A couple weeks back when news of the $5 billion Facebook IPO broke I thought to myself, “I seriously needed to be in on that!” along with a few other choice words of regret. And I’m sure I’m not alone.
As I read the articles and the list of investors who will soon be new billionaires or solidly established millionaires well into the hundreds of millions, I had much admiration, bordering on envy, for those select few who got in on this once in a lifetime opportunity. Then I began to think of all the things I’ve invested in, how I invested — timidly or aggressively, and how my “investment strategies” played out in shaping the life I live. My life being my relationship with my children, my wife, my extended family and my God. The career I’m leading (and yes, I said leading) and my health and well being. Most intriguing of these to me is how one invests in their spousal relationship.
The Perfect Marriage
If you’re hung up on the fact that your marriage isn’t perfect or that your partner hasn’t turned out to be the perfect person you thought they were, let alone the perfect spouse, then I have bad news for you. Perfect only exists for Disney Princesses and even then most of them, especially Tiana, have gotten upset with their Prince Charmings a least once before the story is over. Perfect exists solely in the realm of theories and expectations. The term itself is flawed because human eyes have never actually witnessed real perfection. I’d wager if any of us ever had the pleasure of experiencing this non-existent reality, we’d mess it all up the moment we arrived with our human desires, emotions, expectations and very natural human ignorance.
You Get What You Pay For
No one is perfect. You’ve established that your spouse isn’t. But what about you? No different than a investment you get a return on the investment you back what you put into your relationship. So keep the following in mind the next time you want to point fingers at your spouse for the state of your relationship or even your life.
If you invest impatience into your relationship you’ll create a culture of intolerance in it. If you invest your being right (at the expense of your partner being wrong) into your relationship you’ll create an atmosphere of competition. If you invest in not speaking to your spouse you’ll create an atmosphere of estrangement between you and your spouse and will open the doors for someone outside of your relationship to cater to your emotional needs and possibly the needs of your spouse.
If you invest understanding into your relationship you’ll create an atmosphere of calm in the face of even the most intense situations. If you invest compassion then you and your spouse will become team players – you won’t admonish each other for your weaknesses but rather rise to support each other’s loads. If you invest love and not it’s opposites — contempt, disdain, distrust, anger, etc. — you will be able to navigate life’s ups and downs together, rather than doing so separately and at odds with each other.
At the end of the day, you could very well give your all and still lose. But better to have given your all, loved, learned and moved on than to leave it up to someone else to be the reason why you aren’t who you desire to be, or aren’t loving or being loved the way you believe you should be. Invest heavily into your relationship and anticipate the best for you and yours.
BMWK, are you investing in your marriage like you should be?