I have linked to many of the “Love is…” posts that The Romantic Vineyard has done over the last weeks. The Love Does Not Rejoice in Wrong Doing… post that went up a few days ago really kicked one of my pet peeves, so I want to use a bit of that post as a jumping off place:
Have you ever […] been happy when your spouse does something wrong which proves your point of view, thus declaring them “guilty as charged”?
To me, this kind of thing (which I must confess I have done in the past) is a function of seeing marriage in terms of “If she loses, I win”. Basically it’s the “If I tear you down it makes me look better” school of thought. While that does sometimes work in the short run, in the long run it’s only destructive. It’s also unloving, and just plain wrong.
This is a pet peeve for me because I see it way too often. I tend to see it in men, but my bride assures me many women do the same thing. Marriage is should be a team sport. If either of you loses, neither of you wins. Think of it this way – it’s like a star sports player who is more concerned with his stats than his team’s win ratio. If he hogs the ball, he could set individual records while costing his team a chance at the play-offs. (Then he’s traded for an injured player to be named later!)
Just as with a team sports, if the marriage/team wins, you win. The goal is to advance the team, and your job is to do whatever accomplishes that – even if it costs you some of what you personally could achieve. When you come to see her win as your win, when it’s really that in your heart and mind, your whole game plan changes. Your marriage also changes, and it changes for the better. (In addition, you end the risk of being traded!)
A side note – One reason I read Tom and Debi Walter’s blog is that they have 5 years 11 months on me in terms of marriage. Anyone so clearly in love after 30+ years of marriage has wisdom to share. I will keep posting links to their stuff on my Sunday Link Love, but I suggest you subscribe to their The Romantic Vineyard.