I sent our oldest daughter an e-mail last night "I told Cheryl to have a hot bubble bath before going to bed...she is obeying!" She e-mailed back "What a good, obedient wife you have. :-)"
My reply "The trick on obedient spouses is to ask them to do something they would love to do. Just beat them to the idea and make it possible."
Beware... Red sky in the morning...might summarize some marriages
I remember a conversation on a guys trip where one guy was bragging about how much he had his wife in complete control of his every beckon and call. Because we all knew him well my brother summed it up very nicely and fairly accurately for him "Well Henry...sounds like you have her right where she wants you". The poor guy still to this day doesn't know why everyone laughed so long; probably because he had a bad habit of "knowing" what you were going to say by mid sentence.
Too many points on spouse management here as an ongoing blog as well as libraries full of books could be written on the subject.I suspect the very title is fairly marketable in our day and age. It appeals to our sense of control in our relationship with our spouse. I would venture to say that the higher the need to feel in control, the less often we are in control. Here's to all the Henry's within each of us...May we get a clue!
Just a couple of comments here...
Selfish thinking comes so naturally we don't recognize it in ourselves.
When we were a few years into our marriage I worked 70 -80 hours a week and even combined my fishing with work. I had stopped by the house to grab some supper and head out with the boat. I was leaving my wife with three preschool kids on one of those rough days that seem happen six days out of the week. My most used phrase at home came out as I headed for the door "see you in a bit". My wife always came for a good-by kiss and said very bluntly "You are really a selfish man". A laser guided missile straight to my self centered heart began to do it's work. It became a reality time out for me as a spouse to a wonderful unselfish women. I don't have to tell you what happens when two selfish people get together.
Watch out if your idea of love is a feeling you fell into. Trust me you will get out of that feeling as easily as getting stuck in a mud hole and hitting the four wheel drive button. The stardust will fade and then you have some choices to make. True love is a decision which has a foundation of commitment to make choices based upon what's best for the spouse...not me. I came to a point with my wife where I said "If you want me to quit fishing I will" I ment it and would have sold the boat and hang up the rods in the garage rafters. It was a love choice for me. She was obviously in a good position for spouse management. She in her love choices was not going to take away a passion of mine. She just wanted me to think of her and the family before running off fishing. As a result we became a much more "intentional" family.
Spouse management takes two ultimately, but usually starts with one when two people began to go separate directions. True, decisive, intentional love is what the wedding vows mean. Own your love, initiate love choices, and aim at the heart...but only in love. It's a hard thing to respond to selfish behavior in love.It's even harder to get good at it. There is a learning curve in this unusual behavior!
33.5 years of marriage for us. Yes better and better but someday I need to redefine better as it's more than what you think if you haven't been there. It's like saying "describe the Grand Canyon in one word" because I've never seen it. "Better" is experiencing 1 Corinthians 13 (great love chapter in the Bible) and not just reading it and saying "I understand it".
I would write more but the fish are biting...