"Playing fair will destroy every relationship in your life.
Fair is giving good things to others as long as they give good things to us. Then if they fail us in some way, we respond “fairly.” We give it right back to them, either at the moment or soon thereafter. Either our words or our actions say, 'That’s not fair. Therefore, I am not going to do good to you any more. In fact, I’m going to give you exactly what you’re giving me. Then you can see how it feels.'" Henry Cloud, Boundaries.me
The above quote came from a post I read from Henry Cloud on Boundaries.me. He titled the post, (read more here); The Bad Habit That Destroys Relationships. This title caught my attention, as Monique and I exist to help marriages thrive, and desire to see relationships built up, not destroyed.
Playing fair is similar to what Monique and I learned from the "Weekend to Remember" conferences we attended early on in marriage after our crisis. FamilyLife refers to the 50/50 marriage plan; I'll do my part and you do yours and then we will have a great marriage. Wrong! It will never work that way.
The reason the "playing fair" or the 50/50 plan doesn't work is that it is rooted in performance. This produces a conditional relationship, something that faith in Jesus has obliterated for us in relationships with our spouses, kids and others. The love and relationship we have with Jesus is a relationship built on trust (faith) and we receive unconditional love as a result.
This is how we build a marriage that will thrive...it is built on trust not performance. There is no other way to build a thriving marriage because reality tells me that I fail to perform, which will disappoint, frustrate and eventually separate us if "playing fair" is our foundation.
Join me next week, as we will be talking about how to avoid the let's just "play fair" plan and move into loving relationships that last a lifetime.
It is the 9th of July 2018, and here I am getting back to our blog for the first time in six months. Whoa! I do enjoy sharing in writing, but find myself easily distracted and not budgeting time for it. Now is the time to get the ball rolling again, rekindle some weekly discipline in writing, as there is much stored up in my heart and mind to share here for the health of marriages.
I recently read this great article on the Focus on the Family website which shares a great idea to improve communication. It is not a new idea, in fact, this type of communication goes back to the first century and is displayed over and over again in the parables of Jesus. Here is the opening to the article:
"We don't talk anymore!" shouted my wife, Cindy.
"That's ridiculous," I said. "We talk all the time!"
"But not about what we need to talk about. What's important to me. What's important for us!"
"Then drive with me to my softball game. If it's that big of a deal, you can talk to me on the way to the game about anything you want."
But Cindy wouldn't go to that game. Soon after, she wouldn't go to any of my games.
I was convinced she was just emotional or intentionally not explaining what she meant. She seemed convinced that I simply didn't care about her or anything she had to say.
That was the level of communication in our first year of marriage. We talked about how we needed to communicate with each other — all the time. But we never connected. Cindy became more and more hurt and lonely. And I grew more and more angry and lonely.
And then the day came when things blew up — but in an amazing way. On that day, Cindy used a powerful communication tool, a word picture, to change my life ... and our marriage.
Emotional word pictures can really transform your communication. The use of word pictures has really increased understanding and empathy in our marriage. To explore more about emotional word pictures, you can read more from this great article here.
Vic and Monique
We are all about helping your marriage thrive.