It’s the IDEAL time to start a series on Marriage, don’t you think?
Perfect. Ideal. Two words that marriage quickly eviscerates. But marriage doesn’t really do anything, does it. The people in the marriage do the eviscerating. They are the ones that, after a while, act without gratitude for their mate. They are the ones that forget the positive things their mate brings to their world. They are the ones that start to imagine greener grass. Then what is they usually find if they go off to that new plot of lawn? They discover it isn’t all that greener after all.
Why is that? What is it we have lost when the wife or husband no longer seems ideal? There are all sort of reasons, some I would think are valid, some I would think are not. But it isn’t up to me to decide another marriage’s fate. It’s up to me to discern what I might do within my marriage to become a husband closer to my wife’s ideal. Maybe I can come close, maybe I can’t. But I certainly won’t get very close if I am not paying attention to her and her wishes and desires for a mate, for her life.
I don’t think I am particularly good at that. But I am starting to realize it is as much or more about me and what I do than it is about her and what she does. Why is that? Because I can’t control my wife. I can’t make her my ideal, I can’t make her better or funnier or happier. I can’t change her. I can however work on those things in myself. Maybe I succeed, maybe I don’t. But if I pay attention to what I can do, then who knows who I can become. An ideal husband? Probably not. But a man moving in that direction? I bet most wives would take and keep that mate in a heartbeat.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman, married 25 years over two marriages.
Quote by Booth Tarkington, which I think is a funny name.