Marriage will reveal your immaturity and selfishness faster than anything.
This has been rolling around in my head for the past few weeks. It’s something that I have to deal with in my life and I’m pretty sure that it’s an issue we all have to face to varying degrees at some point in our life. The question is, who do I love more, myself or my wife? Am I more interested in her working to please me or me working to please her?
I’m aware of a specific situation, and since it’s a specific situation I’m going to use the genders as represented in this specific situation, where a husband wants more sex from his wife. His wife’s stance is that she has to feel lovey dovey toward him or any sexual encounter is disingenuous on her part and tantamount to being a whore. He’s spent YEARS trying to foster this lovey dovey feeling in his wife, which of course is discounted because he’s just doing it to get sex. So, what’s this husband to do. He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. If he doesn’t work to get her to feel the lovey dovey feeling she doesn’t get it and no sex for him. If he does work to get her to feel the lovey dovey feelings then he’s just doing it for sex and he doesn’t get sex if he’s just doing it to get sex. If he does it because he loves his wife it’s hard to tell if he’s doing it because he loves his wife or just to get sex so he doesn’t get sex.
Now, let’s look at what her expectations are of her husband. She expects him to make her feel lovey dovey toward him without any ulterior motive. However, she seems to take no responsibility to make him feel lovey dovey toward her. Of course that would require sex from her and she can’t do that without feeling like a whore. See the catch-22 and the double standard that has been created in this marriage? Is it any wonder that this husband is frustrated? Thankfully this couple is in counseling.
In the specific case above the wife seems to allow her emotions to rule her instead of her ruling over her emotions. They control her, she does not control them.
Sadly we all have a little of this same type of attitude of selfishness within us and it is revealed to us through our marital relationship. Like nothing else in our life marriage reveals the pettiness and selfishness in us and this is why Dr. David Schnarch calls marriage, “a people growing machine.”
1 John 4:20b tells us that we cannot claim to love God whom we cannot see if we do not love the people around us that we do see. This is growth, that we love others more than we love ourselves (John 15:13, Romans 5:8). Might as well begin with your spouse.
In marriage you either grow up or grow apart. It’s your choice.