Yesterday, I had a really interesting conversation with a college friend from decades ago (aka Joe) about how he chose his wife (another blog post on that later) and the struggles they recently went through. I just had to share it with you, because I feel that this is a scenario that so many of us have gone through, are going through, or will go through in some shape or form. Before I begin, note that Joe's madly~ into his wife and super happily married. He truly adores and treasures her (you could see it in his eyes and face when he spoke about her.) I would have never imagined him like this from when I knew him in college...
Anyways, Joe told me about his recent trials and heartaches around the very sour relationship between his mother and his wife - both of whom he loves dearly. They don't like each other. The mother has not accepted his wife. The wife wants to live as far away from the mother as possible. And you know, that this scenario is quite common among many couples (genders can be substituted for another). What's a man to do? Joe wants both of the significant women in his life to be happy - and ideally, they would see the goodness and beauty he sees in both of them. So plan A (and this is sadly the path most men take): he chooses both, and in effect, neither. He spins words and feelings to the mother, then he spins words and feelings to his wife. Joe said he carried this on for nearly six months - and said it was no doubt, absolutely exhausting. Neither mother nor wife were any happier. Both mother and wife felt like he had betrayed them and was not supporting them. He had to pick and commit to it.
Plan B: Joe decided this was not working and decided to choose his wife - and this is the path that few men understand is the choice a man has to make when he commits his love to a woman. You ask her to marry you, you are starting a new family together. Stick up for your choices. If a man is truly committed to his wife, his family, his marriage - this would most definitely happen more often. (Sadly, it isn't.) And the reason Joe chose whom he chose - Joe wisely said, "I already committed to my wife when I asked to and chose to marry my wife. She is my wife, my heart, and my family - there was no other choice." If he had chosen his mother over his wife, like many mistakenly do, in the end, he would lose his wife - that was not the price Joe wanted or was willing to pay. His wife is his everything, his family. His mother respected that decision - Joe is her son, and she will always love him, and now, maybe even respect him more as a man.
This story touched my heart - and opened my eyes. I'm not there yet in my journey, so I can only imagine. Thoughts?