In her post Do You Really Have “Plenty of Time Later” to Nurture Your Marriage? at Intimacy in Marriage Julie Sibert discusses an important topic, nurturing your marriage.
One of the things that I have noticed that happens too often in many businesses is allowing the urgent to take precedence over the important. It happens in marriages as well. We allow the urgent, getting everyone everywhere, keeping up with the Jones, allowing our children to become the center of our universe (instead of God), etc. to trump what is at least as important, nurturing our marriage.
I frequent a marriage forum and one thing that happens occasionally is a person will make the statement that they are out of the marriage as soon as the kids are out of the house. Typically what has happened is that their spouse has allowed the urgent to trump the important. A wife has nurtured her children at the expense of her husband and marriage. She seeks her own nurturing not from her husband but from her children placing the children in a position for which they are ill-prepared and ill-suited. A husband has nurtured his career to provide a better life for his family but it has been at the expense of his wife, family and marriage.
Each spouse may believe that there will be time for the important job of nurturing the marriage when there are less urgent matters but what they fail to realize is that their spouse has already made up their mind. The time for nurturing their marriage has passed them by and they may not completely realize it. Oh, there have been warnings for years, “Honey, come home from work tonight so that we can spend some time together, please?” “Darling would you come to bed with me instead of lying down with the kids and falling asleep?” These are the warning signs and too often the answer to each question is, “There will be time for that later.” Well, maybe. Maybe not.
In her post Julie mentions Paul Byerly’s post Not Divorcing is Not Enough. Paul makes an excellent point, should the goal be to just stay married [and miserable], or should the goal be to stay happily married? Of course the answer to that should be obvious but for that to happen we’re going to have to look at our priorities.
How important is your spouse and your marriage to you? As mature grownups we need to realize that our priorities and our actions give us the honest answer to this question. We should also realize that our children are catching more than they are being taught. In other words, your actions are teaching them what we really believe and what we say means much less when the actions don’t match the words.
Start nurturing your marriage… before it is too late…