The Country Music Awards Bring the Best in the Business Together, But They Won’t Necessarily Bring the Best Out in Your Marriage.
Country music fans, get ready.
November will be here before you know it, so the annual CMA awards are not far away. Your favorite artists will be on display as hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood return for the tenth straight year to open the envelopes.
The nominee lineup is filled with familiar names – Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, and Garth Brooks, to name only a few.
According to the CMA website, the awards are chosen by the more than 6,300 industry professionals in 40 countries. They put their heads together in three separate rounds of voting and determine winners in 12 distinct categories. Come out on top and you’ve secured a place among country music immortals.
So the best in country music, it turns out, comes down to a popular vote.
That might make sense in country music, but it doesn’t work well for marriage. Oh, people try to make marriage work that way. That’s why about half of marriages don’t last. Too many people pursue popular ideas of what they would like their marriage to be instead of choosing to do the things that actually make their marriage work.
Even among people who stay married, satisfaction levels are often low because the focus is on what we like and want, rather than what our spouse needs.
The popular vote would say you should get exactly what you want, when you want it, and how you want it. If you do, stay. But if you don’t, go somewhere else.
So people give up on a spouse and try to find satisfaction with another. But often, they discover the same problems in a new relationship. Why? Because they take their problems along with them.
Selfishness. Pride. Unforgiveness. Bitterness. Childishness. Lust. Envy. Impatience. Anger.
This list could go on and on. And the truth is all marriages deal with these kinds of issues. One day after you say “I do” the pressure starts to mount. We are all selfish, and husband and wife both battle the words, or at least the thought, “I want.” How you and your spouse respond to that natural tug of war makes all the difference.
What I Like vs. What They Need
In our world, it’s definitely a more popular idea to focus on what I like rather than what my spouse needs. The idea of serving someone else– treating them like they are more important than me–isn’t a popular notion today. We all want what we want when we want it. But if we hold onto that in marriage, the relationship just doesn’t work well.
But an interesting thing happens when you go for what actually works, instead of what’s popular. When you start serving your spouse to meet their needs, more often than not you end up with more of what you like, too.
So why don’t more people take advantage of this inside-out way of looking at marriage?
Simple. It takes a lot of hard work.
We’re often afraid we won’t be able to break old habits and form new ways of doing things. Generally speaking, people don’t really like the idea of admitting the need to change, or going through the trial-and-error-it takes to get there. We get caught up in the idea that we’ll miss out if we don’t speak up and make sure we get our way.
But if you ask anyone whose marriage has survived the test of time, it’s possible to change, and it’s worth it. A happy marriage is a prize that’s available to anyone willing to put in the work. It’s not just open to a select few chosen by the majority.
Get it right and it’s the sweetest song you’ll ever hear.
Marriage Dynamics offers workshops and courses designed to help you and your spouse meet each other’s deepest emotional needs. Visit www.marriagedynamics.com to learn more or call 800.650.9995.