There are many things in life that are not fair. It’s not fair that one person is wealthy and another is not, when they are both hard workers. It’s not fair that one person is healthy and another is not, when they have the same genetics. It’s not fair that your sandwich tastes gross and mine is delicious when it was made by the same person. Life isn’t fair.
It’s also not fair when one person is trying harder than the other at the same relationship. But that’s often the way it is. I’ve mentioned this before: the dance. Relationships are a continual dance – one person leads, one follows. Then it switches, and switches again. But the key there is that one person is leading. If no one is leading, the relationship will fail.
When working on my own relationships, I try to remember this concept. If I feel like I am working hard on my marriage, I certainly hope my husband is also, but he often is not. And when I can tell he is working hard at it, my actions may not be reciprocal. This can lead to a few things.
First, lack of intimacy. Not just physical, but emotional intimacy is necessary in a marriage. I am not sure how my relationship with my husband would succeed long term if neither of us were focusing on creating intimate moments. So even when the kids have been hanging on me all day, and the last thing I want to do is be touched, it’s important to give him a kiss goodnight. When he looks at me and sees distress, it goes a long way if he asks how he can help.
Next, complacency. Dictionary.com defines this perfectly: “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like.” There are times when all of a sudden, J will say, “let’s just fight about this and get it over with!” or asks, “are we okay?”, and I have absolutely no idea that there has been a problem. I bet this happens to moms and dads a lot. The mom is busy focusing on keeping the kids healthy and on track, the house clean, the refrigerator stocked, and meals on the table while hopefully fitting in work and a shower. All along the dad is feeling completely ignored and unnoticed. Not good.
Last, distance. When two people aren’t working on their relationship, or one is trying much harder than the other, a divide grows between them. This divide, sucks.
But this is why you keep dancing. You keep trying. You keep telling your spouse that you love them, that you notice them, and that you want to be with them. Aside from God, they should be number one. Because after all, my person gave me the greatest gifts I’ve ever received, and I want to help him be as happy as he has made me.