Monday, August 26, 2013

Don't let your spouse offend you!

Recently, Michelle said some things to me that shouldn't have been said. She realized quickly and apologized, "Steven, I am sorry I offended you. Please forgive me."

From the bottom of my heart came my reply, "Dear, I forgive you and I want you to know that you cannot offend me. I choose not to be offended. I remember my vow to you - for better or for worst ... I will love you!"

In my humble opinion, she melted in love with me, again.

Am I for real?

You bet! And it is 110% (I am asking you all to be my witness for declaring this, so that you can keep me in check!) 

Am I really that magnanimous? So forgiving? Er... I must confess that I don't think that I have yet reached that stage. But I recognize that it is my emotion that have the power to make me feel offended.  So, if I took charge of my emotions, then I can choose - to be or not to be offended.

How do I take charge of my emotions?

The wise words of William P. Young, author of the international best seller, The Shack taught me how to.

"Most emotions are responses to perception - what you think is true about a given situation. If your perception is false, then your emotional response to it will be false too. So check your perceptions, and beyond that check the truthfulness of your paradigms - what you believe. Just because you believe something firmly doesn't make it true. Be willing to reexamine what you believe."

He sums it up aptly :-
Paradigm powers perception.
Perceptions power emotions. 

Billions of men and women live in wrong paradigms and wonder why life is so hard on them.

In my opinion, the paradigms that we live in and with, affect our marital (and parental) relationships more than anything else. The framework which we allow our mind to subscribe to, can either create a beautiful and loving marital relationship, or lock us in to a life of pain and regrets, which will eventually end in divorce or misery till death comes to separate us.

Our paradigm of the married life matters!

If our paradigm of our spouse is that he or she is the right one, and a gift from God, our first thought every day will be, "what a beautiful (or handsome or macho) and loving spouse God has given me." Your day will be filled with positiveness about your spouse. He or she may not be perfect, and his or her flaws may act up during the course of the day, but you will not be offended. Instead, you  will be propelled with love and compassion to help your spouse to fulfill his or her potential as the best husband or wife.

If our paradigm of marriage is that of a holy covenant for which we have entered knowingly and having pledged to each other "for better or for worst, in sickness and in health, till death do we part", we will have the strength to overcome difficulties when the going gets tough. When our spouse does not behave as we expect, and when we are being offended and are at the shorter end of the stick, we will remember our vow and keep going forward. Divorce is never an option.

On the other hand, if we keep thinking that "I have made a mistake, I deserve someone better that this hopeless fellow.  I was blind when I fell in love and now I see the true colors", then every good thing that your spouse does to you is taken for granted and every mistake he or she makes is unforgivable.

The simple truth is our paradigms power our perception. How we perceive our spouse, he or she becomes. Our spouse becomes the person we perceive them to be, whether they are that or not. It is all in our mind; we are colored by our perceptions and framed by our paradigms. Our spouse becomes who we think he or she is.

Our perceptions power our emotions - this can be frightening. If our paradigm is not right, our perception warps, our emotions run wild, and we cannot have a healthy relationship with our spouse. Suspicions, misconceptions, misunderstandings are the fruits, seemingly to prove that the flawed perceptions were correct. This is a self-fulfilling spiral to the breakdown of any marriage.

Remember always, your spouse is who you have made him or her to be ... by your emotional response, through your perception and driven by your paradigm of how your married life is to be lived.

I choose not to be offended by my wife.

I choose to think highly of her.

I choose to keep my marriage vow.

I choose to be the great lover for Michelle.

She will respond, that I am sure!

Great lovers choose to be great lovers ... what is your choice?


Your comments and sharing are most welcome. Fuel debate, share your experience and ask questions. Click "Comment" to have you say! You are also encouraged to mark your reaction to my post....

No comments: