It was so HOT. Even in the mountains. So we grabbed some tubes and headed to the creek. We were floating gently along, feeling the warm sunshine on our faces, when I felt someone bump into me. My good friend had purposely pushed her husband’s tube away from hers inadvertently towards me. She quipped, “I meant to push him away but not towards another woman!” and we joked about the symbolism of that and I told her it would probably end up in one of my blogs. And here it is!
I couldn’t let that one go. We do that, don’t we? We gently push our spouse away. We don’t plan to push them towards someone else’s arms. That is truly not our intention. Perhaps we just are struggling through something we don’t want to share with them (which is never a good idea, anyway) or maybe we tend to be more solitary and like to be alone or maybe we work too much or focus too much on the kids instead of our spouse.
Sometimes we just would rather watch TV than listen to our best friend talk about his golf game or her trip to the mall. We are too lazy to get up off the chair and look at something they created or fixed or found.
Or perhaps we have become much more comfortable at sharing the negative about them and the positive about others. When men tell their wives they are too fat or too skinny or their feet or nose are too big…that is like giving his wife a giant push away from him. And when a wife tells her husband that “you don’t know what you’re doing” or jokes about his faults in front of their friends…she is doing the same. We need to be so very careful with our words.
And, finally, one day, after years of bad communication patterns, we wake up and our spouse is in someone else’s arms. They are looking towards someone else to meet their needs for love and respect and passion. If they aren’t needed at home then they will go somewhere else. It happens over and over again…each and every day. It is one of the most tragic events in existence. Families crumble, children suffer.
A successful marriage takes so much work. And we make choices to keep our spouse close or to push them away every day. Every marriage goes through cycles, but if it is made up of only pushing away it means your inner tubes are floating further and further away from each other. And the further you float away, the harder it is–the more work it is– to swim back towards each other again.
But it is worth the work! No matter where you find yourself. And today is a good day to start! If you have been struggling giving attention to your spouse, make today a new beginning! Listen to them today. Be kind. And keep that inner tube close to yours, before they float away out of sight!