Sunday, February 02, 2014

WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN!

"For better for worse; for richer for poorer;  in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish..." Most of us said that on our wedding day and some of us wrote our own vows whilst still promising our partner our unending, unconditional love and support. To be sincere, I cannot even remember that part of my wedding day, the whole day went by so fast. Now, too many times we have heard and read people talk about being with your partner through the worst times and truth is many of us do not leave our homes because times are tough. What I seek to address today is our disposition when the chips are down. Many of us stay through the tough times while making our partner regret every single day. In fact our partner is better off alone than with us because we stay but we are on totally different pages. What is our disposition when the chips are down? Who is your partner's greatest cheerleader? You, his/her parents or friends?

Scenario 1: Your wife has been trying so hard to get a job all to no avail. She has gone for different interviews but nothing is forthcoming. Yet, she presses on and keeps trying. She goes for interviews and you never send her an encouraging message on her way; when she is rejected somewhere, you say how sorry you are and tell her to try again but when she does something that ticks you off in the house, you are quick to say, "no wonder you have not gotten a job...how can you pass an interview with this attitude?" She needs a little cash for something personal and you are quick to remind her you are the one bringing in the paycheck; she wants to give somebody some money as a goodwill gesture and you tell her when she starts working she can be giving out her own money as she wishes and not yours; she questions your decision on a particular thing and you remind her you are the sole provider and the list goes on. Yet you pride yourself as being a very encouraging partner?

Scenario 2: Your husband has always been a very attentive person. He shows you all the love you need. He balances his work and home so well. Takes you out on dates and he is just simply fantastic. He is then assigned a project at work and he explains to you how time consuming this project will be and how often he will be out of town but all will end in 6 months. As the dutiful wife that you are, you tell him you understand perfectly and will be supportive in the next 6 months. Fast forward 3 months into the project, you are so stressed out with your work and kids and you begin to give him little hints: He calls you from out of town to talk about work and how hectic it has been and you begin to nag about how he is putting his job ahead of his family. You begin to moan about how things were so much better when he did not have this project; he questions you dropping off the kids somewhere and you are quick to remind him of how incompetent he has been as a father (maybe not in those exact words); he complains about being low on money and you are quick to make slagging comments and innuendos about what his responsibilities are and so many other things...

I could have dredged up the most extreme scenarios of seemingly tough situations we experience in our homes but today is not about that, create your own scenario: we all know the worst scenario we are facing with our partner that we are standing strong and being encouraging. What is our disposition when we actually stand by them? Do we harass them at every chance with every snide comment possible or do we actually stand firm, encouraging and cheering them on? Do we always have a hug and a pat on the back ready for when they are in their lowest moment or do we get too preoccupied in our own world. We all say we ought to be our partner's best friend. Are they confident enough that when they share their vulnerability with us, we are still going to be cheering them to the end or do we then start to boo them  here and there. We are then surprised and feel like we have been slapped on the face when our partners turn to their parents, siblings or other friends for encouragement. I could go on and on but I believe we get the point already. Do not just be there physically when the chips are down, have a great and encouraging attitude. Isn't the whole essence of marriage based on supporting each other?

Let us live, love and learn for the journey is still far and it is not for the fainthearted...

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