Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. I Corinthians 7:5 (The Message)
I had the opportunity recently to share an analogy with some clients who are in a difficult marriage situation. I used the analogy of a yoke of oxen. The oxen are yoked together so that they can share the load and pull in the same direction. If one is pulling sideways, or not pulling at all, the whole operation comes to a grinding halt. They are yoked together to share the burden, but also to lighten the load of the other. The yoke, while confining, also helps to leverage the maximum amount of power from the straining oxen.
This couple needed to be reminded periodically that they are on the same team. They are not trying to out-pull the other, or to try to make the burden harder. They are yoked for a reason. If they can remember to see that as they pull together, the burden gets lighter for both, they will be fine.
They are on the same team.
I find that clients who somehow have the belief that their partner does not have their best interest at stake are often not able to stay together. Even when couples are in disagreements, arguments, or just a strained place in the relationship, if they can deep down know that their partner has their back and wants the best for them, they will probably be OK.
So, even when things get tough, remember that your partner wants the best for you, even if it does not feel that way at the moment. I trust that is the case in the majority of stable relationships. Just remind yourself that you are together in it.
Prayer: Lord, help remind us that we are loved, even in the midst of trials, Amen