Note: Today’s post is part of the Write 31 Days challenge. You can find the introduction and links to the posts in this series right here.
Do you enjoy studying other people? I do - not in a creepy way, of course, but in order to learn from them. Most people have something to teach us, either in a positive or negative way.
I especially enjoy seeing how other spouses interact with one another, noting who takes which responsibilities, and watching for things I can learn and incorporate into my own marriage.
In fact, I feel that learning from others is one of the best ways we can improve in our own marriages. Why? Well, when we see someone else doing really well (or really struggling), we can benefit from it without having to test out and learn everything ourselves through trial and error.
While I would never recommend simply adopting what works for someone else without considering the impact on your own marriage, there are a lot of takeaways we can glean from other couples.
Of all the people you know, whose marriages do you most want to emulate, and why? Which ones do you most hope to avoid being like? Write down at least three couples whose marriages are going really well. Jot down what areas they are doing well in, and keep a record of why you think they’re excelling at them. Be as specific as possible.
I have a close friend who has an excellent relationship with her husband. I love being around them both because they are so comfortable with one another. I can’t say that too many other people seem to have such a deep respect and friendship with their spouses, so this is a couple I definitely want to learn from.
I’ve also noticed that my friend and her husband deliberately take time to talk with each other daily, to pray together, and to encourage each other. Hence, I consider these to be key in a happy marriage.
On the flip side, Jon and I also have an aquaintence who’s on his 4th or 5th marriage (I’ve lost track at this point). There seems to be no true commitment on his part. From him, we’ve seen some things that we definitely want to avoid in our relationship with each other.
In our quests to cherish and nurture our marriages, we need to be learning from the examples of others. Some will inspire us, while others will demonstrate the roads we want to avoid. By learning from others, we’ll save ourselves from a lot of hard lessons we don’t necessarily need to experience ourselves, all while also adding new ideas to try that will strengthen our relationship with our spouse.
And as our marriages improve, perhaps we’ll eventually become a couple that others want to learn from!