Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Fundamental Decision

Mrs ERJ and I received "training" prior to marriage.  One month, a book of approximately 12 relationship articles was given to us.  We were asked to select an article and to report on it.

One of the articles was co-written by two marriage counselors, a husband-and-wife team.  Their premise is that the success, or failure, of the marriage hinges on one fundamental decision.


It is likely that the husband and wife have different languages of love.  Even though it is cliche, let us say that the husband feels most loved in physical ways.  Let us also say, for the purposes of illustration, that the wife's language of love is to communicate verbally and feel emotionally connected.

The husband can best meet his wife's needs for an empathetic and active listener after his "need" for feeling loved is met.

The wife can best meet her husband's needs for physical affection after her "need" for emotional connection is met.

The Decision

The fundamental decision is to make your marriage partner your prime priority and SATURATE their needs  


to make your marriage partner the stray dog you throw an occasional, unwanted scrap.

By making your partner your #1 priority, they will never be in a needy state where their entire focus will be on getting their needs met.  Rather, they will be in a perpetual state of golden after-glow and will be eager to show their love by filling the other's needs..

The Joke

God approached Adam and said, "Adam, I see you need a partner and a helpmate.  This is what I propose:
  • I need your right eye, for your helpmate will be delightful to look upon, 
  • I will take your right ear that you might benefit from her wisdom and observations, 
  • I need your right arm as she will be your new right arm
  • I need one of your ribs as she will stand always at your side
  • I need your right "family jewel" as you must sacrifice some of your primal drive and in return she will make your nights something joyful beyond the bounds of words.
Adam pondered God's proposal.  He thought about it...and thought.....and thought.

Finally he asked, "What can I get for a rib?"


Belladonna is at that stage where she is sure she does not need family. 

I told her that it is my belief that most of us go through life using patterns of past behavior as template for the future.  It is economical and allows us to put complex parts of our life on "cruise control".

I shared a version of "The Fundamental Decision" with her and told her that the best way to ensure a great marriage was to practice the discipline of focus and attentiveness to family now.

I also told her that some day she will be forty or fifty.  And the best way to discern how her husband will treat her when she is fifty is to watch how he treats his mother today.

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