I love the Real Love in Marriage book! (Granted, some days I love it because it clears up some confusion I’ve had and other days I love it because it slaps me awake!)
Hiya, I hope you’re well!
Can I say that marriage and family life can be extremely challenging? If you disagree with that statement, I want to meet you and study your brain!
Meanwhile, for the rest of us, I offer a few quotes from Dr. Baer; some stunningly precise descriptions and definitions that I think would do any body good!
“So what is the purpose of marriage? Marriage is a commitment we make to stay with our partners while we learn to unconditionally love them. It’s an agreement to stay in a relationship for a lifetime, even when our partners are not loving. It’s also a commitment to limit the sharing of some things (living together, sex, financial resources, an so on) to one partner.
After hearing this definition, many people wonder, “Since almost all partners are not unconditionally loving, why in the world would I want to get married in the first place and make a lifetime commitment to share my body, my financial resources, and so on with only one person? It doesn’t sound like marriage is such a great idea.”
Indeed, if we view marriage as an opportunity to squeeze all the Imitation Love (Praise, Power, Pleasure and Safety) we can get out of another person, marriage usually doesn’t turn out very well, since the effects of Imitation Love always wear off, and the trading of it becomes unfair. But when we see marriage as an opportunity to learn to love another person unconditionally, making such a commitment to one person is quite rewarding. Sex, praise, financial resources and everything else we have become tools with which we express affection for our partner. When we reserve some of those tools exclusively for one person, we’re able to communicate a more profound level of loving with that partner.”
If we get hung up on the part of “staying with our partner even when they aren’t loving,” then we may not be telling the truth about ourselves.
When was the last time you were irritated, angry, frustrated or rolled your eyes at your spouse, with a sigh of superiority or disgust? Somehow, we tend to think that those expressions were their fault, and not misbehavior on our part…when actually those are moments we aren’t so loving, and so the quote, is actually talking about us! Oh! We all need grace!
And, we can take courage~
What is needed to improve the quality of a marriage relationship is truth telling (about us, not them) and a shift away from feeling empty and alone to feeling loved and connected.
And we can shift that right now by:
Praying to feel God’s love.
Spending time with people who see us and love us as we are. (Yes, this means showing these trusted people our real self.)
Intentionally filling our love reservoir!
Being dedicated to growth.
Not only will life and relationships improve, but by strengthening a marriage relationship, we change the world for our children and literally everyone we know.
My hat is off to you! You are teachable, humble and charitable and I applaud your efforts, large and small!
Love, love, love,
The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.
P.S. One of our all time favorite 1950’s TV shows, Father Knows Best is fun for the whole family. If you haven’t seen it, and you’re tired of Dora or Wild Kratts, now might be a good time to check it out!