Distractions in marriage: the power of being focused.
Updated: Mar 4, 2019
Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.
As a wedding photographer, I’d like to see our clients go on to have long and wonderful marriages where they overcome all challenges and work through all differences. I won’t pretend like these blog posts have the power to do that, but if they help in the slightest bit in anyone’s relationship, it’ll be worth it to me.
My wife and I have been married almost two years now, and they have been two of the most wonderful and challenging years of our lives. Thankfully, the challenges have come from outside our marriage, but we learned important lessons before we got married that have held us together through panic attacks and crises. I’d like to share some of those lessons.
We’ll post some other blogs about weddings we’ve done, but I’d like to do some blogs on these lessons as well.
What's More Important?
A few months ago, after returning from a wedding in Kansas City, my wife and I sat down to edit the photos we had taken during that wedding. Before we began to the cull the photos down to the ones we wanted to deliver, we looked through them all first. As we came to the part of the wedding reception where the bride and her father danced, something kept on annoying me about many of the photos.
While the bride and the father would radiate emotion and tenderness, there would be guests in the background or foreground looking into their cell phones. No, the phones weren’t pointed at the dance and recording the precious moment. The guests were just faffing around (as my British wife would say) on their phones, as if this once in a lifetime moment was too boring to deserve their attention. Consequently, this ruined many otherwise wonderful pictures of that dance.
From then on, I swore that I would recommend to every bride and groom who hired us that they make an announcement to the guests before the dances that if people's phones aren’t recording the couple, they should be put away.
The Distracted Marriage
Distractions are a problem. In a marriage they create a simple equation. Distractions equal exhaustion. Therefore, distractions should be put away. How are they exhausting? Because instead of meeting each other's needs, you're feeding each other's frustration. Instead of edifying each other, you're corrosively neglecting each other.
My spouse is my number one priority. If my feelings tell me not to behave like the husband I should be (which is the best husband I can be) then I should stop consulting my feelings because they're dumb. I mean that literally. They don't think. Feelings are downstream of thoughts, so I tell myself to reconsider what I want.
As a man, I find fulfillment in fulfilling my wife's needs, and to me, that's what success is in marriage. I think this way because as a Christian, I have a perspective that sees purpose. People were made with a propose and design. When we fulfill that purpose or become what we're designed to become, then we have this amazing sense of fulfillment and peace.
I believe my wife was designed to be loved. She was designed to be told and shown how important she is to me. In return, she shows it back to me. Not that I expect her to show it back, but it tends to be the natural outcome. She’s more important than winning a fight. She's more important than my comfort.
Accept The Challenge
Am I perfect at doing this all the time? No one is perfect, but as a man, if I aim for excellence in everything I do, I will want to rise to the challenge. As men, we tend to plant our flag into our accomplishments and enjoy victorious satisfaction before moving on to the next thing. If you do this with with the task of winning your wife's heart, you're setting yourself up to eventually hear your wife complain about how much you've changed from the man she dated. If those words come out of her mouth, don't get defensive, but understand that something isn't right with what you're doing to make her feel that way. Take responsibility.
When I hear my wife say something like this, I have learned to drop everything immediately and draw near to her because she's my first and top priority. Marrying her isn't the championship victory of chasing her heart. Even if I think I've caught her heart, marriage is just graduating from the minor leagues into the major leagues.
As a woman, if you take the lead for a moment and show him respect even if you don't feel like it, you'd be surprised how fulfilling your man's need for respect ends up fulfilling your own need for love. It's how this was all designed.