My husband had roses waiting for me in the car when he picked me up at the airport, after I returned from visiting my family in Manitoba. He said they were for me because he was glad to have me home, because I was special, and because he knew how much I liked them.
I can never get over the beauty of roses. They speak to me with their delicate, layered petals, their sweet fragrance, their cool, smooth softness, their perfection.
October 17, 2012
There were no roses waiting for me when my husband once again picked me up at the airport yesterday. I went to Arizona to spend a few days with my sisters. While I was there I visited a mall where a woman who ran a small kiosk commented that she didn’t need a man in her life. She had tried that. Now she was free to go to bed when she wanted, get up when she wanted, eat when she wanted, etc. Nobody was telling her what to do.
Well, I listened, quietly, and thought to myself, yes, those would be the advantages of being alone. But, I had someone to pick me up at the airport, kiss me, help me with my luggage. I had someone to tell my stories to as we drove home, someone who told me about his week. Later we planned a little get together with our son and his wife for his birthday.
As we cuddled on the couch that evening I was content that I had someone in my life, and I was willing to make a few adjustments.
Yes, I fully agree that marriage requires that we adjust our lives to the preferences and needs of another person. When we sign up for marriage, we had better be willing to do so.
There is this thing called reciprocity in marriage. Another way of saying it is that there is a lot of “give and take.” When one partner thinks they are making an unfair contribution in relation to the other, resentment can set in and this will begin to poison the marriage.
I make certain contributions, and my husband makes certain contributions. Our marriage is very different from the standard with which I grew up. In our home we both cook meals, we both clean and usually we are both contributing to the family income.
In my home, as a child, the woman did the housework and the man brought in the money. When my mother decided to train for a career and go to work outside the home, my dad considered it an insult to his manhood. Instead of appreciating what she was doing, he resented it. That was unfortunate, especially when his health eventually failed and prevented him from continuing to work.
During my time with my sisters we talked about what makes a marriage work and why marriages fail. I know there are many reasons. Relationships are complicated. But I think there are some basic principles that could make virtually every marriage successful. If we love each other, trust one another, are able to communicate and understand each other’s reasoning, are willing to negotiate and give in sometimes, and practice kindness and thoughtfulness in our attitude and actions on a daily basis, I think we have a very high probability of a successful marriage.
A marriage, by my understanding, is a relationship from which we ought to derive some benefit. We cannot be petty, selfish, self-centred, inattentive and oblivious to the other’s needs and desires and then expect to have a good marriage. This is not the right formula for a thriving marriage.
As I said earlier, there ought to be a feeling of balance, that each one is contributing their fair share, though it may be different. When two people have a shared picture of the marriage they want then they will be more inclined to put in the effort needed to reach this goal. A couple ought to talk about the ideals they have for their relationship. Some may be unrealistic. Some may be easily achieved.
The romance will not always be at its peak, but there can still be warmth and affection. This is a reasonable expectation and I can say this with confidence after being blessed with nearly thirty years of marriage.