I can be kind, thoughtful, faithful, and even present to you and our marriage or family needs in this moment, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am mad!
Do you ever feel this way?
I do… lots! Marriage is hard work. It requires commitment, sacrifice, faith and humor! Kindness to one another when we are angry, disappointed or struggling is an act of love born from our stubborn commitment to one another and the knowledge that our marriage relationship is so much bigger than the current difficulty or emotions of the moment!
In June, John and I will be married 32 years…and some of them were incredibly difficult. There were times, I didn’t think we would make it… We fought, yelled, were silent, distant, went to counseling, and worked hard to not only STAY married but grow closer and have a deep connection.
Our kids heard us argue, struggle to communicate and witnessed some ugly moments (a huge regret) BUT they also saw and heard us discuss hard things, apologize and live “for better or worse” in the mess and pressures of life.
I wish I could turn back time and be wiser or silent in some of my worst moments. I long to erase my kids memories of times they wondered and worried if “their parents were getting a divorce.” And yet, I also know they witnessed us apologize and own our mistakes. There were some rough years that required many reassuring conversations with our kids saying, “Yes, we were struggling, but we were committed to working things out.”
Love is about a commitment to be faithful when we don’t feel like it. That is the point of our marriage vows. We promise that we will act from our commitments and not from our emotions.
Emotions are real. they should be “felt” and dealt with appropriately. However, emotions are rarely good for making decisions. feelings change and are often based on circumstances.
But love as a decision, an act of will – is based on a choice to and commitment that transcends circumstances. Love is patient and kind. Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. Love forgives, stays engaged, faithful and committed to the relationship. Love steps back, takes a break, bites its tongue and choses words and actions careful. Love exercises wisdom.
Oh love can feel good! Love can send our heart soaring, our emotions bubbling over with excitement, gratitude, enjoyment. But when the emotions fade… when dirty laundry, bad breath, thoughtlessness, distracted and distance permeates the daily-ness of our marriage… when emotions are flat, bothered, unhappy, disappointed… Love remains.
Emotions, infatuation, and he’s perfect… give way to what was I thinking, he’s not even close to perfect and I didn’t know it would be this hard. Feelings overwhelm us and threaten to undo our commitment to love one another.
Love make decisions on a daily basis to reconnect and recreate the emotions that often led to our marriage in the first place! I am not saying it is easy, or even fun. It is hard to act out of our commitment to love. But love is a choice.
Love puts another load in the washer, buys groceries, goes to work, drives carpool, reminds our spouse of our needs, desires and shares our feelings with honest vulnerability, instead of caustic rage or passive aggressive quips. Love knows our marriage is much bigger than this moment.
Ultimately, Love wins!
Can you relate? Share a story of when you chose kindness and love over action from your emotions. Please like or share to spread the word! Thanks!
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