“CONNECT” Smooth 98.1
Every Thursday, i try to do a focus on the family. See, there are some things that steal our capacity to bond, play and love. They are everyday things that pop up between our fun times and serious exchange but have an extremely negative impact on our joy, peace and harmony. I’ve found that a lot of couples consciously or unconsciously criticize each other for their obvious flaws, frailties and imperfections. I cannot over-emphasize the truth that our peace must not be tied to perfect behaviour. I’ve thought to myself a few times that if we all are perfect, i’m sure tolerance will be unnecessary, synergy, collaboration and partnerships will die overnight, and marriages will cease to occur. Trust me, no one really wants to be vulnerable and no one really wants to have to depend on someone else for rhythm and balance. We bond because nature does not allow us to be our best as lone-rangers. We are created for exchange. But i tell you that the human pride that i have taken time to study will prefer to be alone if given the opportunity. Your spouse should be free to express her vulnerability with you. Don’t judge her for it. We are all flawed species. As flawed as you might be, as out of place as you sometimes feel, and as lacking as you think you are, you don’t have to hide all the imperfect pieces of yourself from a true friend, how much more from your spouse. Ideally, our humanity should allow us to display the tolerance that give people the freedom to be themselves around us, how much more when we are married to them. Come to think of it, do you think if your wife was really perfect, she will marry you? Or do you think if your husband was really flawless, he will marry you? As a couple, you should see each other’s flaws as mere features that makes you interesting and beautiful. Trust me, the quality of the happiness between two people grows in direct proportion to their acceptance of each other, and in inverse, proportion to their intolerance and expectations of each other. That’s why i tell those dating not to marry anyone with the hope of changing the person. You cannot change anybody; and the efforts to drive change in them only crushes them more and builds rebellion. Don’t get me wrong, you can mentor, advice and coach but they are all only as strong as the willingness of the person to change. It becomes a problem when the change you do not see infuriates and frustrates you. Whoever you marry will not have all you want.
Marriage means you are ready to give that person the love his or her individuality deserves even if the person does not ever change. Who you marry is who you should love, not who you hope to change. One of the clues to knowing who you shouldn’t marry is if there are things you want to change in the person when you marry. If the person still needs to change to experience your best love, spare the person by saying no. If you marry the person, you have lost your right to insist on change. If change comes, fine…great. but if it doesn’t come, nothing should be missing. Real couples love and appreciate each other just the way they are.
Life is about ups and downs and the management of it. Again and again, we will be confronted with negative situations we couldn’t have prepared for, some will be our direct fault and others will be those of others, but the impact will be the same. We don’t thrive in life because of the crisis we can avoid, but because of the ones we will confront and win over. Hence, with families, we owe it to ourselves to stand together in the face of our greatest struggles as well as in the face of our strongest adversity. That’s true love. True love and good character is all about how a person nurtures another person when they are vulnerable and can give very little in return. Your husband will make a business decision that will go wrong and create a season of financial struggle; it doesn’t make him your adversary. Instead, it only proves his vulnerability. And vulnerability precedes intimacy. The reason why couples are not close and relationships are shallow is because couples don’t share vulnerabilities. Parents are not close to their children because the children never see their parents vulnerable, and the children will suffer if they dare share their true vulnerabilities with their parents. It’s like everyone is busy proving points to one another. The potential for error is an incredible gift of nature that allows each of us find our next levels of humility in the face of our obvious error or failure. It’s difficult to find pride and defiance in an adult in the face of his or her obvious error or failure. It’s an opportunity for those who behold the error to show understanding and a loving hand, no matter how devastating the error is. We must discipline and chastise but with support and understanding. That’s what people need that they don’t get. And each time someone fumbles and does not get the needed support, love and understanding, it reduces the trust and collaborative energy in that environment.
When all people get is judgment, accusation, punishment and betrayal, two things happen. One, they will withdraw their vulnerability; meaning the next time they fumble, they’ll not inform you. And two, they’ll become rebellious and defiant in the face of the obvious error since they already can predict the outcome to be accusation, judgment and punishment. Thus, it’s not who’s standing beside you during good times, but the ones who stick by you through tough times that are your true friends. So take note of who remains in your life when times get tough, especially the people who sacrifice the resources they have in their life to help you improve yours when you need it most. Seriously, when you come out at the other side of a difficult period in your life, look around you; the people still standing beside you are your true allies. Your spouse will be top on this list i’m sure. Your children as well. Turn to them now and go give them a hug. Take them out. Give a good gift. Do something. This is the life.