Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. Heard that before? Me too. So much so, it's been a mantra of mine anytime I have thought there was something I just couldn't live without. I have found that anytime I think I know exactly what it is that would make my life complete, I need to be very, very careful. Especially if I push to get it at all costs. Not a good plan! Bites me in the butt every time.
I have learned the hard way to trust God's judgment more than my own. The only place I struggle with it consistently would be my marriage relationship.
See, I'm married to a man's man, a dude, a cowboy... Not your typical twenty first century metrosexual guy. He's not in touch with his feminine side and he's often rather baffled by the women he's around day and night, night and day. He's not p.c., he's not particularly sensitive, he's not going to understand all the weird reasons I cry. He's a guy! He can fix stuff, pick up heavy stuff and kill spiders. If the dude at the mechanic shop gives me a hard time he will get on the phone and fix that. He will not sit for a pedicure and I will find his mind wandering if I talk too long about my feelings.
I look at my girlfriends husbands and sometimes I'm envious. They cook dinner, do dishes and laundry and dream up romantic evenings to whisk their women away on... At least that what Facebook says. (Yes, I can hear you laughing...) I can easily find myself wishing my man did that too. But the catch is, I don't know all the ins and outs of their relationship. I don't know what icky sticky skeletons reside I their hall closets. I only know what they choose to show me.
Somehow they don't choose to tell me that while he may cook, his taste in culinary choices doesn't line up with hers. He might bring her flowers every Friday, but they are flowers she isn't particularly fond of. He may plan weekends of delight, but they seldom take into account her favorite activities. So much of building a relationship is spent compromising and finding middle ground. That involves giving up what we like for what makes our partner happy.
The flip side is also not something I need to be pining for either. Would I give up my man's ingenious ways of fixing things and his never-be-stuck-on-the-side-of-the-road skill for a cooker of dinners? Would I want to have a man in my life that needed me to make every decision because he didn't want to leave me out of the process? Can I honestly say that I care how his feet look on the once in a blue moon occasion he leaves his boots behind for flip flops? I can't.
See, there are reasons that God gave me this man. He fills my needs. While I may be swayed by the greener grass over the fence, I need to be very aware that everything comes at a price. Nothing is free, least of all marriage relationships. They are hard work, chock full of tireless communications and thankless sacrifices. Marriages are filled with difficulties because it is the joining of two individuals who are consumed with their own selfish desires and narcissism. There have been times I have wondered what exactly God was thinking... One of the mysteries, I guess.
He could say the same thing about me. He could look around and complain that I don't make his plate when we visit friends, I am way too bossy and I don't respect him as much as I could. He could point out that I don't wear enough make up or that I have gained weight since we have been together. He could complain about the way I pay bills or open mail or avoid the answering machine. He could say all of that and be absolutely right... But then, he didn't marry me because I was some shrinking violet, bent on pleasing him because I have no self worth. He married me because I am strong and capable and I will take on more than I can accomplish and somehow get most if not all of it done. He is a smart man, so most of the time he doesn't say anything of the sort. Like me he has realized that finding another partner would take a lot of work, a diet and more training... I am way too lazy for that. Chances are, I would go right out and find the same kind of He-Man anyway. I am fairly certain it is how I am wired.
I love my husband with all of his warts and icky spots. He has way more good things to focus on for me to mire myself in the false picture Facebook or outward appearances can paint. I can take all that with a grain of salt. I wouldn't want to know about the fight you had last night, or the dirty laundry in your closet. Sharing the good things in life while covering over the not-so-good things is human nature and frankly way more polite for us outsiders. While I may read your status update with a sly glance and sneer at my hubby over there on the couch, I will also give thanks that he is who he is - and then I will make him move something heavy.
Make sure this week that you tell your partner how much you appreciate them for who they are. They need to hear it directly from you!