Who Goes First?
Today I was following a chain of links that got me to a fantastic post by Dr. Eggerichs Emerson, author of Love and Respect (aff link). Please go read the short article. Come back here – or don’t, the good stuff is there.
I agree with Dr. Emerson completely on this. When I deal with men, or couples, the underlying idea that maturity is demonstrated by actions is very much on my mind. When I hear from both husband and wife, and often even when I only hear from the husband, it become clear by what each does, and does not do, which is more mature. Because the more mature person is better able to make hard decisions and do difficult things, it is right in my mind to expect the more mature to do more of the work on fixing the marriage. That is not “fair”, but it is rooted in reality. It is also the best hope the marriage has.
To me this is similar to my post yesterday about being willing to look at how you can fix or change things that are “not your fault”. There have been areas in our marriage where I was more mature, and areas where my bride was more mature. In both cases, the more mature person carried more of the load than the less mature one did. Sometimes the primary issue, problem, fault, or injury was on the part of the less mature of us. This meant the less guilty of us – the victim if you will – was faced with having to do more than their “fair share” to resolve the problem. In a marriage where the couple is a team, where the marriage is more important than the individuals, this is not a big deal. In a marriage where each person is looking out for him or her self, this is unlikely to happen.
By the way, maturity is relative here – it’s about his maturity verses her maturity, and nothing else. That he is more mature than most men, or she is less mature than most women, is irrelevant – it’s about which of the two is more mature.
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