I am an extreme rule follower. There is something about rules, laws and instructions that attracts me to just obey. A sort of innate longing to be correct. To be right. It’s no surprise that I have carried this trait in my relationship with my wife. I follow a certain set of standards, obey “best practices” I’ve learned from mentors and from relationship “rule books”.
There comes a time in your relationship that these beliefs and principles may clash. Of course, both of you are coming from different backgrounds and upbringing. Being the “leader” that I hope to be, I stand-up for what is “right”. I strongly stand by the rules and the best practices I’ve known for. I say to myself, “I’ve prepared for this! In this situation, steps 1 to 3 is what needs to be done!”
I think men should learn that sometimes, it is really better, to just LOVE your wife more than BEING RIGHT.
I learned this when me and my wife had an argument over something, and I had to debate my way to proving that I am right. In my ears I sounded clever- I sounded right. But I knew there was something wrong, that somehow, in God’s ears, I am merely a clashing gong making useless noise!
In the first few months (or years), do not be pressured to make your relationship perfect.
True enough! With all the relationship books we’ve been reading, all the mentorship we went through, and all the seminars we’ve attended, the pressure of being right, and having this “ideal marriage” haunted the rule-follower in me.
I was confused, I didn’t know whether I was supposed to fight for (and that means debate for me, most of the time) what is right, or whether I should just simply SHUT UP and love my wife.
After a while, I thank God for His gentle whisper that reminded me…
“When in doubt, love your wife…”
That gentle whisper won.
I think the command for husbands to love their wives resounded more to my soul. It paid off. We finished that long argument both in tears, but remembering why we were here, where we are- it’s because of the love we shared for each other.
I think that just changed something in me, and I will never look at my wife the same way again. And, from the words of my vow to her:
“I promise to deliberately CHOOSE to love you. This is what God has called me to do, and this is what I will do.”