When my wife first showed me that quote, I hated it.
Those words were spoken (or maybe written) by G.K. Chesterton. I looked on Google, but it wasn’t in the top five results, so I stopped trying to find the source.
GK is an Englishman from the early 1900s who has been featured in a few Marriage Quote Wednesdays here in the Field Manual.
I won’t pretend to know what Chesterton meant by the quote, especially since I have zero context. But, what I think he might have been getting at was that war has a lot of unknowns and that’s what makes it exciting. You prepare, you take your gear, and you take a chance.
I hated the quote because I put it in the box in my mind marked “Worldview of Marriage.” That worldview sucks. From that view point Marriage is a drag; it’s hell. I get no time for myself, I never get to pick the movie, and my wife tells me what I do and do not like to eat. As Bernie Mac said in the recent remake of “Guess Who” (2005), “It’s a war!”
That negative worldview is the main reason why I started this Field Manual. Marriage isn’t a war between husband and wife. It isn’t hell. It isn’t a war between parents and children. It doesn’t suck. It’s a love story.
Not a Taylor Swift love story, but a true love story. A true love story has only winners. Taylor’s love stories have one winner (her) and a ton of losers (every man she sings about).
Marriage is a story in which all of the characters have the golden opportunity to win.
Did you know that? Did you know that you can win at Marriage?
I’ll even throw in the secret, just because you’ve read this far.
The way you win is by loving your spouse more than you love yourself.
Full disclaimer: I love me. A lot.
I’m awesome. I’m funny, intelligent, and witty. People like me, I drive an awesome car (Prius), I have a cat, and I pay my own bills. I have a unique job, I like cycling, and I walk almost 90,000 steps a week (US average is 21,000). I have an iPhone, an iPad, an iMac, and an AppleTV. People are lucky to know me! I’m the total package.
So if I can love my wife more than I love that guy in the mirror, I’ve definitely won.
The real magic happens when you realize that your wife is on the same mission. She’s trying to love me more than she loves herself. It’s a race to the top!
We’re human, so we won’t reach perfect. That’s what makes the love story so spicy. We fall, we fail, but we get up and keep striving to reach perfection.
So, if you’re afraid that you’re going to be a terrible husband, keep this entry in mind. If you’re married and you’re slacking, it’s time to change this thing.
The best defense against being a deadbeat husband is a good offense of love.