As I have followed your articles here on Meridian Magazine, this theme of sacrifice is a them you like to write about. My question would be -- are there any limits to this?
One of the first marriage help books I picked up was Dr. Willard Harley's "Mom's Needs Dad's Needs". One of the interesting things about Dr. Harley's philosophy is that he generally views "sacrifice" with some mistrust if not outright distaste. Sure, when it comes to minor things (like whether soup should be stirred clockwise or counterclockwise), I can see where a spouse's choice to ignore/sacrifice a preference is useful. However, most meaningful negotiations in marriage are going to be about things that are not as innocuous. Dr. Harley's policy of joint agreement is about going beyond win-lose "sacrifice" and learning to negotiate issues so that neither husband nor wife need to sacrifice.
My own example -- after years in a sexless marriage, I have finally given up and decided to "sacrifice" ever having a sexually satisfying marriage. Many would say this is an unwise thing to sacrifice, but I am too tired of the battle to continue.
While I can agree that the skill of overlooking and sacrificing minor nuisances is a good skill, I feel like there is so much more to building a good marriage. So many issues where, rather than looking for ways to "sacrifice", a couple would be better off learning how to really negotiate things. How to find real solutions that don't require one spouse to give up something important or to "live with" real pain.
When one sacrifices for a precious family, whether in the short term, or to raise children with life-threatening illnesses, it is truly worth it. Ultimately, it is all worth it.
This was a fabulous reminder as I near my 44th wedding anniversary! My husband are serving a senior mission in Tokyo. It has been a challenge being together 24/7 in a 600 sq. foot apartment!
I really needed this! Many thanks.
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