Ever since I read this article from Winifred Riley called 36 Things I Know After 36 Years of Marriage(which is fantastic by the way- give it a read), I keep thinking about #29. It says,
29. Most good marriages have one person who plays the role of the relationship “guardian”: The person who brings up difficult subjects. The person who stays hopeful in hard times. The person who acts as a steadying influence when one or both of you are getting worked-up. In an ideal world, that role would be shared. In the real world it only takes one.
Or this one: “We should really make a budget- then we wouldn’t argue so much about little purchases. I’ll wait until my spouse is relaxed or when we have more time together to bring it up. . . “ Then that never happens and you end up to continue to fight about money.
I think scenarios like these would benefit from one spouse taking the bull by the horn and getting things done. Change what YOU can change and see what happens.
I actually think it’s a very comforting notion that we don’t have to wait for our spouses to change to start improving our marriage.
Reminds me of this article that went viral a few weeks ago from Richard Paul Evans: How I Saved My Marriage:
… As much as I hated the idea of divorce, the pain of being together was just too much. I was also confused. I couldn’t figure out why marriage with Keri was so hard. Deep down I knew that Keri was a good person. And I was a good person. So why couldn’t we get along? Why had I married someone so different than me? Why wouldn’t she change?
Finally, hoarse and broken, I sat down in the shower and began to cry. In the depths of my despair powerful inspiration came to me. You can’t change her, Rick. You can only change yourself. …
The next morning I rolled over in bed next to Keri and asked, “How can I make your day better?”
Keri looked at me angrily. “What?”
“How can I make your day better?”
“You can’t,” she said. “Why are you asking that?”
“Because I mean it,” I said. “I just want to know what I can do to make your day better.”
She looked at me cynically. “You want to do something? Go clean the kitchen.”
She likely expected me to get mad. Instead I just nodded. “Okay.” I got up and cleaned the kitchen.
It’s like the lady who wrote that first article, Winifred Riley said in her last point:
36. One of you has to go first. Apologize first. Be vulnerable first. Yield first. Forgive first. Why not let that person be you?