It was some time ago that I heard the quote “If both of you are putting each other first then no one comes second.”
This quote goes against every selfish instinct that we have as human beings to focus on ourselves and our own selfish needs. However, the very essence of marriage and relationships center around the fact that it is no longer about you as an individual.The goal in marriage and relationships should be to move from being selfish to selfless.
To further explain, allow me to get a little personal for a moment. During my wedding planning process I had an ongoing need for my spouse to be more proactive and do more than just what was asked of him. However, there was this ongoing need from him to be reactive and to do only what was asked of him, as to not mess anything up. The situation was causing some clear tension, and since this wasn’t the first time the proactive/reactive dispute had come up in our relationship, we decided to sit down and have a conversation about this with our pastor.
I started the conversation by asking “How do I work on having more patience with my spouse? I understand his reason for not always taking the initiative to do things and I know he needs for me to be more understanding towards his reactive approach to helping out”. My husband then asked “How do I help her out more? I understand she is stressed, and I don’t want to be an additional burden. How do I work towards being more proactive?” Our pastor just looked at us and said “this is why I like you two so much.” At first we didn’t understand his response because we were both just honestly speaking from our hearts, but later it made sense.
In our case, there were obviously two separate needs, and when reaching out for help, our first thought was “How do I attend to my spouse’s need.” We had been listening to each other and had internally decided we needed to figure out how to put each other’s needs first. I could have easily said to our pastor “He’s not giving me as much help as I need, can you explain to him he has to be more proactive?” But my instinct was to put my own viewpoint aside and instead focus on my husband-to-be viewpoint and vice versa.
In a recent article I read, Barr Godson Nwachukwu stated: “You have to put your partner’s happiness before your own. You have to be unselfish, you have to put yourself second, otherwise you will have arguments and stalemate.”
Conflict avoidance is one thing I can attest to being a result of us putting each other first. Just think, if your initial thought is to make the other happy, then you can often come to a compromise that satisfies you both. This works because you’re focused on what the other needs, as opposed to getting into an argument because you are only concerned with your own needs.
In my opinion, putting your own needs aside is essential in the growth of a relationship. At least it has proven true thus far in mines. You have to remember that putting yourself aside doesn’t mean that your needs are now neglected, because technically your spouse should be making your needs priority.
What this means, is that in putting each other first no one will come second and this will ultimately lead to a connected partnership. When you do this everything else will fall into place.
Would you agree that you should put each other first over everything else including your own needs? Any examples of how you do this in your marriage?
“A Unique date in a box delivered to your door”