I think if you have followed me for any time that you know that I believe in positive focus, positive talking and staying far away from anything (or any one) negative. Recently someone said to me that they believed I was setting up a false standard by telling only the positive stories of my marriage to Alpha Hubby. They didn’t believe this was fair to people who had less than perfect relationships.
Zebra puckey. I have mentioned that I am a… um… volatile person. Alpha Hubby is very calm (although he can blow his top if pushed to an extreme. I think that has happened maybe twice in twenty years.
I am thinking more that this person has missed the entire point of my posts. Even my friend Pamela at Road-to-Joy Blog who wrote a wonderful book about relationships, “How to Screw Up Your Marriage: Do-Over Tips for First-Time Failures (fka Love Gone Viral: Couples Who Make You Wanna Puke) got the point! Go buy her book – it is e-book format and paperback.
In her book, Chapter Five: What are you looking for? She states: 1When people think I’m making all this stuff up about my storybook marriage and they tell me to get real, it’s a little frustrating. I’m not alone here; my friend Nan (Zat’s me!) knows what I’m talking about. She and her husband make people want to puke, too. She feels exactly as I do about this.
“I’ve ridden the drama train before,” Nan wrote to me a while ago. “So has my husband. We are striving for peace. Our life is real and not without issues, but our marriage truly is wonderful. Part of why it is wonderful is that we always look for the best in each other, and we talk nice about each other.”
2Don’t let yourself look for any negatives, not for a single second. Today is a day for gathering positive evidence. Reject critical interpretations. Banish thoughts about faults. Refuse to look for sins and omissions.
Nan reminded me that the Bible says to “Focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8).
I love some of the other translations of that scripture – whatever things have honour, are of value, whatever is fair, what is a good report; continue to think about what is good. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. Think of that which is commendable. Fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are honest, reputable, authentic. Keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile.
That scripture defines our marriage. I wasn’t good at it at first. I’m sure sometimes he wondered what he’d gotten in to. I always assumed he had a hidden agenda and THEN that axe murderer deep inside would show himself and prove me right. I don’t mean he’d hit me but that he would suddenly find me – less.
He never did. He taught me how to focus on the true, pure, honest, valuable, beautiful, admirable, noble – the GOOD in the other person – him. To not assume he meant something bad when he said something innocent that tripped a land mine trigger in me. His favorite line for years was, “I’m not that deep” when I’d explain what I “thought” he was thinking.
As we focus on the good in each other, I am always reminded what I’d read in a letter to Ann Landers wherein the woman talked about being a widow and the women who griped about their husbands’ snoring.
The point was: Her husband had just passed away a few months before. She wrote, “Whenever I hear a woman complain about her husband’s snoring… How I would love to have mine beside me snoring all night long.”
I read that back in 1985, long before I met Alpha Hubby, but I NEVER forgot it. I made the decision right then and there that if I ever met my Knight in Shining Armour, I was going to value him, consider him someone precious to me, and protect what we had.
When I finally met him, lucky, blessed me, he felt the same way. He had a heart for me and knew what was valuable. What we have is so precious and rare we take very good care of it – WHILE LIVING NORMAL LIVES AS TWO PEOPLE WHO LIVE TOGETHER WITH STRONG PERSONALITIES AND OPINIONS.
We are human but we work very hard either not to fight in the first place or to forgive and restore quickly. No long sleepless nights tossing and turning over a fight.
Yeah, yeah – I learned how much a waste of time that was in our first year of marriage. I was so so so angry and was lying in that bed tossing and turning over our fight WHILE HE, the bum, slept the sleep of the righteous. Or perhaps it was the exhausted. But he never fumed half the night over a fight – so – I gave that up as a waste of time. No one was impressed.
So to those people who think I am setting up a false standard, unobtainable for anyone, you’re wrong. We really don’t fight much and our fights are other people’s light tiffs – totally stupid and ridiculous. We raise our voices but usually not in anger. We’re both pretty passionate, but in a good way. Anger happens but it feels so awful we get over it toute de suite!
What we do that is totally obtainable is to focus on the good in one another, the positive not the negative. I never said it was easy. It took me years not to allow past triggers to dictate my reactions. His calmness helped me work through.
And, as you know, it is important to know that isn’t just ONE couple who have this. I know there are others out there. You have Pamela and Eric – and Nancy and her Superhero over at Too Wonderful For Me (she hasn’t posted in awhile due to a death in the family but visit her and check her other posts out).
So to all the naysayers out there, I say a big raspberry – BIG raspberries to you – and to quit being a zebra’s behind. Learn to focus on the good. So he forgot to take the garbage out – big whoop. There are a million other things he does do for you… you’ve just forgotten to focus on them.
1,2Hutchins, Pamela Fagan (2012-04-29). How to Screw Up Your Marriage (FKA Love Gone Viral) (Kindle Locations 333-339, 351-352). SkipJack Publishing. Kindle Edition.