Living in alignment with God as the cover and the couple underneath, side by side, does require intention. One way to do that is by staying in agreement and carrying out your yes’s. This is actually the simplest of concepts. I had a couple with whose issues had come to be focused on his failure to set out the garbage cans EVERY Thursday. Not getting the garbage cans to the street became the poster child for his failures. She became the lecturing mother, and he became the distracted child in their styles of communication. The more emotional she got, the more distant he became. In my book, The Marriage Ark, I say that, “when a marriage is out of balance between the partners, it can look like a see-saw. One has power, the other none. Or one is acting parental, the other childish. One is subservient, the other dominant.” In therapy, we have a concept of keeping the couple on level ground. There is where love, trust, and respect lie. It is the sweet spot.
In premarital work, we come up with the nuts and bolts of agreement and thereby create an infrastructure. We craft and come into agreements on budgets, chores, in-laws, the enactment of our faith, and other subjects important to the couple. Then they line up at the altar and take their vows. The pistol fires at the starting line and somebody yells, “Ready! Go!” Now they must put into practice all those agreements previously made. If John agreed to mow the grass, he will have to get the mower out and do it. Thousands of little kept promises keep the marriage in balance. Keeping our tiny promises to each other keeps the alignment. It seems so simple. Do what you said you would do. Let your “Yes” be a “Yes”, and your “No” be a “No”.