A little while ago my friend Tausha asked if I would participate in her Love Dare channel. She assigned me with Day 33: Love Completes Each Other. The pages themselves talk about how we are separate and individual. As a husband and a wife we are two totally different human beings with different skills, different families, and different personalities - but when we combine we can find strength and progress as a whole. The date for the day was to recognize that your spouse is integral to your future success. Let them know today that you desire to include them in your upcoming decisions, and that you need their perspective and counsel. If you have ignored their input in the past, admit your oversight and ask them to forgive you.
While I was excited to see what dare she would give me, when I opened the email I thought to myself, this could not be more perfect for Adam and me. I have always known that through a thoughtful Heavenly Father I would be put through different trails and successes to make me the person I am. I would have the ups and I would highs and I would have the lows, that is part of being here on earth, and everyone can attest to that. But I have never totally thought about how my highs and lows would become a perfect fit for my spouse's highs and lows. That our experience before we met would prepare us for each other and that somehow, so perfectly, we would be each other's rock through it all. I always just thought of it as some give and take, but it is give and take with the strength from a mightier power.
There have been many times that something has gone completely wrong and upside down for one of us, in turn making it a huge point of discussion and topic in our marriage. Because now we are not two, we are simply one. And when something happens to one of us, it happens to both of us. When I got laid off, we lost our income. When Adam for drafted, we had a life in minor league baseball. When I got a job offer in Idaho, we moved together. And when Adam got an arm injury, we had to discuss options in case things didn't work out the way we had planned. And right away we knew we needed to create a plan to make a strong marriage through times of decision, so no matter what was in front of us we were a united force.
Discuss what the problem is. We decided it was important to really discuss everything that happened. Every option. Every success. Every failure. Everything and anything that could contribute to what got us into the place we were now. We wanted to make sure we both fully understood what the other person was going through. Because if we didn't know that we would not be to give our input into solutions. Plus, just being able to get inside the other person's though process and really understand helps to be empathetic.
Discuss solutions. And when I say solutions, I mean it as solutions. Don't just think of one solution and run with it. Really make sure you consider all your options, and discuss every option. As you do that make sure you present and concerns with things being brought up. Be honest and be forward with how you feel. Don't let one person drive the conversation and you resent them later. Make sure you are on the same page through all the solution conversation.
Remember that you will need to compromise. Once you have a few options, narrow it down to one solution. The one that feels best and is most reasonable for both of you. There will be a lot of give and take here, because while no answer is perfect one answer will be perfect for both of you with compromise.
Pray about your choice. Prayer is important in our family, and for some people prayer might come in the form of talking to someone or journaling and really pondering it. But for us, we pray. Once we have a choice we pray about it to see if we get the good feels about what we decided. We pray together and we pray individually over multiple days. Then we come back together and discuss any thoughts or impressions that we have had over our choice during that time.
Agree and move forward. This is the most important part. Once you have done all the discussing and pondering together and on your own, come back together one last time and make sure you both still agree. Then move forward. Don't look back on other options, just move forward and know that you made that choice as a team and it was the right one.
Marriage is a team sport. And through his strengths and her strengths you become a team that can win, but only when you put your trust and love into your what your spouse has to offer. Only then can you become one complete unit, a game winning team. I can honestly say that Adam has been my rock through some of the hardest times, and I think he would say the same thing for me. When we see one person softening and weakening, we become strong for them to help lift them and raise them. Because our team, our marriage, is only as strong as we make it. It is only as strong as we let it be. Sometimes Adam will carry me through the storm and sometimes I will lead him, but that makes us strong. And that is where our love steps in to complete each other.