Complimentary marriage, that’s not a spelling error but rather a wise and joyful accident. I have to laugh, there are many deep and passionate arguments about the internet as to the nature of marriage, the egalitarians versus the complementarians, as if we are all playing and intense game of soccer or something. If so, I just hope I get to be the goalie.
I am frequently trying to argue in favor of the complementary nature of our world, of ourselves, of the joyousness to be found in our diversity. There are no two flowers ever exactly alike, no two snowflakes, no two stars, not even our finger prints are the same. We are all unique and different, so equal and the same does not appeal to me, nor can I see the logic in trying to be egalitarian as if apples and oranges can or should be able to achieve some kind of sameness in the world. I much prefer apple pie to orange pie on account of the fact that oranges just do not cook well. Apple pie is far superior. So rather than trying to teach oranges how to be apples, we should be teaching oranges how to be the best oranges they can be. To believe differently is really an insult to oranges everywhere.
Anyway never mind all that, I truly believe that the secret to a happy marriage really is a complimentary one, as in we must pour endless compliments over one another. But you can’t just say nice words to one another multiple times every day, you must think nice thoughts too. That is much easier said than done.
Long ago I got a fortune cookie that said, “treat one another as honored guests.” It really set me upon thinking how sad it is that we often reserve the good china for complete strangers while showing our spouses our very worst. Married folks will fight this way too, put on a civil face while out in public, and unleash something more akin to Jerry Springer at home.
I have a fondness for doing things backwards, so now we only fight in public and reserve our good manners for home. I jest, but it has become somewhat true.
Words matter, they are unbelievably powerful. The words we speak over one another have a tremendous impact on us. They can heal or they can hurt, they can bring up the heat in times of emotional storms or they can diffuse and calm the intensity.
Hubby and I are of course imperfect, prone to outbursts, often impatient with the world in general and one another, but all these years later we do somehow manage to practice a complimentary marriage. I began that long ago, speaking words of praise and remembering the compliments, engaging in positive reinforcement.
There’s a vitamin for life that works very well, vitamin B-1. If you want a complimenting spouse, B-1. Be one and they will soon catch on.
Hubby eventually began to follow suit, and it’s really quite sweet. Why, just this morning hubby said, “I really like the way you shut that door gently.” Ha! But it made me laugh and it is very hard to remain mad when you are laughing.