For most people, the automatic answer would be, "No! Of course not!"
And I hope it's true, but hold on for a minute...
- Do you find your mate's jokes less funny than those of your friends? Are you more likely to roll your eyes?
- Are you more willing to take the advice of a pal than the advice of your husband or wife?
- If your spouse wrote a book...would you honestly want to read it, or would you pick it up with some trepidation, more out of duty...thinking, "Well, it probably won't be as good as I'm used to."
- Do you ever make jokes at your mate's expense...either in public, or in private?
- Do you find your spouse's dreams and hopes somewhat embarrassing, when he or she talks about them? (And has he or she stopped talking about the..?)
- When you are intimate, do you fantasize about being with someone else? (Sorry about that one, but it had to be added.)
If you answered yes to any of these, you may want to think about your view of the person to whom you're married, because you may be in danger of falling into the trap described by and old proverb....yeah, this one -
Familiarity breeds contempt.
When we're courting, the personality and soul we're coming to love is a mystery. We see what we're shown, and to a large degree we see what we want to see.
But when life together, bound by law and under the eyes of God, the barriers fall away, and we really know what we've got. (And living together doesn't help; the freedom to leave, without legal or moral consequences, keeps the charade going, and the blinders up.)
Sometimes we find that the things we don't like start to grate on us, and the things we thought we loved become memories, or even irritants.
The incisive go-getter seems to be a fanatic, and the cheerful optimist is a Pollyanna. The athlete is narcissistic, and the caring community activist is drifting into socialism.
And while we still love our mate, we find more not to like.
Thereby comes contempt, made manifest by the Death of a Thousand Cuts. the rolled eyes, the joke that elicits a calculated blank response, the casual remark that you took your friend's advice on something you didn't even mention to your mate.
How can you avoid this, how can you scorn-proof your marriage?
It's really not hard. All you have to do is remember that marriage is a sacrament, and your spouse is a representation of your relationship with the Lord.
That's pretty definite, and pretty harsh, but if you're religious...and not only Christian...it's the core of the religious interpretation of marriage, and it's what you bought into if you got married by a minister or priest or rabbi or imam.
It's the promise you made.
If you're not religious, and you were married by a justice of the peace, you're still not exempt, because secular humanists hold that we all deserve basic respect and compassion...even husbands. Even wives.
Beyond this...make sure that you take an active interest in your spouse's life.
Know what he or she does at work, and learn about Downton Abbey or NASCAR
Read what they read, at least sometimes. And take an interest in the dreams and desires of their heart.
Keep like alive in the dutiful love...and give yourself both the gift of respect.
This post is linked to Wedded Wednesday, a compendium of really cool posts on marriage. If you click on the logo below, you'll be taken to www.messymarriage.com, which is the springboard to a wealth of information. It's run by Beth Steffaniak, who has a heart for marriage and a soul for God!