What Do I Know About Marriage?
What Do I Know About Marriage?
I want to share an inspirational video that is profound, yet so very simple:
I am fascinated by several things in this video. There is the obvious fact that Tony Robbins completely dissects this guys marriage problems, and was able to turn it around by asking some very important questions. He had the man identify how he was feeling about his wife and marriage - which was un-fulfilled. But then he had the man answer questions as if he were in his wife's shoes. He obviously gave himself more credit than he deserved, so Tony called him on it. And eventually got him to be more honest and objective about the state his wife was in.
Long story short - it's hard to see clearly when you are in the storm. If two people shut the same car door on their fingers, whose pain are they most likely going to be focused on in that moment? Their own, or the other persons? This man and his wife were focused on their own un-fulfillment. Which created an un-fulfilling relationship.
This happens everyday. For several reasons:
One such issue was represented in this man's life and marriage. He didn't know some very important things about his wife. Typically, when we meet someone in whom we share a romantic interest, the feelings of infatuation, passion, desire, and excitement drive us. We focus on these emotions subconsciously because they are so powerful. But as time goes on, and those feelings wear off, we discover that we are in need of that sense of fulfillment again. Even if it is through another outlet or avenue in life (not necessarily another person or romantic interest). It is in this stage we begin to see things we may not like about a person as much. Maybe we become complacent in the relationship. We might feel like we don't have anything in common anymore. Which is interesting, because you never really knew what you had in common before. It was the strong sense of feeling and emotion that made you "think" you had more in common than you really did. The bottom line is, we never really discover the person we are with and what makes them tick. And the man in the video openly admits he doesn't know what his wife's passion or "thing" is. He doesn't know what to cultivate in her life to make her blossom. Tony probes a little more to discover she likes to paint, but she doesn't feel like she is good at it. So he proposes a 90 day challenge to the man - for 90 days, focus everything on her. Make her feel like she is everything for 90 days! And see what happens. Not only did it fix the relationship, but he didn't have to give up his passion of playing guitar. Which was his primary source of fulfillment, and his primary fear in this instance.
This brings me to the greatest root of all relational, and marital destruction - selfishness.
Sadly, we are all born into this world with selfish tendencies. As babies, everything we do is to "get" something from our parents. Whether it is food, attention, affection etc. As we grow up, this is either perpetuated, or (if we are lucky) someone instills values in us to recognize selfish behavior, and be selfless people. This man's primary issue was giving up his passion. His marriage was hanging by a thread over whether or not he thought he would have to give up playing guitar. Everyone is guilty of similar at least once in their life (be honest with yourself). If not entirely so. We have to learn to be "ok" with seeing areas in our lives that can improve. Calling it for what it is, and then take steps to do something about it. And in about 8 minutes, Tony Robbins gave this man the reality of his dilemma. And offered an entirely reasonable solution to try, and it worked!
Relationships and marriage are all about intentionality. Be intentional about knowing the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with. Be intentional about where your journey together will go. What the vision of your life together will be. What kind of marriage and relationship do you want to have? And what are you willing to give (selflessly) to have that?