Friday, November 5, 2010
Marriage Cheat Sheet
Here is where it all started:
"If people don't know the difference between marriage and a relationship without legal or spiritual commitment, they should not get married. Many of the things that make you break up with a person in a relationship happen in marriage too; you just don't break up. You work it out to the best of your ability. There are very few deal breakers in marriage. I know it's hard but you can make it..."
I woke up on Tuesday morning angry at the state of marriage in the world. The previous night, I had watched the Real Housewives of Atlanta AKA RHOA and it had saddened me that despite not knowing the details or knowing for sure that there was any dealbreaker situation going on with Nene Leakes and her husband of thirteen years Greg, everybody essentially felt the best way to support her was to encourage her to move on if it wasn't working. Nobody considered that it could be a passing phase, that they could still see the mountain top once again after the valley, that the fact that you are unhappy now and it is not good now does not mean it can never get back to where it was.
That was why I wrote that update. It has twenty-five comments to date. Some agreed. Some disagreed. I pissed someone off along the way. But what makes it all worth it for me is that last night, I got this message, also on the thread:
"Folake you might not believe this but this thing you started actually saved a three year old marriage yesterday . Both parties read your post and the comments and canceled their divorce case and gave each other a second chance....I pray they get it right this time.....Bless you Sis"
And this morning, I got an inbox message from another person who had copied and pasted my status update and sent it to her friend who was having problems with his seventeen year marriage. He also sent a message back to the friend asking what he could do to make it right with his wife.
This makes me happier than a shopping spree, or dessert, or comfort food or anything you can think of. I decided to make up a marriage cheat sheet, mostly from a woman's point of view but I can assure you men can gain a thing or two from it as well.
Marriage Cheat Sheet
I ask God not only for the gift of forgiveness but of forgetfulness.
I ask God daily what I can do for the greater good of the relationship and not my selfish needs or wants.
I pray for my husband.
I pray for our relationship.
I concentrate on the good in him.
I accept him as him and stop trying to change him.
I understand and accept my imperfections and that he sometimes struggles to deal with me too.
And when I feel I can't go on, I rebuke the devil and affirm God's will for my marriage! I resolve to stay in it.
God has blessed women with a greater ability to keep a relationship healthy by having a gentle spirit and being wise. I am not gentle in behavior, stupid, a pushover or docile.
If I can do it, almost anybody can.