I’m not sure where the following information came from, but I believe it’s one of the best ways to think about marriage, or any other partnership for that matter:
Most people get married believing a myth that marriage is a beautiful box full of all the things they have longed for; Companionship, intimacy, friendship, etc…
The truth is that marriage at the start is an empty box; you must put something in before you take anything out.
There is no love in marriage, love is in people, and people put love in marriage.
There is no romance in marriage; you have to infuse it into your marriage.
A couple must learn the art, and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising, of keeping the box full.
If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty.
I thought it was especially interesting in this message was the word “serving”. How often do you humble yourself enough to become a servant for your spouse and what does that look like to you? (Hint: Those are things you do for your spouse that have no benefit for you.)
On the other hand, how often are you served by your spouse?
If you feel the box is empty for you, yet filled for them, then that will create some definite imbalances. While you can’t demand your spouse serve you, you can certainly ask for what you feel you need in a polite way. In most cases, your beloved will work with you to find ways that will meet your needs when you ask politely and work to negotiate the needs of both of you.
I think another important consideration to spend time on is to ask “How can I fill the box in ways my spouse needs?” Each of us experience the world differently and what may seem like a loving gesture to you may get lost in translation. It’s much more effective to find out from your spouse how they need to experience giving, loving, serving, and praising and make efforts to fill the box up in ways that are most meaningful to him or her – and vice versa of course.
I think if more time is spent by couples filling their marriage box, there will be more strong and healthy marriages. That will create stronger and healthier families, and ultimately that will flow out into creating a stronger and healthier world.
For additional information in helping you fill up your marriage box, here is a Free copy of Mindful Loving (No registration required).