Let me tell something about commitment, “Commitment’s a bitch!” Here we are only 18 days into the new year and I’m already having my doubts about my commitment to my new year’s resolution. My resolution, “to strengthen my relationship with my wife” is a lot tougher than I thought. After 38 years we’re both really stuck in our ways, and believe me, change don’t come easy. It’s not that I’m not trying, I really am, but it’s so easy to back slide that I keep allowing myself to slip back into the old “Me, My, I” way of thinking instead of keeping the “We, Us, Our” attitude at the forefront of whatever I do.
I don’t know why, but one minute that little voice in my head is urging me to fight the good fight and keep on working to make things better, then five minutes later it’s telling me,”you know, on second thought maybe you should leave well enough alone and just keep things as they are. After all, they aren’t really that bad are they?” Truth be told they aren’t that bad. Like all married couples we have our highs and lows, our “I love you but don’t like you” moments as well as our good ones. And sure I could live with things the way they are, but I don’t want to! I know our relationship could be so much more! And I want more!
Funny, but it’s always the little things that seem to knock us off track. We rarely argue or give each other attitude about big issues, we generally agree or find a way to compromise on the big stuff. No, it’s the small petty thing, the ones that can be fixed that cause the biggest problems. You know things like forgetting to do something, or not listening, or forgetting to tell her about something, all the little things that we do.
I give you an example of what I thought was a little thing that turned into a very big thing. I get home from work the other day and things are going great. We talk about the day events and about dinner. Then my wife goes to the store for a “few items.” I in turn sit back, grab my laptop and check my email, then begin writing. Twenty minutes later she gets home and brings in some groceries, then she goes out to the garage and comes back in with some more. One more trip outside and she’s finished bringing things in. And so it began.
Being the inconsiderate idiot that I am, I haven’t moved from my chair. And now she’s angry because I didn’t get up off my ass and lend her a hand. She then makes comments about me not doing anything and about all she does and on and on. Then I go into defensive mode, then she goes into silent mode. Ah it’s just like old times. Any progress made went immediately down the crapper! Yes, I know I should have gotten up and helped her, It would have made all the difference in the world. But then she could have asked for my help, she had, after all, said she was only picking up a few items. How was I to know a few items would require three trips to the car? I’m not a mind reader. A little communication goes a long way you know.
Actually I should have just gotten up to help as soon as she walked in, that would have been the right thing to do. If strengthening our relationship is my priority I’ve got to become more sensitive to the little things. The things I view as not that important, but she sees as deal breakers. The father of a good friend of mine who was also a friend and one of my mentors once told me that “any change for the better is worth all the the blood sweat and tears it takes to make it happen even if you bleed to death.” I don’t think I necessarily agreed with him thirty-five years ago when he said it, but then I was young with little life experience, I certainly see the value in what he said now.
I firmly believe that life is forever testing our resolve and commitment to be the best people possible. Those who can withstand the challenges, learn and grow from them and move on to a higher level of understanding, they gain in wisdom and are able to demonstrate a never-ending commitment to life, love and marriage. .They learn to work together for the common good. Those that don’t are destined to live a life of regret, in a world full of little things.