“Marriage should war incessantly against a monster that is the ruin of everything. This is the monster of custom.“ Honore de Balzac
There is much, much truth in this quote. People take others for granted. For many people being married is like being tenured in your job: you let things slide and start taking things for granted. I do not believe in tenure – not for teachers or anyone else. I think tenure is a license for laziness. And I believe a tenured marriage is one that is doomed. The moment you take anything for granted you become lazy.
Just walk down the street and check out the couples. Look at the couple who were college sweethearts: she was the cheerleader and he was the jock. Now, she is still cute and fit and he has a belly that covers his belt buckle because he is forty pounds overweight. He is now taking his cute little wife for granted. He may love her, may be a great father, but takes it for granted she still finds him appealing even though he has the body shape of the shape of the Hindenburg.
It works both ways; he does his best to maintain a healthy physique and look good, but she has become dumpy, has gray roots, rarely wears makeup, and thinks getting dressed up means putting on a clean pair of sweats. She has become lazy and takes her husband for granted. I could list a dozen similar situations you would instantly recognize, and you could probably do a quick analysis of your friends and know exactly what I am talking about. Maybe you could even look at your own marriage and do the same.
But like most, you would use excuses like having to work hard, taking care of the kids, and being tired as reason you do not really take care of yourself the way you used to. Sorry, but that really does not fly. If you really cared, you would do what it took to be your very best for your spouse. Not out of obligation or custom or tradition, but out of a desire to constantly renew your love each and every day! It baffles me that if you had a job interview, you would clean-up, dress-up, have your hair done, nails done, perfect make-up, work out at the gym, buy a new outfit, whatever you felt was needed to impress; however, that thinking left years ago when it comes to your marriage… hmmm???
I actually heard a man say this in South Carolina, “What do I care if I don’t look as good as I used to, I already caught me a wife?” Caught a wife? Is she a bass you are not going to throw back? You think once you have a wife, or a husband for that matter, you no longer have to be your best and look your best for them? If you honestly think that, then prepare yourself for a lackluster marriage.
Now don’t get the wrong idea; yes, I have just used “looks” as an example. But this example applies to all aspects of marriage. When you were dating, did you open the door for your wife? Then you still need to be doing it. When you were dating and first married, did you greet him in the morning with a cup of coffee while he shaved for work? Then you still need to be doing it. Did you rub her feet after a hard day? Then you still need to be rubbing her feet. Did you compliment each other? Then do it now. Did you talk about the other’s day, or their dreams, or desires, or fantasies, or aspirations, or goals? Then you better do it again. If you do not DO these things – and believe me, this is a skimpy list used only for example – then you are lazy and taking your spouse and your relationship for granted.
Do you have some changes that need to be made? Don’t try today; DO today!