While watching one of my guilty, reality show pleasures, among my beloved DVR recordings that I’ve reserved for nights that I suffer from insomnia; I tuned in to Married to Medicine, with Dr. Jackie. I heard her make a remark to her practice manager, while they were going through her calendar and checking dates of availability. Dr. Jackie responded to a date that her practice manager selected by saying, “No, that’s Curtis’ Birthday.” That is when the practice manager said; “You don’t have to celebrate his birthday on his birthday.” And finally, Dr. Jackie responded by saying, “In this season that we are in, we need to celebrate on his birthday.” I thought that was such a BEAUTIFUL response!
Curtis is Dr. Jackie’s husband of many, many years. However, most recently the two of them have struggled in trying to navigate through a rough patch in the marriage. It was inspiring to hear her say this because she was able to recognize the ‘season’ their relationship was in and then to prioritize the marriage, and her husband’s birthday above all. Dr. Jackie knew the significance of doing this, at that moment in time- where she had to show her husband that he is loved, respected and wanted, by acknowledging the importance of doing her part.
Watching the show reminded me of my own mom and dad. I always see my mother making sure that my dad is taken care of, he’s happy and they have a healthy relationship. She constantly makes sacrifices and compromises, to keep the marriage together and strong. She gives with her whole heart. She gives without expectations. She always puts her marriage first and if there was ever a moment that she didn’t, it wasn’t because she wouldn’t, it was because she couldn’t.
This is the balance that most people cannot find. Acknowledging a critical time in the relationship that could possible make or break the union, is extremely necessary. There are many times where you will have to put work first, but in those times where your relationship may suffer, or is already suffering, you may have to make a choice. It’s not all bad though. It’s not a case where you have to truly choose your family first, over being employed. And it’s not a case where this happens everyday. It’s a matter of knowing and being able to discern when those times are, when you do need to put your marriage first.
It is absolutely necessary for a woman and a man, to put each other first, in the relationship or marriage; when the season that you are in yanks on strings of separation and or ultimately a divorce. If you want your marriage or relationship to grow and survive, you have to be willing to do the work in that season.
Think of it in terms of the 4 Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. In the colder months, where there’s snowfall, you will have to work a little harder to maintain the yard. You will have to plow streets, shovel your yard, driveway, doorways and pathways into the house. In the months where leaves tend to fall constantly, you will do a lot of manual labor in the lard by racking and disposing of the leaves more than any other time in the season. In the season where the grass grows a lot faster, you will have to work a little harder in those seasons by mowing, cutting and hedging your landscape. And again, before you can do any of this, you have to know what season you are in.
Lastly, have you ever tried to maintain your yard, but the leaves from your neighbors yard blows over into yours? That happens in relationships as well. Which is why it is wise to put up a fence, and shield your relationship, while you are in your critical season, doing the work to clean up your yard. I’ll also add that it’s vital that you keep people out of your business and relationship. Don’t air your problems while you’re still working it out. That is because you’ll find yourself under the pressure of doing what your friends say you should do, and also being influenced to do something your own heart truly doesn’t want to do, but because you’ve told everyone about your problems in the marriage, you feel obligated to take their advice; which may not be the best advice.
In my humble opinion and experience, private relationships last the longest.