First, a brief commercial for my "Clergy-Hubby" site. I only post weekly over there, and a lot of my "Life-Charged Life" readers miss out. So, click on this link - "The Preacher's Husband" - to read some good words and view some great pictures of my wife, Rebekah and the church staff.
Okay, now for this morning: I want to pick up on an observation I made in an article I wrote yesterday for All-Pro-Dad. The title of the column is Ten Ways to Build a Relationship Now You're Married. Writing the piece made me think about what happens to so many couples after their wedding. They are surprised at the complete turn around. Then, after just a few weeks, they find themselves saying things like, "Who is this?" "He/she is nothing like the person I married!" and "Why is everything completely different now..."
My article looks at ten initiatives we can take to actually build - or re-build - the relationship.
This is especially on my mind because I've also been thinking about the general concept of happiness. What makes people happy - and this is a world-wide phenomenon - is not what we possess, or even political freedom, but our relationships.
People seem to understand this when they're dating! Up to and including the wedding, the relationship drives everything; nothing else matters. Then, within a short while of the "I do"s, this connection (one both parties forged so deliberately) gets pushed back behind a long list of new priorities. Setting up house, making ends meet, sleep and work and responsibility, raising a new family. "Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera..."
- We all lives that involve a lot of routine, the day-in day-out that can become - if we're not careful - little more than "The daily grind." Dating, discovering one-another,opening ourselves up, exploring a relationship - this was a magical glimpse of life-charged life. The relationship was all about the excitement away from that routine.
- Then - all of a sudden - instead of escaping the routine to be with the love of your life, marriage brings the relationship squarely into the realm of the routine. The only place you seem to meet anymore is in the middle of the humdrum that - when you were dating - you escaped from to be together....
If married couples are not careful, they lose the specialness of the relationship. Then it's not too difficult to imagine escaping that humdrum and looking for life elsewhere.
What amazes me is the fact that so few people recognize what is happening! They just feel disappointed - or wonder how they lost one another - or look to assign blame. But it doesn't have to be that way! Relationships are worth the work and the effort and the application of creativity and commitment and imagination.
We've already discussed the fact that real happiness is most often found in the context of relationships. So why not work on the one that captivated us so much to begin with?
Maybe we'll get back into this discussion another day. But, for now, think about how amazingly worth-the-effort your relationships are, and how wonderful it is to love and live with life-charged imagination.