Monday, May 4, 2009

What Passes For Wisdom

Bob and I went to see "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" yesterday. I enjoyed it. Yes, it was a "chick flick". I like those. And Bob likes it when I have those "I am so glad you are with me..." moments, so it is kind of win-win. Momma always says that while men may not want their women to be constantly clingy, once in a blue moon helps them feel appreciated.
Anyways, it was a good movie, but it used the quote "Whoever cares the least in a relationship, has the power." I never realized before that that was common advice. A couple of married (oy vey!) female friends gave me that advice when I was engaged to Bob. These were women who were happily married (at the time). I had thought at the time "Eh, who needs power in marriage? I am going to love him with reckless abandon!". And I do. And we are really happy. I am not trying to give anyone a formula for a happy marriage. I know it to be a blessing from God, and I am very grateful. I would say that after salvation, it is the number one blessing in my life that I never want to lose (remember, I don't have kids. I might be tempted to put them before my marriage if I had them, but that is another issue...) I even get how this might be useful in the early stages of dating, when rejection is a very real fear. Who wants to feel rejected and powerless? Ugh! How did we come to this place where people protect their hearts from their own spouses? I asked my husband, and he too was given similar advice "back in the day".
So, I asked my husband who holds the power in our marriage (ie who cares more). He replied "It varies....". Now THAT is a wise answer.
Oh, in case you are wondering, the movie showed the premise the quote in an unfavorable light as well. The moral of the story was....caring is good. Speaking of quotes, who is it that said something about the same stories being told over and over again throughout time? If no one knows, I will just claim that it's me.


Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

You know, I think it's 100% accurate. AND I think that's why it's so damaging for Christian marriages. Not caring = power = the opposite of love.

Then again, it can be a useful check on our behavior. "Feeling powerful over your mate? Oop, you must not be loving him/her enough! Better get on that!"

If my goal is NO power but instead its opposite - i.e. servanthood - then this can be a very effective question to ask myself.

My two cents. (I'm decaffeinated now, so a little less punchy.)

katdish said...


Sorry. I'm better now.

Why, after countless bad relationships and stupid boyfriends would I ever want to enter into a relationship where I felt either more loved or less loved than my spouse? It's not always even steven. Like you said, we take turns. But I think my husband is awesome, and I think I'm awesome. Win-win.

I'd take your advice over a bunch of so called experts.

Helen said...

Steph, I agree that it is accurate about power. I just don't understand why someone would advise a newleywed (or newley engaged) on how to get the power in a marriage. I agree with you about that being why it is so damaging.
Katdish, tried some LCM. Not bad.
I agree. No one should feel like the looser in a marriage. We should both be about making the other feel loved.

sherri said...

I don't remember getting much advice when we married (good or bad).

If I were asked to give the bride and groom advice, I'd tell them it's very important to be happy. But it's SO much better when the other is doing the things to make you happy instead of you always looking out for number 1.

Like, I could buy myself stilettos all day long and I'd be happy. But if Big AL bought me stilettos, I'd be SO much happier!

The powerful one in a marriage ALWAYS wears stilettos!

Not really, I'm a wimp. My bark is WAY worse than my bite. Wise ole Big AL has just learned to let me say my piece, then he does whatever he wants anyway.

It works for us.

Helen said...

That kind of explains the Harley, doesn't it?

Nick the Geek said...

I didn't watch this but might rent it. I watched another relationship film about a young boy and his brother who grow apart through the years. James, the younger brother, fall in love but the older brother, Victor, takes her.

You might have heard of the film. X-men Origins: Wolverine. highly recommended for many reasons including the trailer for the new Transformers movie that had me literally bouncing in my seat.

katdish said...

I keep imagining seeing Nick's lips moving, but all I hear is Klingon.

Nick the Geek said...


bIjatlh 'e' yImev

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

Ooooh! Katdish, are you gonna TAKE that?

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Best advice we ever got was "submit to one another." Works for us. Of course, we just found out we're not legally married after 35 years but what the heck. I distinctly remember both of us being there....