See the situation through the eyes of your spouse
See the situation through the eyes of your spouse
There is a kind of contradiction in life. It is clear that at the moment of marriage, people have strong feelings for each other. Love or not love, we do not know; they think it is love. Then these feelings pass. And then there are two options for action. Some say: since there are no feelings anymore, why torture each other further, we part. So you can meet and part with different people all your life. The second path is the one followed by responsible people. They say: yes, love is gone, and it seems to have nowhere to come from, but there is a duty, for the sake of preserving the marriage, for the sake of children, we will stay together. Sometimes they still can’t stand it, sometimes they carry this cross to the end, grinding their teeth. I have great respect for these people, but I feel sorry for them, of course.
So you think, what is the best, what is the most correct way to fulfill your duty, but at the same time suffer? Often a person simply does not see other options. And here the housing issue has been resolved, and everyday life is adjusted, and there is money, and the children are common. Indeed, in addition to love, in marriage, people acquire a mass of other connecting things. You have to tear too much, and therefore people sometimes prefer to keep everything as it is. And the hatred is growing …
Or is it better to meet and leave depending on the appearance and disappearance of feelings? Also a dubious path, you can flutter all your life.
This picture would look very sad, joyless if love could not be worked on. If man could not cultivate love in himself. When we treat love as something that does not depend on us at all, like the weather, came – and I rejoice, left – and I bite my elbows and tear my hair – this is wrong. Love depends on human will, on our choice.
Since it is from God, God Himself is love, there is no source of love in ourselves. We cannot, by an effort of will, evoke love in ourselves. But if a person understands that God has united me with this person, I took responsibility for the life of this person, made vows, in any case, I will have to live with this person. And either I’ll just put up with him, or I’ll love him. Then I understand that I need to love him. How am I going to do it?
It is in my will, first, to ask for love from God, who is the very source of love. Secondly, to do everything that comes from love. As the holy fathers say, if there is no love in you, then do deeds of love, and you will learn to love. That is, do in relation to this person what you would do if you loved him. This will not be hypocrisy. Because if I create a form and at the same time yearn for the Lord to fill it with content, then this can happen. This is happening. We know such stories when the spouses did not have any special feelings for each other, but then, having overcome many difficulties, caring for each other, serving each other, they found such love, which they themselves are surprised at.
In this respect, the Gospel episode in Cana of Galilee is remarkable, when the Lord turned water into wine, and the master of the wedding feast told the groom that they usually drink the good wine first, and then worse wine, “and you have saved the good wine until now.” I always tell young people that with this event the Lord not only solved the problem of lack of wine at this meal but also gave us a wonderful symbol of what happens with love. Wine is a symbol of love here. At first, it is romantic, strong, and then, when this wonderful, joyful period ends, which is often short-lived, because everyday life already in the first year shows people that everything is not as it seemed, people are drinking what is left. And sometimes there is water instead of wine. And now the Lord reminds us once again that He is ready to turn this water into wine again, and a wine that is better even than the one that was in the beginning.
Love is in any case a gift from God. There are some of our actions that reduce this gift, and there are those that increase it. As the apostle, Paul says: “Quench not the Spirit.” Spirit is also not ours. We can extinguish it. But it is given to us to do so that it flares up in us all the hotter and hotter.
I think if people received this gift of love at least in the smallest measure, and since they decided to start a family and be together, then there was something between them, then it depends on them further whether this gift will grow or not. …
If I insult my wife, if I don’t take care of her, if she cheats, if I start coming home drunk every evening, then it’s clear that this gift will not increase. You can lose everything. But if both spouses are aware of the value of love and want it between them, and are ready to work on things that will kindle this love, then there is a hope that they will achieve this. And why the opposite happens – because many do not care about it. Very many do not seem to mind the love between them, but they do nothing for this.
Love is actually very difficult to keep. There are a lot of psychological books that talk about what spouses should not do, what kills love, which, on the contrary, contributes to its development. I recently read a book like this: Try to be less reproachful to each other, less harsh words to each other … And this is all right, I just do not want to repeat the known truths. It seems to me that people just ignore these rules. Very often people just don’t want to work seriously. As it goes, okay.
Family situations are very often the subject of conversation with a priest. A typical example is when one of the spouses, wife or husband comes, talks about what is happening in their family. And he tells sincerely, with tears, with bitterness. And when I listen, I also become imbued with this and think, what kind of scoundrel he or she got! I say: “Tell him, let him come, I would like to talk to him too.” Sometimes it happens that after a while you talk to the other half. And you are already pre-attuned to this person in a certain way. He has not yet begun to speak, and perhaps I already want to tell him something impartial. But I have enough sense not to do this, I let him completely speak out …
And in the process of how he talks, I see a completely opposite picture. I look at the situation with his eyes and see that he is right, that it cannot be otherwise. He talks about many details that his wife ignored, he talks about some of his efforts. And you see that everyone has their own truth. Everyone is right in his own eyes and is so convinced of this that even I, listening to him, am imbued at this moment. Then I meet the first half again …
When I was a young priest, I immediately believed and fervently supported the first party that came to me. Now, when people turn to me, at first I just listen and sympathize. And the second time I already say: “Let’s look at this situation from the other side and try to find where we ourselves are wrong here. Probably everything you say is correct. But it cannot be that only he is to blame for everything ”… And then suddenly you come across a negative reaction. As long as a person complains and you sympathize with him, everything is fine. As soon as you urge him to understand and take a critical look at himself, the person says: “Come on, of course,” but at the same time he immediately becomes a stranger. This turn is no longer very interesting to him. There are, of course, exceptions. Sometimes a person is ready to do it, but it is very difficult.
Therefore, it is very important for spouses to be able to understand the other and look at the situation through his eyes …
What else prevents the preservation of love?
The inability to critically look at yourself interferes.
Very often unwilling to accept the spouse as he is interfering. Conditioning: “You must become such and such. If not, I don’t need you like that. ” The desire to help another become more perfect is, in principle, a natural, good desire. If I see my wife’s shortcomings and want her to overcome them, that’s okay. But, on the other hand, I must understand how difficult it is. And how much it depends on how I myself will remake myself.
I recently spoke with a young man. They seem to be doing well. But he loves poetry. And she doesn’t love. And she has this reason for some jokes. Well, okay, you don’t love poetry, you don’t love it that way, but at least show respect for this love of his. Better yet, try to love or at least understand what is dear to your loved one. But never hurt him.
That’s what’s important. If the person I love has some values in life besides our love, then I need to try to make this become my values as well. And if not, then at least treat it with respect.