When I was in college, I took a class on courtship and marriage. On the first day of class, Dr. Knox stood at the front of the auditorium and told us that this class would make or break our relationship. Either our current relationship would get stronger, or we’d break up due to what we’d learned about healthy relationships within the class. Ultimately, I managed a B in the class itself, but I also managed to pick up the key on how to foster a healthy relationship: feeding the right wolf.
Think of your relationship as a balance between two wolves. One wolf feeds off of empathy, kindness, and love. The second wolf feeds off of anger, pride, arrogance, and ego. The wolf that you feed is the one that will be stronger, that will dominate your relationship, and that will determine the success or failure of your relationship. Which do you want to feed?
This weekend, Dave and I went to the wedding of a friend of his. Dave was set to be the best man, so we got there a couple of days early to help set up. We didn’t do much setting up, but the groom told Dave at the last minute that he had to spend the whole afternoon and evening on Friday with him, despite not having wanted a bachelor party. We’d spent the whole day with him so far, but he wanted an afternoon and night out. Here’s the thing: Friday was our two year anniversary, and Dave had told him he’d wanted to spend one-on-one time with me for it, but Dave had a responsibility as the best man to uphold.
Take a wild guess at what happened.
To be honest, I wanted to dwell in it. I wanted to be upset, angry, and resentful about the fact that we didn’t get to have ‘our’ day, moment, whatever. More than anything, I was resentful that his friend would demand something so last minute when he knew that Dave had asked for some time with me. He didn’t have a plan!
But I asked myself: which wolf would I rather feed? I could waste all the time in the world being upset that we didn’t get to celebrate our anniversary, or I could go to the yoga class, put on face and hair masks, and veg out in front of the TV in our hotel room. Which would be more productive? A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a study bible off of Amazon, so I figured that my solo time back at the hotel would be a good time to go through it, since I’d brought it with me on the trip. Here’s what I found:Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. - Proverbs 16:32 Click To Tweet
I weighed my options. Would it be more productive for me to run at the problem like a warrior, guns blazing, or to put down my weapons and wait for it to run its course? I wanted so badly to run at the problem with my torch and pitchfork, but what good would burning the metaphorical city down do?
Instead, I went to yoga with the bride and maid of honor. On the way back, I picked up dinner, face and hair masks, and some nail polish. Because what better way to pass time than do what can make me feel a little better about myself?
And when Dave realized on his way back to the hotel around midnight that he had left his key card in the car that I’d driven, I waited up and opened the door without comment, instead of passing out on ZzzQuil.. because that’s what ya do for someone you love. 😉
Questions for you:
What’s one time when you had to show patience for someone when you really wanted to be anything but?
What’s your favorite expression or saying in regard to relationships? I really love the Japanese and Korean belief in the Red Thread of Fate!