I know happy marriages where one spouse practices a differently religion than the other, some where one spouse doesn’t practice a religion at all, and others where couples are opposite in weight, height, color, income, careers, interests, or health. I know happy marriages that have survived addiction, incarceration, inconsistency, and infidelity. I don’t use the word “happy” loosely. These are not observations but actual details shared with me during conversations with folks who have been married for 15 to 50 years. Random dialogue with old coworkers, neighbors, and others who decided to “let me in.”
I knew a gentleman who told me his wife dogged him and disrespected him for 10 years because he went from a millionaire to being broke (twice). I asked why he stayed with her and he said, “God wanted me to and now our marriage is better than ever!”
Another woman, who was an extremely faithful churchgoer; but her husband never joined her. Seemed odd but she would quickly say; “He may not be a church man but he’s a good man.”
The point? Well; there is no such thing as a “model” marriage. Every marriage works by way of both parties willing to sacrifice, commit, and put up with. What works for one couple is not guaranteed to work for another. That’s not to say it’s nothing to learn! No; there is plenty to learn. But “learning” comes in the form of nuggets, sentences, ideas, and quotes that leave an impact - not a guidebook. We all make up our own guidebooks as we go along.
When I first started going to the gym and getting engulfed in the fitness culture – I noticed several things. There were women who could lose weight while still eating fruit (where as I couldn’t), there were men that had big arms but never did any isolated arm movements, there were men in single digit body fat that never did cardio, there were folks that had great legs but claimed they never squatted, and I can go on and on.
Just like marriage, I never looked at any of these individuals as the “ideal” way to work-out or eat – but just observed and talked to them to gain information that would help me on my own personal fitness journey. I always site my good friend Julian Palm as the person who really gave me the tools to get in shape. Though he’s a personal trainer – I was never one of his clients. One of his most valuable assets to me was introducing me to the newsletters, magazines, websites, books, online radio shows, and doctor’s blogs where I could obtained all the information I wanted/needed in regards to health, weight training, and nutrition. I dove right in collecting quotes, tearing out articles, printing out paragraphs, and storing random but potent sentences in the back of my head.
Again – collecting nuggets of information to help guide my journey.
This is important because everyone wants to sell us the “Best” way to do something. The best way to start a business, the best way to get rich, the best to loose weight, the best way to be a parent and etc…
No such thing. Life has very few “absolutes.” Ask any successful businessman what “book” did he read when he was starting his business and I’m sure he’ll name several.
I remember when I used to hit the gym at midnight because at the time – it fit my schedule the best. I knew women who would not have let their husbands weight train at that time on a regular basis and men who hated working out that late. My wife never had a problem with it and I liked being in the gym late with no one there.
It worked for me and it worked for us.
Your challenge? Find out what works for you and yours……..