What’s The Difference Between A “Good” And “Great” Marriage?

BY: - 29 Jul '10 | Relationships

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by Tara Pringle Jefferson

Last week, in my “Marriage Counseling…for One?” article, I said that I had a good marriage, a strong marriage, but I still wanted to improve it. I still wanted us to take some steps to improve areas that I thought were lacking.

A few commenters gave me something to chew on.

A comment from The A read:

Have you considered if Great is the Enemy of Good Enough?

If you are at 80% in a strong marriage, what does 83% or 86% or 97% look like?

Now, I’m a natural, lifelong student, so to me, there is a WORLD of diference between 80% and 86%, for example. The difference between a B and a C. A B being a good marriage, but a C being average.

But I don’t want to get into assigning a number to my marriage. Rather, my point was about striving for something better, even if what you have is pretty good.

I am the type of person who always wants what is BEST, not second-best, not “good enough,” not average. But what is BEST. It is probably my most defining characteristic. My husband knows this about me – shoot, he even put it in his vows!

I want the BEST marriage that my husband and I can possibly have. And I still do.

But I do understand what The A and others were saying about enjoying where we are right now, and having fun getting to that next level. Their comments opened my eyes to the fact that, however cliche it is,  marriage is a journey. I’m always focused on the destination, but I need to take some deep breaths and check out the scenery while we’re getting there. It’s a process, to be sure, but I’m looking forward to it with all my heart.

Tara Pringle Jefferson is a freelance writer and blogger living in Ohio with her husband and two children. Visit her blog, www.theyoungmommylife.com, to read more of her observations about life, motherhood and love.

About the author

Lamar Tyler wrote 2229 articles on this blog.

Lamar Tyler is co-creator BlackandMarriedWithKids.com. He also is the co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing.

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7 WordPress comments on “What’s The Difference Between A “Good” And “Great” Marriage?

  1. ClarkKent23

    It is an arduous process one that I have yet to experience but would hope is full of the up's and down's similar to a great work of literature. Really thoughtful post and I can't wait to read more for some updates.

    1. Mom4life625

      I total agree, I met my soulmate when I was 12 yrs old. But I had not clue that more then a decade later he would be the person that I couldn't see myself without!! Our small steps are turning into a memorable journey… and never knew LOVE could be so great, and i wouldn't change him or it for anything!! Can't wait to marry him next year…

  2. Da Minister

    There is an epidemic going in the United States…which is the intuition of marriage to homosexuals! These homosexuals are marching and fighting in court going up against laws that has been established back in the days before the flood (Noah…lol). But there are greater epidemics than that which is hidden which is the LACK of desire of heterosexuals' marriages and the intuition of Divorce in heterosexuals' marriages. I say all that to say this is GREAT MARRIAGES exist when two heterosexual people DESIRE to be with each other. Today's times heterosexuals' divorces & homosexuals' marriages are coming a dime a dozen. Could we take a moment and think if we in heterosexuals' marriages had to march up to the white house with signs fighting to get married to the person we love and they are there with us? I will never agree with homosexuality but isn't it sad that they fighting for each other like we use to do? Great marriages are made when two people love the other and see past everything to see their future together. The trash doesn't stink that bad, the bills aren't that bad, the car isn't that broke for us to not be together. Divorces are so evident that here in Florida they them advertised in the “free ads” for $69 and only needing 1 signature. For a great marriage make sure “no” signatures are on the that paper….

  3. The_A

    Tara,

    I am so honored that you found something useful in my comments. I love that you are highlighting the importance of smelling the roses along the journey to the best marriage possible!

    All the best to you and your husband developing a shared vision for & path to the best marriage possible.

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How Can [Insert Your Name Here] Be a Better Spouse??

BY: - 30 Jul '10 | Relationships

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by Harriet Hairston

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately.   More accurately, a lot of self-checking lately.   I think it’s important to always take a good look in the mirror–even if you have to do so on a daily basis–and do a self inventory of what you can do better to love, support and communicate with your spouse.

The main thing I have to continuously remind myself of is to focus on BEING rather than just DOING.   The first is internal, the latter is merely nominal and external.   I can fake the doing, but the being is the attitude of my heart and mind towards the matter.   The doing won’t last always, but the being is a continuous state of growth (or regression, if not careful).

The following questions ring in my mind quite often:

  1. What is my spouse’s “love language,” and how can I express my love in a way that encourages him?
  2. If I wrote down in one column all the things that get on my nerves about my spouse, then wrote in another column, how I RESPONDED to those nerve wrecking things, would I want to live with the person in the response column?
  3. If the answer to #2 is NO, then how can I respond to little annoyances and inconveniences better?
  4. What’s my spouse’s wildest sexual desire, and how can I go about fulfilling it?
  5. Am I doing enough for myself to maintain my desirability, communication skills and professional abilities?   Is my confidence level too high?   Too low?

Admittedly, I have the most difficulty with numbers 2 and 5 on this list.       We are all works in progress as individuals and spouses.   It’s important for us to ask ourselves that we can BE better instead of DO better.

BMWK family, leave in the comments section the questions that YOU are asking.

God bless!

~ Harriet

Harriet Hairston  is a woman who slips and slides in and out of labels (military officer, human resource manager, minister, mentor, spoken word artist and  teacher).   The only ones that have stuck so far are “wife” and “mother”  (the most important  in her estimation).  The rest have taught her well that only what she does for Christ will last. There is one more permanent label she holds:    “author.”   You can purchase her first book,  “Who Are You?”   simply by clicking on the link.   You can also contact her at harriet_hairston@yahoo.com.

About the author

Lamar Tyler wrote 2229 articles on this blog.

Lamar Tyler is co-creator BlackandMarriedWithKids.com. He also is the co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing.

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