Tuesday, November 19, 2013 – Day Twelve: Love Lets the Other Win
This one is probably the most important day for me so far. This is something that I struggle with A LOT. It is also something that Scott also struggles with a lot, too. This is one day that I will probably benefit from reading over and over again.
Say someone asked you to name some areas that both you and your spouse disagree over, you would be able to come up with some pretty easily. These issues won’t go away, unless someone decides to give in. Being stubborn comes naturally for many people. We feel quick to come to the defense when our opinions or rights are questioned. However, being to “set in your ways” can be very detrimental to a happy and successful marriage. It can cause division and frustration.
It can be over small, inconsequential things, like preference for a movie to watch or what type of couch you want to buy. But often times, it can be over much larger things, such as if one wants to travel to see extended family and the other wants to take a trip away for just the two of you, or if one may want children and the other doesn’t really want to. Though the larger issues may not occur as often, they can continually resurface if they aren’t addressed properly. What happens when you both dig in your heels and refuse to give in?
You will continue to butt heads. You’re stuck, with no decision being made and no resolution. When we are stuck in a stalemate, with both firmly rooted in their opinions, there is only one thing that will fix the situation. Willingness. In order to be willing one needs to possess an attitude and spirit of cooperation. We need to learn to be flexible. Sometimes it means that we need to put our own preferences and interests aside in order to look for the benefit and good of the other person. If both remain locked in firmly in place and don’t bend or waver, nothing will ever change and no resolution will ever be found. But the moment that someone makes the decision to bend and give in, the resolution will take place. It may take swallowing one’s pride in order to take that first step and be the one to give in. However, doing so will benefit the marriage and show your spouse that you are willing to give in. Often times when they see your willingness, they will also learn to give in, too.
It can be very beneficial to take a different approach to disagreements. Instead of insisting on getting your way, try to go in with the mentality of having an open mind and be willing to listen to your spouse’s viewpoint. It may not mean that your spouse is right, but you’re affording them the opportunity to tell you their view and are putting value on it. Don’t view the as “the enemy” but view them as someone you value and cherish, and really learn to value their feelings and opinions.
You will never see eye to eye on everything. There are bound to be differences. But allow those differences to provide room to grow. Embrace them. Ask yourself if you’re willing to give in to demonstrate your love for your spouse…or are you refusing to do so because you’re letting pride get in the way? I never really thought of it that way. That my stubbornness was related to being prideful. That is the last thing I want to be.
The Love Dare concluded stating that “surrendering a battle may actually be the best way to victory.”
The dare for day 12:
Questions for pondering: What issue did you choose? What did giving in cost you? How will this help you in the future?
I gave this much thought and I honestly couldn’t come up with anything that is presently a point of contention or disagreement between us. We have both been trying to get along much better with each other lately and have been trying to get along as good as possible. I have been trying to keep calm and not get in disagreements. I even thought of trying to dig up stuff from the past and think of things that had previously been a problem for us, but then I stopped myself…realizing I was trying to create a problem or issue out of nothing. Which is clearly the opposite thing I should be doing now. But I did learn a lot from this section in the book. And it is one I will revisit time and again. Especially because I know my tendencies in this area and Scott’s tendencies. We are a lot like the picture above, where we just hold fast to our position about something and only butt heads. But I realize that it sometimes will take yielding to Scott in order to make our marriage a success. And I am willing to do that and continue to work on this area.
Day 12 down, 28 to go!