of a dream world and not reality – much like the princess with the prince on the white horse. I was assuming I knew what happened during the day, and judging what was not complete vs. what was. It took me nearly losing my life, and being at home on a day to day basis to really see what my husband was contributing. Thank-you for this perspective God. My husband was teaching my boys life skills, he was teaching them to read, write, laugh, and to tie their shoes. I didn’t realize the extent of it all, while trying to make sure that everything got done in the house so that I could spend quality time with our children. These past two years in our lives have been filled with much trauma, and up and down circumstances in our families’ lives. But through it all love has grown and my love for my husband is so deep. I have realized:
No one is doing more than the other, we each have our strengths and the weaknesses are offset by the other spouses’ strengths.
We both have personalities that complement one another and make us stronger as a family.
Leading by example in our marriage will have a positive effect on our children in years to come.
My husband is my soul mate and my best friend, we will have times where we will not see eye to eye – but there is nothing we cannot get through together.
Resentment only leads to dysfunction within a marriage, and it will not be present in our home.
My husband is the greatest daddy I know, and has an amazing capacity for love like no other; I am blessed to have him in my life.
We need to seek to understand before judging any circumstance.
And last but not least, two are better than one.