Tag Archives: trust

About Roles & Trust In Marriage

greek-wedding

In the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” the main character’s mom mentioned something that stuck with me. It went something like this:

“The man may be the head of the house, but the woman is the neck.”

I gotta say… I love that. Never before or since have I heard a better illustration of how a man and wife work together to lead their family. It’s the perfect blend between traditional values and common sense.

In my marriage my wife is more than happy to leave the leadership to me… that’s because she knows I truly have her and the kid’s best interests in mind. I don’t make decisions selfishly. I’m no Giaus Baltar. That being said, I don’t make a single family decision without the complete support and agreement of my wife. We are a team. If we don’t agree, it’s not a right move for us. I trust her even when I’m not crazy about our disagreement on a particular move. In that way she is the neck to my head. We are inseparable. She gives direction and support.

In so many marriages I see spouses struggling with one another over power… over who will lead. Wives unable to trust their husbands and husbands unable to make selfless choices. Neither are able to fulfill their roles in the family because they’re out of sync, each trying to make up for the shortcomings of the other.

Secretly it’s not about power though… it’s about self-preservation and the avoidance of pain, which looks outwardly like a lack of trust and a grab for power. When couples are open and honest with one another about their own fears, they can start working for one another instead of against.

Here are some tips that have worked for Jenn and I when it comes to trusting one another’s roles in our marriage.

1. Figure out what your issues are.

Why are you unable to trust one another? What happened in your past (probably early childhood) that have caused you to make vows to protect yourself.

2. Share those issues, fears and shortcomings openly with your spouse.

Chances are that all of your issues are bumping into your spouses issues. Each of you pushing one another’s buttons unintentionally. This is not a time to be defensive. It’s a time to share your feelings and hear the pain behind them. If someone feels more strongly about something than you can understand… it’s because that’s how big of a deal it is to them.

3. Realize that your spouse is not your enemy or competition. They are your partner, friend and teammate.

If one of you have issues… then you both do. It’s not about one person working it out… it’s about both of you working on your issues together. You are more than a team… you are a unit. What hurts one hurts the other. You can abuse the relationship by taking your frustrations out on one another, or you can stick together and work out your frustrations together. In this way a bad situation can serve to bond you together rather than tear you apart.

4. Do all you can in yourself to help your spouse heal.

Once you figure out the reasons behind your trust issues the healing can begin… but it’s not instant or easy. Every day you have to make a choice to keep working on it and believe what doesn’t seem true… that you can trust those who love you completely. Spouses can help that process along by showing their love in new ways… by making real change that can be felt by the other. That’s where knowing your spouse’s love languages can come in handy.

5. Focus more on your own self-improvement than your spouse’s.

You can’t work on your trust issues if you’re waiting for the other person to start getting better before you do anything. You have to work on your problems like you want them to work on theirs, rather than monitoring them and only going as far as they do. This is the only area you’re supposed to be self-centered in. If we want an better relationship with an improved spouse… we have to become a person who deserves that.

When we can trust our spouse to fulfill their role, we are free to fulfill ours. It’s not about who’s the boss and who’s the slave… it’s like a machine, where every part does a different job… but they’re all equally important because without one if them the machine doesn’t work.

My Wife and I Are A Team

team

I hope to God you folks don’t think Jenn and I have a perfect marriage. We don’t. We have a few things going for us… but some days are better than others. One of the things we struggle the most with is remembering that we’re on the same team.

What does that mean exactly… to be on the same team?

  1. We have the same goals.
  2. We take care of one another.
  3. We do not do things that hurt our teammate.
  4. When a teammate is down, we fill in for them.

When someone in a marriage gets angry or frustrated it’s easy to turn that toward the other spouse. Sometimes the stronger a relationship, the more damage it can take… so the more likely we are to abuse it. It’s like hitting a pillow. It doesn’t hurt the pillow so we punch away at full blast. The only problem is even the best relationship isn’t a pillow. It’s a connection… not unlike The Corsican Brothers. They were conjoined twin brothers who were separated. From then on they could each feel what happened to the other. If they fought one another, for instance, it wouldn’t hurt the brother… it would actually hurt themselves. This is how a lack of teamwork affects a marriage.

One of us is hurting. It is taken out on the spouse. It does hurt the spouse… but not as much as it turns around and hurts us. It does this because we’re hurting the very person who is there to help us. Rather than lashing out at someone… why not share your hurt and have someone to lash out with you? That’s what teammates are for.

Jenn and I are a team. The trick is remembering that. We are for one another, not against one another. We want the same things for ourselves, one another and our families. It can be hard to let a spouse help you when you’ve forgotten they’re on your team. That’s why we have just got to let ourselves be vulnerable… blindly believing above all else that we can trust our spouse.

It’s called Faith. When faith is proven enough… it turns into Trust.

Marriage is a lifetime of ‘testing the fences for weaknesses’ like a Raptor in Jurassic Park. We find it so hard to believe we’ve found a love we can keep for a lifetime… we pick away at it to see if we can find a hole. It’s nothing we do consciously… but as we do… and find (and fill) the gaps… the love grows stronger. You find less gaps, less weakness and you can begin to trust more and more because of what you’ve gone through.

I don’t mind admitting we don’t have the perfect marriage because we have a strong one… because it’s been picked at the entire time… and it’s withstood and grown stronger as a result.

I love you Woman!. I’m on your team.