I want you to have a clear understating of what this is about.
Someone asked me a few days ago how my wife and I have been able to stay together after twenty years of marriage. To be honest, if I had to sum it up in one word, I would have to say: alcohol.
That was a joke, Mom. You know alcohol has never touched my innocent lips.
It's true, my wife and I have had a wonderful marriage. We've had our ups and downs just like everyone else. But we have had to work at it. It doesn't just work out on its own. We (both of us) have to make compromises in order to maintain the loving relationship we want.
If you want to know our secret, it's simple. Two things: Love and respect.
We respect each other enough that we never raise our voices in disagreement. We respect each other so much that we bite our tongues in order to not say things we have to apologize for later.
Reminds me of the old story of the farmer trying to teach his son how powerful words are, and what lasting effects they have on us. The boy was bad to call his brother names, and yell at him over things, always wanting to argue. The boy would later feel ashamed at what he'd said earlier and apologize to his brother.
One day the father took the hot headed son out to the wooden fence and handed him a claw hammer and a bag of nails.
"I want you to drive every nail in this bag into that fence post," the farmer said, gesturing toward a particular post.
The boy began driving the nails into the post until perspiration beaded his forehead. There must have been two hundred nails in that bag. When he finished, his father looked the post over and said, "Now I want you to remove every nail and put them back in the bag."
The boy did as his father told him, prying each stubborn nail from the wood. Finally when he was finished, his father said, "Now look at that post. It's riddled with holes, cracks, and torn all to pieces. Every time you say something negative to someone like your brother, it's the same as driving a nail into that post. Then when you later apologize, it's like removing the nail. Yes, you apologized, took back your stinging words, but look at the damage it does."
Now the other part is love.
It's easy to respect my wife as I do because she shows me the upmost of respect as well.
And the same is said of love.
Someone asked how do you know when you find the right one to share the rest of your life with. That's easy. When the needs or wants of your partner are more important to you than your very own needs or wants, you know. But, that's not where it ends. If your needs or wants are more important to your partner than his or her needs or wants...you have each found the right one.
It takes unconditional love to want your partner's needs and wants fulfilled even if it means you have to sacrifice your own...and vice versa.
Don't settle for less. You are worth finding that special someone...and your special someone is worth finding you, too.
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