". . . Marriage, that blessed arrangement, that dream within a dream . . . Love, true love, will follow you forever. . . "
(quote from "The Princess Bride," minus the pronunciation changes)
Sadly, i don't know too many people who think so positively about marriage these days. It seems like the most complicated situation in anyone's life. So much so that only something like 50% of people who marry stay married, and of those, well, i haven't heard any actual stats on happy marriages. . . but i have encountered people, and so have you, so we can probably infer some conclusion from our experiences.
". . . a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh."
When i first got married, it was absolute bliss, right up until we both had to go back to work and life and encounter the world as "man and wife." It didn't take too long before the ideals of a couple of dreamers, and the conflicts of our expectations and life in general, led to more screaming matches than i'd like to remember. The thing i hated the most about those times was the feeling that in order for a conflict to be resolved, one of us had to "win."
I had my first big epiphany toward the production of a healthy marriage when i realized that on any occasion, in any conflict, against any odds, neither of us "wins," unless both of us win. We're a team.
It seems very simple, i know. Of course you're a team. You're married. But when there's a conflict, a fight, an argument, who are you rooting for? Sure, sometimes one person is obviously the one in the wrong. More often, we're both in the wrong. Less often, neither of us were in the wrong, except for the part where we started fighting about it. The simplicity of the matter is this: the only side you're allowed to be on is each other's. And that is final.
Don't get me wrong; there are good reasons for married couples to hash out issues in order to come to healthy conclusions. Arguing is not always destructive. As long you're on the same side. Ladies, did your mother, or your aunt, or your grandma, ever tell you, "better pick your battles, honey." ? This is why. At least, this is partly why.
"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves."
"Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth to one another . . . for we are members of one another. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and in do not give the devil an opportunity"
She told you to pick your battles for many reasons, one of them is that it isn't your job to fix your husband (or your wife). But that subject is probably for another post.