Wednesday, October 25, 2006
I Love You More
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott
This evening I stopped to pick up a few groceries on my way to the Y. When I returned home, Ben helped me carry my shopping bags from the van to the house. He snooped through my purchases and groaned when he saw flavoured rice cakes instead of potato chips.
"Why can't you ever buy junk food?" he complained.
"Because I love you, honey," I replied.
This afternoon I finished reading I Love You More, and I learned that married people tend to live longer and are generally healthier than their unmarried counterparts. This is true partly because spouses encourage one another to adopt healthy habits. When I nag Ben about eating too many greasy hamburgers, I am actually fulfilling my duty as his wife!
I Love You More is an interesting and enlightening read. Ben is halfway through the book himself. I did not buy this book expecting him to read it too, but our reading has already sparked some interesting conversations. Ben and I feel we have a great relationship on many levels. However, we've already begun identifying areas of our marriage that could use some work. We think it's healthy to evaluate and talk about our relationship. I'm pretty blessed to have a husband who actually enjoys talking about marriage!
Because of my reading, I have also been pondering how my views of marriage have been affected by my upbringing. I'm learning that every person (often unknowingly) brings biases to the marriage relationship. My family of origin is very different from my husband's. Where his parents are high-energy and gregarious, my parents are quiet and like to hang out at home. Wouldn't you know, Ben and I are reflections of our parents. Ben tends to be more outgoing, and I am quite a home-body.
When we got married and I moved out of my parent's home, I learned that some people do things differently than my family did. (Shocking, I know. It was a revelation to me, anyway.) Here's a small sampling of the things I discovered as a young bride:
- Canned soup comes in more varieties than mushroom and tomato.
- The dishes will not self-destruct if they aren't washed immediately after supper.
- Most people are allowed to eat their dessert without having a piece of fruit first.
- Some families do more than just eat at the dinner table --- they have loooong conversations too.
All in all, Ben and I are very much enjoying I Love You More. At the book's suggestion, we've made one new goal for our marriage. We would like to start a new hobby together. In the early years of our relationship, Ben and I played music together on the church worship team. We stopped playing music when we had children. (Funny how that happens). Ben and I would like to start a shared activity again. It might not be musical, but it will be something we can do as a couple without our kids. We'll see what happens!