Over the course of my life I can count on one hand how many HAPPY and HEALTHY marriages that I have seen.
The Types of Relationships That I Have Seen in Abundance!
I have seen the CONTROLLING MARRIAGES: where one party of the relationship is trying to control the other and the controller can’t understand why they are fighting so much!
I have seen the CHEATING MARRIAGES: Self-explanatory! Heck, I have a family member that has been married for 35 years, has had a concubine for 30 and had a baby on both of them both.
I have seen the COMPLAINING MARRIAGES: where one or both parties in the relationship are constantly complaining about the other person to anyone that will listen. They will tell ALL the other person’s personal business and secrets. (I still haven’t figured out if that is the same type of disloyalty as cheating or not)
I have seen the CO-EXISTENT MARRIAGES: They live together, they have children together, they may even have sex with each other but they are not INTIMATE. They don’t confide in each other and are still hiding who they are from the other person. They may be committed the marriage but put very little effort into making it a HAPPY.
I have seen the ABUSIVE MARRIAGE, the MANIPULATIVE MARRIAGE, and the GREEN CARD MARRIAGE.
Last but not least, I have seen the FAKE – WE GOT IT ALL TOGETHER but behind closed doors we more screwed up then the people we counsel MARRIAGE aka WE TELL PEOPLE THE THINGS THAT IS GOING TO MESS UP THEIR marriage, MARRIAGE!
So my frame of reference is very limited when it comes to the HAPPY, HEALTHY MARRIAGE and when I was married and in long term relationships I have been a party to multiple of the categories above, I can admit that!!!!
To my recollection, I have 1 or 2 individuals in my family that I can say have a healthy relationship. My marriage failed, and all my long-term relationship has failed. So over the last 1 and a half years or so I have been researching relationships and analysis the few that are HAPPY within arm’s length.
(Disclosure: I don’t believe a happy relationship is necessarily free of issues. I believe they have issues, they just handle them in a healthy manner. )
The first relationship I began to analyze was my cousin and his wife’s marriage. They have been married for 16 or 17 years. They have 2 children, and both have very busy schedules do to their businesses and careers.
The second is my friend Cal and his wife. Cal and his wife have been together for nearly 20 years. They met in high school and now have 4 children, and over the years I have watched them go through some major UPS and some major DOWNS!
The lifestyle of both relationships is completely different but the similarities of each are recognizable without question!
They’re BEST FRIENDS:
The ladies’ and men’s night out are far and few in-between. They are happy to be right there with each other. They watch games together, take trips together, go out together, workout together, and even cook together.
There is No PRIDE or EGO:
Neither has a control based relationship. Neither is driven by arbitrary or gender-based rules. If something needs to be cleaned up, it gets cleaned up. The men aren’t waiting on “THE WOMEN TO DO THEIR JOBS.” If my cousin is going to be late his wife cooks, if she is going to be late he cooks; same with my friend Cal and his wife. Both men go above and beyond for their wives and their wives do the same. No one is holding back in fear being seen as weak.
They NEVER COMPLAIN about each other:
I have known Cal since for about 13 years. No matter what he and his wife are going through he has never once complained about her in any way. Not even the typical ‘Man she is getting on my nerves.’ or ‘Man, she is driving me crazy’………Not once. I have never heard my cousin speak ill of their wives either. Nor have I ever heard their wives speak ill of them. To me this speaks VOLUMES!
They SUPPORT EACH OTHER:
Whether in a new business or a weight loss journey, they are 100% supportive! My cousin hates network marketing with a passion. One day his wife was invited to a network marketing meeting and she signed up. What did my cousin do? He picked up the phone and start selling!!! Later that year, his wife chose a STRENUOUS weight loss and diet program! What did he do? He went to the store to get some groceries.
Cal and I use to work as pastry chefs together after we got out of the military. When he wanted to begin selling cakes and pies, his wife jumped to help in any way that she could. Neither couple COMPETES with each other. They embrace each other, they push each other, and they pull each other or whatever it takes to uplift the other person in the relationship.
They constantly COMMUNICATE:
What they are doing, what they are at, who they are with. At any given time, NO MATTER what is going on, they will stop what they are doing and pick up the phone if the other person calls. They talk about everything (with each other), not just the good things but also the uncomfortable things as well. NO YELLING! NO SCREAMING! NO MANIPULATIVE TACTICS TO GET THE OTHER TO COMPLY! …….……THEY TALK.
NO ONE COMES BEFORE THEIR RELATIONSHIP
Both men, in their relationship, have expressed to me how they have had to CUT family members completely off for their spouse, I’m talking about MOTHERS and FATHERS, not just FRIENDS, because of a family members, in some way, disrespected their mate. Whether it be calling them out of their name or talking negatively about them in some way, they CUT THEM OFF. After God, their relationship comes first!!! NO ONE COMES BEFORE or BETWEEN THEIR RELATIONSHIP.
So what do I want in a relationship?
I want a best friend. Someone I can communicate with on all levels. Someone who will stay beside me through thick and thin, someone that will serve me and I’ll serve in return. Someone that believes in me, no matter what the world says. I want that wake up in the morning and throw water balloons at each other type of relationship. I want that, I don’t have to go out because I am with the coolest person I know type relationship. That I support your dreams and you support mine type relationship. I want that it’s us against the world type relationship. That I wish someone would talk about my mate type relationship. That God first type relationship, where when we have a problem that we can’t handle on our own, we go to God first that way no one else can dump their trash in our relationship, type relationship. I want that no blame type relationship. That emotional, mental, spiritual, and physically intimate type relationship!
But I understand I have to be the person that I want in a relationship. Everyone man wants a Ruth but aren’t willing to become a Boaz. Every woman wants a Boaz but doesn’t want to be Ruth.
I want that love they talk about in 1 Corinthians 13:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
In order for me to make someone whole I have to be whole myself and for me to be whole I have to be vulnerable and open enough to let people in.
So as I reconstruct, I will make sure I remove the things that hinder me from having that type of relationship, that type of love and strengthen the things that allow me to keep that type of relationship.