It’s Marriage Not Magic!

I love a good magic show. As a kid, I would practice for hours learning sleight of hand magic. And now that I’m an adult and know it’s just a series of tricks and illusions, there’s still something about the wonder and the mystery of a magic show that captivates me.

Marriage and Magic

Whether you like magic or not, there is a part of all of us that wants our marriage to be magical. And we tend to treat our marriage as if it were a magic show, in the following ways:

Making something disappear.

Magicians are known for making things disappear. From small coins to jet planes, magicians seem to be able to make things disappear right in front of our eyes.

Likewise, spouses tend to want problems in the marriage to disappear. We ignore issues, down-play conflicts, or distract from problems in hopes they will magically disappear. But marriage is not a magic show and problems don’t magically disappear. They must be faced, addressed, and worked through.

Making something appear.

This is the flip side of making something disappear. Here, the magician magically produces something…seemingly out of thin air.

Many couples hope a great marriage will just appear, without a lot of effort. It’s as if they hope for great communication, easy conflict resolution, good sex, and large bank accounts to be magically produced out of thin air. But those things don’t magically appear. They come from an abundance of long, hard work.

Sawing a person in half.

This is a classic piece of magic. An assistant climbs into a box, and the magician uses a saw or sharp blades to separate the assistant into pieces; only to reassemble the assistant moments later, without a scratch!

In marriage, spouses will cut one another, with words or actions, and expect them to bounce back as if no harm was done. But you cannot hurt your spouse without leaving some sort of scar that they will carry for a long time. And sometimes a spouse can be cut so badly they can’t be put back together. So be very careful with your words and actions.

Reading a person’s mind.

It’s amazing when a magician can tell a person what card they drew or what number they’re thinking of. A magician can call upon someone they claim to have never met, and yet tell them things about their life in amazing detail. It’s like the magician can read minds.

I want to remind you that you cannot read your spouse’s mind. So don’t make assumptions about what they’re thinking, what they’re going to say, or what they desire. To do so is disrespectful and a sure way to get yourself in trouble.  Yes, you should get to know your spouse so well, you have a pretty good guess of what they’re thinking. But you should never assume you can read their mind. Ask questions and clarify responses. You’ll be better off for it.

Escaping the impossible.

One of my favorite magicians was Harry Houdini. He became famous as an escape artist, who bragged that he could escape from any shackle, restraint, or container. And whether through trickery or physical prowess, it seemed he could escape from anything.

Too often, we tend to believe we should be able to escape problems and hardships in marriage. We will try to ignore them, avoid them, and run from them. And when those escape tactics don’t work, we will blame things on our spouse or assume we’ve married the wrong person. But unlike a magician, you cannot escape from problems and hardships in marriage. You must go through them and learn from them.

A Final Thought…

Magicians make what they do look amazing and magical. But what you don’t see is all the years of hard work and practice that went into making it look like magic.

Marriage is not a magic show. If you put in the years of hard work and practice, your marriage will look like magic to others, but you’ll know how the trick is done. You’ll know it’s not magic, but rather years of trial and error, loving and learning, serving and sacrifice.

But if you stick with it long enough, you will eventually come to the end of your life and think…TADA!

An Easy Way to Spice Up Your Marriage

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the phrase “spice up your marriage,” the first thing that comes to my mind is coming home from work and finding my wife in the kitchen wearing nothing but an apron and a smile. (Sorry…too much information.)

Well, let me say before we go any further…this post is not about sex. So, wives, you can relax; and husbands, you can be disappointed.

But I believe that if you take this post to heart and begin to practice some of the things we’re going to talk about, it can be an easy way to spice up your marriage.

COMMON COURTESY

Believe it or not, one of the easiest ways to spice up your marriage is by practicing common courtesy. You’ve done this in the past when you were dating, and hopefully, you’re still doing it.

What Is Common courtesy?

Common courtesy is showing simple acts of kindness, politeness, and deference toward your spouse. It’s things like:

  • Saying thank you.
  • Holding the door.
  • Asking if you can help.
  • Complimenting.
  • Letting them go first.
  • Asking them what they would like to do.
  • Refreshing their drink.
  • Clearing the table.
  • Impromptu texts or calls to say, “I love you.”
  • Washing their car.
  • Letting them choose the movie or music.
  • Asking for forgiveness.
  • Saying excuse me.
  • Greeting them with a hug and a smile when they come home (even if your clothes are on.)

You can build your own list because common courtesy is as different and varied as marriage itself.

As I said, this is something we all did early in the relationship. It’s part of the reason we fell so in love with one another. But the longer we’re married, the more we let time, responsibilities, stressors, children, and fatigue crowd out common courtesy in our marriage.

Why is Common Courtesy Important?

When we let common courtesy slip, it begins to dull our feelings of love for one another.

You may be thinking…

“Yeah, but we’ve been married for a long time. They know I love them. Is it really that important that I keep doing these things?”

And the answer is…YES! Common courtesy is important because it adds the everyday spices a marriage needs. What are those spices?

  • Honor. Common courtesy is an everyday way of honoring your spouse.
  • Value. Common courtesy is an everyday way of showing you value your spouse.
  • Blessing. Common courtesy is an everyday way of blessing your spouse.
  • Sacrifice. Common courtesy is an everyday way of showing simple, on-going sacrifice.
  • Love. Common courtesy is an everyday way of demonstrating basic, boots-on-the-ground love.
  • Modeling. Common courtesy is an everyday way of modeling all the above, not just for your spouse, but for your children.

These are the daily spices you can add to your marriage by showing common courtesy. Doing this on a daily basis can help awaken a sleeping marriage and strengthen a good marriage because it shows your spouse they’re too important to overlook. And when they know that, they will tend to do the same for you.

A FINAL THOUGHT

Let’s be honest. This is not a big ask. It’s one of the simplest and easiest things you can do to invest in your marriage. It’s cheaper than marriage retreats, counseling, and divorce. It doesn’t cost you anything!

So do something simple, easy, and inexpensive to spice up your marriage. Spice up your marriage by showing common courtesy to your spouse. Who knows…it might lead to even spicier things!

How Parenting Can Improve Partnering

In my last post (How Partnering Can Improve Parenting,) we looked at how improving your marriage could improve your parenting. It stressed the importance of making sure your partnering takes precedence over your parenting. (If you’ve not read that post, I encourage you to go back and read it.)

Now, we need to answer how parenting can improve partnering, and the answer is simply this…

 “Your parenting should instruct your partnering.” 

Yes, your partnering should take priority over your parenting, but your parenting can teach you to be a better partner. Here’s what I mean by this. If you listed the things you do for your kids, your list would look something like this…

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When asked, “What would you be willing to do for your spouse?” most of us are quick to profess how we would lay down our life for our spouse. We would step in front of a gunman’s bullet. We would shield them from the blast of a terrorist’s pipe bomb. We would put ourselves between them and an angry herd of parent eating toddlers. (Ok, maybe not that last one.)

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What I’ve Learned About Marriage From Buying a House – Part 4

Let me just cut to the chase here. One of the things I’ve learned from this house buying experience is that if you want to get from the house you have to the house you want…it’s going to cost you.

Certainly there’s the cost of the new mortgage, but there’s also expenses like fees, repairs to your current house, appliances for the new house, and moving expenses. Then there’s the amount of time and energy you have to spend. All this can easily cause you to loose site of the ultimate goal…to get to a better place.

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