Tuesday

Marriage Is For Grown Ups


I don't think I've shared a blog with you that Trey, constant champion of marriages, pointed out to his blog readers: Show Up Naked With Food. Yeah, it's as fun as it sounds.

There was a post yesterday about the food side of loving your spouse. Y'all know me -- you know I am NOT advocating loving anyone solely on food and junk alone. HOWEVER: the post brought up a great point about the mere act of preparing the food and caring for another person. Truly, the love that comes from that.
I would encourage you to read the post because she says it better than I will try to stammeringly sum it up, but if you don't, just read this paragraph:

"I have a friend who HATES cooking. She has other talents and capabilities but this is just not her thing. Her husband fends for himself every meal. The unfortunate part is that he works and she does not. She figures out ways to snack and feed her children though out the day and when he gets home he feels like the absence of dinner for him means he is not on her radar. He has shared with me how he feels sorry for himself and she has shared on me how she hates to prepare meals. They spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars extra a month because of constantly eating out. They rarely sit down for “family time” and have a meal together where they can talk about things and enjoy one another’s company. From this dynamic the husband, unfortunately, uses his “neglect” as an internal excuse for why he isn’t that helpful with household chores. She in turn tells herself, “he doesn’t deserve me fixing him dinner when he isn’t that helpful himself!” It’s funny how couples feed off of each other for their justifications."

My question to the friend is: what are you going to tell your kids when they tell you that they don't want to clean their rooms, or put away their laundry, or do their homework? Because, I am here to tell ya -- cooking dinner and doing laundry EVERY day is my go-to "Oh, yeah? Well, I don't want to do THAT, either, but I do, because it has to be done. So, go clean your room." I'm sure that cements me as the most heartless mother on the planet to you, but it's the truth. Yes, I feel it, yes, I say it.

I don't like to cook. But I can. And I should, especially when my job is as flexible as my writing is and I am home in the afternoons.

That whole situation made me think of a time that a couple came to my parents to seek counsel and it turned into a "but she does this" and "but he said that" and "nyah, nyah, nyah!" fest. My dad finally just told them, "You have to understand that marriage is for grown ups, and both of you have to choose to be the grown up."

Sometimes it can be hard when you're in the thick of it -- "but he made me mad first!!" Yes, yes he can. Die to self. Lay it down. Remember when you were crazy about him? It just isn't that big of a deal. No doubt, cooking EVERY night -- I do not enjoy it and that is a drip, drip, drip of an annoyance that can build up and build resentment IF I let it. However, I have chosen to see it (most of the time) as a way to bless my family with a healthy meal (that they may or may not hate).

And? my favorite time of day comes after I cook dinner: we sit down together as a family. There is no greater reward for my efforts than the 4 of us gathered around the table. It doesn't matter if it's "fancy sandwiches" (that means you melted the cheese on the bread) or Filet Mignon (never served here) -- as long as it is us, I am happy and my efforts are rewarded.

This can go beyond so many things besides cooking. As Lindsay at Show Up Naked said, "Be the one to offer the olive branch. I turn to women, not because I feel it is your fault, but rather because I feel you are the most likely to eventuate any real change in your marriage"

Is there anything in your marriage that you don't enjoy doing that you have tried to see as a way to bless your spouse or family? I would love to hear from you!

2 comments:

Doug Young said...

Kinda reminds me of the crazy cycle that Emerson Eggerichs mentions in his book, Love and Respect. Couples have to find some creative outlets to push or pull through those areas where they see themselves deficient. Would be nice if couples could just decide to work together to make things happen, in the best interest of their families.

Roxanne said...

I loved YOUR advice to go see the blog. . .and, of course, your DAD'S advice is absolutely on target.

 
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