Thursday, April 30, 2009

Life Lessons From Marriage

After Cathy and I had been married for a few years, we went on a little retreat. I can't really remember where we went, but it was some kind of Christian camp and it was off-season. That means we were about the only ones there. We took a walk and noticed a tether ball just hanging there begging for a game.

Now I'm a reasonably good-hearted guy and I wanted to make sure I didn't do anything to spoil the great time we were having. Therefore, I decided to "take it easy" on her. She immediate took advantage of the situation and demolished me! Certain that I had made it too simple for her to win, I amped it up a bit. She stomped me again! After several games and total humiliation of my male ego, we (blessedly) quit.

It turns out that Cathy is quite a competitor and she LOVES games. We play some sort of table game at mealtime almost every day and sometimes we play at both lunch and supper. It only takes 10 or 15 minutes and it's an important part of our marriage. Our current game is a fast-paced double solitaire we call Pounce. Some of you call it Nerts. We both have winning streaks from time to time and she is currently heaping me with daily doses of humility.

Still, I hate to lose! It's as if a volcano erupts within me when I can't seem to get ahead. Why is that? Am I really so fragile that a meaningless table game can spoil my meal? How does that fit in with love, joy, peace, gentleness and all those other "fruity" things Paul wrote about in Galatians 5?

What are you learning about yourself when your spouse makes you tense?



I need to get that book back out and re-read it. I think I need to learn more than to "keep my mouth shut"... you're a wise man Sam.

Ranelle said...

I get tense when I start to think that he's thinking I'm not smart enough to understand something or when he doesn't agree with me about a certain topic. Over the past year I've started to realize that those are my OWN insecurities that I'm unfairly using against him. Marriage is a mirror!

administration said...

We have obviously both married winners. When we were dating I taught my wife a new card game. I was going to "take it easy" on her and not trounce her too badly. She beat me! Just a fluke. Then she beat me again! How humiliating! My wife is not competitive. She asked (in all innocence and honesty) if I wanted her to let me win! Doubly humiliating!

What have I learned? I have learned to recognize when I am making HER tense. Then I modify my behavior. I have also learned that she is much better at most things than I am.

Sam said...

Chewy, it's because of all the people like you that I think Cathy should have her own fan club. Poor me! Everybody loves my competitive little wife and won't give me any slack. :)

Ranelle, thanks for a humble reminder. I appreciate your transparency.

Admin, happy you have a great wife. Sounds like she has a pretty good husband, too. Cathy and I just wish we knew who you are!