Monday, January 7, 2013

20 things...never assume

This past November my wonderful, amazing husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary.  I've been thinking for some time about doing a series of posts about 20 things we have learned over these 20 years...  It feels like a bit of a challenge, but I think I'll go for it.  And, in the interest of not boring you into a coma, I'll even break them down, as opposed to one post that would take you 20 hours to read!!

I've had to determine that these things will not come in any particular order...certainly not order of importance.  I couldn't even say that any certain one is more important than another.  And I would also like to say up front...these are things that we have learned for us.  The same may or may not apply or be true of you or any other given couple.  But hopefully they might make you think a bit.

As I've been ruminating on this thought of what we have learned, one of the first things that comes to mind is...never assume.  It's practically a joke around here, this idea of how bad 'assuming' is, that you can regularly hear us saying...  "You know what assuming does!!!"  (To which the response is..."It makes an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'..."  Get it?  Ass-u-me...spells assume...  Yeah, I thought you probably picked right up on that...but just in case...)

Assuming is almost always a terrible thing.  It is based on a premise that someone can know something to be true without any basis for that knowledge.  Like, in the past, I have assumed that if Todd is quiet, he must be angry about something.  Turns out, he might be angry...but more likely he is thinking about something, or maybe just tired.  Huh!  How 'bout that??  (Leave it to me to jump to conclusions!)

I have assumed that if we haven't been out for a while, he certainly would know how desperately I'm craving some alone time, and will be scheduling a date without prompting.  Again...bad assumption.  Not because he's a bad guy, or insensitive.  (He's actually a great guy, who can, at times, be more intuitive than I.)  Simply because we are different people, who are wired differently.  More often than not, I'm craving alone time because our schedules have been hectic, we are flying around, and I need connection.  At the very same time, also because schedules have been hectic, and we are flying around...and he's at work all day long...he feels like he hasn't really had much good 'dad-time' with the kids, and his focus is more there.  Neither of us is wrong, but we just aren't necessarily thinking along the same lines.  And assuming we are just doesn't breed anything good for either party.

We have also wrongly and dangerously assumed (many years ago) that good marriages 'just happen' to people who come from solid families, with little or no histories of divorce, who were raised in the church...blah, blah, blah.  Generally speaking...'goody-goodies'.  Guess what, ladies and gents...even 'goody-goodies' have a sin issue, and none of us are above problems or major falls.  It took a near-fatal disaster to our marriage for us to realize this...and that one should NEVER assume to be 'above' or 'immune' to anything.  Good marriages do NOT 'just happen'...they require attention, cultivation, self-sacrifice, and prayer.  Lots and lots of prayer.  They also require commitment, and community.  It not only 'takes a village' to raise a child, it takes a village to have an awesome marriage.  People who are willing to get in the thick of it with you, and tell you when you're being an ass.  To tell you they will not stand by you while you destroy the good thing you've got, because of your own immature stubbornness.  They will tell you that you've GOT to forgive, even when it hurts...because you have also caused hurt, and you need to be forgiven too.

Never, ever assume...  On the other hand, when you KNOW something to be, that you and your spouse are in this thing for life, you have an amazing God who can redeem anything, and you have been blessed by a wonderfully supportive network of friends...well, then be thankful.  And spend the rest of your life remembering, and being very, very thankful.

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