I thought that today's dare was gonna be pretty easy. GET OUT TWO SHEETS OF PAPER. ON THE FIRST ONE SPEND A FEW MINUTES WRITING OUT POSITIVE THINGS ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE. ON THE SECOND ONE WRITE THE NEGATIVE THINGS. PUT THE PAPERS AWAY FOR ANOTHER TIME. TAKE ONE OF THE POSITIVE THINGS AND TELL YOUR SPOUSE THANK YOU FOR IT BEFORE THE END OF THE DAY.
So, I got out my paper and started with the positive list first. I didn't have to think long and hard. It was easy. And the list kept getting longer and longer. What I found about this part was that I had forgotten a lot of the things that I love about him, things that drew me to him in the first place. Like his contagious laughter. I love it. I don't even have to know what he is laughing about to laugh with him. And I especially love it when whatever he is laughing at is sooo funny that he just can't stop laughing. I seriously have laughed until I cried and had NO idea why I was laughing. I love the fact that even though he doesn't "get" my love of horses, he still lets me have them. And he gives of his time so that I can go ride. Not to mention, that since I don't bring in any cash, he pays for them and their "stuff".
Time to start list #2. I thought that I would have NO problem with this list at all. And I thought that it would end up being longer than the first list. But, I guess I had spent so much time thinking and dwelling on all the good things that I had a harder time than I thought I would. Now, don't kid yourselves. I still had a list. It just wasn't as long as I anticipated.
That is what typically happens in our marriages. In the beginning of the relationship, even before we get married, we spend a LOT, a lot of time thinking about all the good things our partner brings to the relationship and all of the things that we love about them and make us happy. So much so, that we can't even see all of the things that would normally make us crazy in other people. Those irritations even seem endearing to us... for a while.
But then we get married, and have to start paying bills together and sharing our "stuff" and making compromises we didn't have to make before. Add some kids and in-laws and real life responsibilities and after some time... we don't think about all of those things so much. Our minds are too full of other things. And those irritations that were once endearing, they are now just irritations.
We have to understand that dwelling on these aspects of our spouse will kill our marriages. The more time we spend thinking on these things the more time our heart devalues our spouse. With every passing second, you care less and less about them.
Even if all of the negative things that you and I think are true... so are the positive. And we are all human and fail and make mistakes, big and small. We have a tendency to "downplay" our own faults and failures and put our spouses under a magnifying glass. I do it every day.
The bottom line is that love knows about all of the negative things about our spouse. It doesn't walk around like those things don't exist. Love just chooses not to dwell on them. You have to make a CHOICE not to dwell on those things. It will suck the life and joy right out of your relationship.
Love chooses to believe the best about people. It gives them the benefit of the doubt. It refuses to fill the unknown with negative ASSUMPTIONS!!! And when our worst hopes are proven to be true, love makes every effort to deal with them and MOVE FORWARD!
It's time I change my way of thinking... how about you?