Standing at the watch counter in Macy’s, excitedly gazing at the cabinet full of bling encrusted watches, I pointed at a gorgeous Guess watch and said: ‘Yes, I think that’s the one!’
The attractive young server smiled and in her broad Detroit accent said ‘Well alright! Let’s get it on you and see what you think.’
I liked it. I liked it a lot. Then I said something that offended her so deeply, I was genuinely taken aback. Turning to my husband I casually asked: ‘Do you like it, babe?’
The server’s shoulders rolled back, her eyes widened so big, I thought they might burst out of their sockets and her brows furrowed into the dark brood of a teacher berating a naughty child. ‘Why you askin’ him for?’ You’re the one wearin’ it! Who cares what he thinks?’
‘Well, he’s my husband,’ I said, suddenly feeling like a naughty school girl. ‘He’s going to be looking at it as much as I am.’ And it’s true! We live and work together full time. Unless I sat in front of a mirror all day, my husband sees me more than I do. Is it so strange that I’d like him to like what I’m wearing?
‘What’s wrong with you?’ She asked. Still furious.
‘Are you married?’ I replied.
‘No way! I’m not having any man tell me what to do.’
I did buy the watch. But not from ‘angry lady.’ We found it in another shop, with a much more pleasant server.
Recently, I read an article called ‘5 ways you are unknowingly destroying your husband and killing your marriage.’ International Content Director, Katelyn Carmen shared her tips to creating a happy marriage.
1. Live within your means and don’t put unnecessary financial strain on your marriage.
2. Don’t be negative all the time. Inhabit the silver lining, not the clouds of life.
3. Make your man your priority. Everything else will fall into place.
4. Don’t hold out on sex. That’s just mean.
5. Don’t drop hints or play games. Tell him what you’re really thinking so you’re on the same page.
To me, these tips are common sense and should be noted by any spouse – man or woman. What surprises me is the tirade of negative responses her article received. People were completely outraged, insisting Katelyn take a time machine back to the 1950s where, in their opinion, these tips clearly belong.
Matthew 11-12: “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never get asked – or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.”
So, what does ‘growing into the largeness of marriage’ mean?
Seth Adam Smith shared the marriage advice he received from his dad:
“I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”
What I’ve come to realise is that life is no longer ‘just’ about me. And every decision I make doesn’t ‘just’ effect me. It’s not a matter of being ‘controlled’ by someone but rather surrendering myself to something bigger than myself.
Sure, I like to dress in outfits my husband likes – who else am I trying to impress? But I also have one jacket I absolutely adore, which he hates. So I wear it when I’m out with the girls.
And Phil also gets my opinion on his clothes, hair and hobbies. We strive to agree on kitchen colours, kids’ schools, curtains, careers, holiday destinations and who’s taking out the bins this week. Not because we control each other, but because we matter to each other.
We are growing into the largeness of marriage together. Consulting, consoling and caring.
Doing life together. Embracing life together. And creating a life for our kids together.
In the beautiful words of Seth Adam Smith: ‘No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love.’