So I've been listening to this audio book 'Love and Respect' by Emerson Eggerichs and I have to say I'm highly impressed. There have been a few things that I kind of make a face about as I'm listening to the author explain his theory but overall it is overwhelmingly a positive read and thought provoking experience.
There are many things in this book that I would like to talk about, but this one really sticks to my heart. 'You are responsible for you response'. It doesn't matter what is said, by whom or how, you are responsible for how your respond to that and in the end you, and you alone, are answerable for your response The excuse of 'well, they said/did something [fill in the blank...bad, mean, wrong, hurtful, embarrassing, etc] and I just reacted' doesn't fly. It doesn't matter what 'they' do or so. What matters is what you do or say and that is the only thing you have control over.
It is a bible based theory but it's not preachy and is really just good common sense in so many ways that it doesn't need to be attached to bible versus in order to be well explained and thoughtful. This was one of those things. The religious references are that God has instructed to love others as you love Him and that if it were easy to love everyone, he wouldn't have to say so. You are not rewarded for loving those who are easy to love and who love you back. You are rewarded for loving those who maybe don't deserve or didn't earn your love, but you gave it anyway. You are responsible for your own response, to all things and in choosing to love in spite of faults and failures, in spite of tension and bitterness, in spite of being unlovable and just plain difficult.
For some reason that one really hit home. I'll be posting more from this book, there's a lot of really, really good stuff in here and even if your marriage is great, it's still helpful and insightful. I think reading things like this occasionally keeps you from taking your spouse/partner for granted, which is what I was concerned about and I think had started to happen.