Avoid the “Takens” in Your Marriage
“and whatever you do [no matter what it is in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] his person, giving praise to god the father through him. ” - Colossians 3:17 (amp.).
A major positive in your marriage will be to never become complacent or take one another for granted. A friend of mine described it this way:
People in long-term marriages tend to take each other for granted. The most common of the “takens” include:
You will always be here for me.
You will always love me.
You will always be able to provide for me.
You will always be the same.
We will always be together.
Making these assumptions in a marriage is living more in fantasyland than on reality ridge. People who take things for granted are seldom appreciative of the everyday blessings in their lives.
After a time, they come to believe life owes them these little gifts. They seldom say thank you for anything.
When you take someone for granted you demean him or her. You send the unspoken message: You are not worth much to me. You also rob this person of the gift of human appreciation.
And to be loved and appreciated gives all of us a reason to live each day. When that gift is withdrawn or denied over the years, our spirits wither and die.
People may endure this hardship and stay married forever, but they are only serving a sentence. In long-term marriages where one or both spouses are continually taken for granted, a wall of indifference arises between husband and wife.
The longer the marriage, the higher the wall and the greater the human isolation. The way out of this woodpile is simple but crucial:
Start saying thank you and showing appreciation for anything and everything.
Be more consciously tuned in to what is going on around you.
Become more giving and affirming.
Specialize in the many little things that mean a lot: Bring each other flowers, take long walks in the country, lie on the floor in front of the fireplace, prepare breakfast in bed for each other, hold hands in public and walk in the rain, send caring and funny cards to each other in the mail, buy each other small gifts for no apparent reason.
Remember: A thirty-five year marriage does not guarantee year number thirty-six. Take nothing for granted just because you have it today.
Keep in mind that in a healthy marriage. . .
You look out for “number 2” rather than number 1.
You energize your spouse rather than drain energy from him or her.
You eliminate blaming and shaming from the marriage.
You are willing to learn from your partner.
You end your disagreements with a feeling of resolve.
You feel better after a disagreement.
These are just some of the positives that will keep your marriage alive.
H. Norman Wright is a licensed Family Counselor and child therapist and has taught in the Grad. Department of Biola University. He is the author of more than seventy books