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STEVE WOLFE'S 'SEEDS OF WELLNESS:' Marriage is a team sport

by on February 25, 2014 10:50 AM

Watching the Winter Olympics is always such a blessing — to see the world come together and watch the best athletes on earth compete after four years of preparation for their “moment in time.”

As we watched the games, it is evident that it is indeed a team sport. From the intimacy of ice dancing to the strength of bobsledding and even in individual sports, the team of country overshadows any one person’s accomplishments.

This year as I watched I really thought about the amount of time these teammates spend together practicing, working hard and getting to know each other, and I saw many parallels to marriage.

Historically, we have focused the February column on marriage because “good relationships” are vital to a healthy body and no relationship is more intimate or difficult than a marriage. Simply put, marriage takes lots of practice, requires hard work and requires getting to know someone at a very deep level.

Recently, I was reading “The Shepherd Leader at Home” by Pennsylvania author Timothy Z. Witmer, and he suggested that to lead the family you needed to “know your wife.”

Perhaps your reaction to this comment is like mine — I chuckled to myself. We’ve been married for 24 years, I think I know my wife.

Then he continued: “Do you know what she is worried about today? Do you know her greatest concern for herself? For you? For the children? Do you know what sin she struggles with the most? Do you know what unmet aspirations she harbors? When is the last time you asked her ‘how are you doing?’ When is the last time you asked her ‘how can I pray for you?’ When is the last time you asked ‘how are we doing?’”

I was done chuckling after this series of questions and realized that I could know my wife better.

Men, the word love doesn’t show up in any of these questions, but as we understand our wives at these levels it speaks love in ways beyond words. If we want to make our marriage great then we really do need to know our teammate.

Ladies, Tim was writing to men but I can imagine that the questions about how well you know your husband would be similar. You ask, “How was your day, honey?” (Instantly at warp speed he internally processes that project he is behind on, the part of his relationship with the boss he feels vulnerable about, temptations that occurred during the day and all the commitments he has with the house and family ahead of him, etc.), but he chooses simply to respond “fine.”

It can be hard to really know your husband and what his needs are (I know there are woman saying “Amen” out loud as they are reading this).

He probably knows that you love him but more important to him is “do you respect him?” You may recall from a previous column that we shared men who were surveyed with the question: would you prefer to live alone in isolation versus remain in a relationship where they feel disrespected — 78 percent said they would rather live alone.

This Valentine’s Day month make a commitment to be a better teammate for your spouse — the benefits will be many. You are worth it.

Steve Wolfe, the President and CEO of Indiana Regional Medical Center, writes the periodic Seeds of Wellness column in The Indiana Gazette. His columns appear Tuesdays on the Health Page in the paper and in the Community News on The Indiana Gazette Online.
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