Creating the Relationship I Truly Want
Relationships are hard.
Marriage is difficult.
What I want at the core of my soul is to do life forever with my wife. I want for us to love each other until all of our parts don’t work anymore and until our dentures get in the way of our kisses. I want us to be there for each other in our golden years and in the final years. I want to love deeply and be loved deeply.
And too often I am so disappointed in myself. What I do and how I interact with her too frequently seems to get in the way of what I really want. Instead of doing things to build the relationship that I want in my heart of hearts, I find myself doing things that keep me from it.
I tell her that I love her and that she is the most important thing in the world to me. I tell her I would fight for her and will always be here for her. When I tell her how I feel in those moments, I am not lying. I really feel that way.
And I am amazed at the many ways my actions tell a different story. If you followed me around all day with a video camera you would find evidence that would make you wonder if I really believe what I say.
- I am selfish, focused solely on myself, more often than I want to admit. I do what I want to do in the moment. Whether she ever finds out about it or not, my selfishness becomes a barrier to my ability to whole-heartedly love her.
- Too frequently I react to what she says or does in ways that pushes her away from me. I sometimes disengage and get away from her and other times I get loud and big. Sometimes I send her a message without saying anything at all.
- I often honor my work commitments before I keep my word to her. I “volunteer” for projects that keep me from the things I could do to build the marriage I want.
- I fill my calendar with ministry and church activities. I sometimes find that I am doing good for others that I am not doing for my family.
- I make sure that she always knows if I disagree with her about how she is parenting, cleaning, cooking, dressing, socializing or spending money. I rarely tell her when she does those things well.
I find that even good things can become a barrier to what I want in my marriage. I believe it is good for me to be in church and volunteer for ministry work. I judge a man who works and provides for his family is a good man. I believe it is important to communicate about things I disagree with. And doesn’t everyone deserve some “me” time?
I’m glad that I am not the only one that has struggled with this. Even the Apostle Paul shared, (Rom 7:15b NIV) “What I want to do, I do not do.”
I realize that I am the builder of my relationship. I cannot control what my wife will do, but I have total control over what I choose to do. I can build the marriage that I want. I can do the things that will keep our love together to the very end.
How can I make my actions reflect what I believe when I tell her how much I love her? What can I do to create and build the lifelong relationship I want at the core of my soul?
I can do my part to create the relationship I really want by choosing to:
- make my calendar reflect my relationship goals.
- protect time with my wife and family from volunteer work projects and the many good Christian things I am asked to do.
- set myself up well in my vehicle, workspace, phone/devices, computer, and other areas with reminders of my long-term relationship goals.
- remain in charge of my emotions and communicate them in a way that moves us toward each other instead of reacting to what she says or does.
- make my word and commitments to her more important than with any other.
- share with her every day at least one thing about who she is or what she does for which I am grateful and thankful.
What do you find helpful to grow the relationship you want?
How are you living out your promises to your wife?
– By Roy Wooten
Roy completed his initial Crucible weekend in 2009 and has been the longtime leader of The Crucible Project community in Houston. Roy and his wife Devra have led over 135 of their Life Together Forever Couples Weekends and are the authors of The Secret to Lifetime Love: Speaking and Hearing Truth. He also authored Full Throttle Into Fatherhood and is the Executive Director of Shield Bearer Counseling Centers in Houston, Texas. Follow Roy at LifeTogetherForever.com
Photo Credit: Picture used with permission.