About a month before I was to get married my beautiful wife Melissa, I was given some advice from a godly man in my church’s name is Marvin. At the time, I did not fully understand what he meant even though I understood the concept. Now after being married these many years, teaching on biblical marriage, doing premarital counseling for engaged couples, and marital counseling for married couples, his words actually make a lot more sense to me.
He told me that when two people get married, there are actually six people who enter into the marriage. Even though there are only two people that enter into the marriage, how you view each other also adds and even can complicate the marriage because of your personality and how you perceive your spouse.
Marvin told me: “When two people get married, there are actually six total people who enter into marriage. Who you believe each other are, who you believe each other can be, and who you each actually are.”
The first set of people are who you believe your spouse is and who your spouse believes you are.
Most people, when they meet their future spouse for the first time, they did everything they could do to make a good first impression. When I first met my wife, I wanted to show her all the reasons why she should like me in return. All of the courting and dating we did before we got married show each other the best side of ourselves.
I remember how I tried everything I could do to be romantic, loving, patient, kind, and every good thing that a wife would want to see in her husband. I did everything I could not to let my selfish and self-centered side come out because I wanted to impress her. It was not that I was trying to be deceitful, but that she made me want to be a better man for her.
We joke about it now but when we were dating, I took Valentine’s Day very seriously as a way that I could show her my love for her. I would buy her flowers, chocolates, take her out to dinner and a movie, and help her to have a fantastic day. Now after being married all these years, I actually do everything I can to avoid making a big deal of Valentine’’s Day.
This is just my personal opinion but I find that Valentine’s Day is a day that is just not necessary to show my love to my wife. I find that it is way over-hyped by companies who try to sell products on this “special” day and is a way for them to take my money. I know this is a rather cynical view of the day, but it’s just how I feel.
I try to get out of celebrating Valentine’s Day by telling my wife that I love her 365 days out of the year not just on February 14th of each year. It’s funny but she does not buy that rationale and we usually do something albeit very small for Valentine’’s Day while trying not to spend much money. There is a little bit a give-and-take between the two of us where I want to spend very little money and yet she still wants to be shown the love that she deserves.
I learned a long time ago that my wife loves to receive flowers, but loves even more when I bring home dinner for the family. She is surprised by my thoughtfulness for her and she is also ecstatic because she does not have to cook dinner.
Your Attitude Will Effect Your Relationship With Your Spouse
One year, I was trying my best not to spend any money on Valentine’s Day but by 4 PM I noticed that she was feeling a little down because Valentine’s Day was almost over. So, knowing that she loves it when I take care of dinner, I told her to get dressed and we were all going to go out to celebrate our love on this very “special” day by going to one of her favorite restaurants for dinner.
So I take her and the kids to eat at favorite Mexican restaurant in Fresno California where we live and we have a great time. She is completely aware of my feelings regarding Valentine’s Day so she is even more happy that I am doing this intentionally to show her love. She the kids were very happy and the entire night was a lot of fun.
The next morning I realize that I got food poisoning from the “special” Valentine’s dinner we had. I was completely out of commission for the next two days!
So there are two ways you can look at the food poisoning from the Valentine’s dinner. My take is that this teaches us that we should not celebrate Valentine’s Day by spending any money and the food poisoning is proof of it. Her take on the other hand is, I got food poisoning because of my attitude towards Valentine’s Day and I would not have gotten it if I had been more romantic a better attitude of the day. In either case, we can laugh about it now but at the time is horrible for me.
Putting Your Best Foot Forward May Hinder Your Relationship
It is easy to see how before my wife and I got married, I put my best foot forward to make the best impression on her so that I can impress her. My desire was to have her like me and then get her to fall in love with me. Of course I wanted to be the best person I could be for her, it actually was not who I truly would be for the rest of my life once we got married.
I find it funny how I have given my wife “ammunition” against me because before we got married, I took Valentine’s Day very seriously. Now after we married for many years, I do everything I can to not have to celebrate it. She jokes tells me that I did a bait and switch on her. She says that I baited her in before he got married because of all the things I did on Valentine’s Day, and then switched to not celebrating Valentine’s Day after he got married. I know she’s right but do not tell her I told you that.
In your relationship with your spouse, once you both are comfortable with who you believe the other person is and how you perceive them to be, you both decide to get married. Each of you has seen the best in both of you and possibly a little bit of the worst.
This leads us into the second set of people that enter into a marriage. In my next post, we will look at “Who We Want Our Spouse To Be”.