Today, February 14th, 2020, is a double bonus for my wife. It is her birthday (70th) and is Valentine’s Day. I love and adore this lady. Candidly, it hasn’t always been that way. I married a beautiful, choleric, decisive, get-it-done-now, straightforward lady. She married a sanguine/melancholic (outgoing/emotional), procrastinating, depressive prone, sports crazy, yet driven man. I know…I know. “What were y’all thinking getting married” you may be asking?! Admittedly, her gorgeous legs and beautiful brown eyes and face caused me not to think! 😊I must have had a really good personality because I talked her into marrying me.
Psychologist, Dr. Harville Hendrix, would call Pam a “Hail-Stormer” and declare that I am a “Turtle.” What does this mean? A Hail-Stormer maximizes the expression of feelings with a lot of energy (“in your face”) and her/his needs verbally. Pam continued trying to get her spouse (meaning me) to listen and respond. She felt responsible for getting me to open up and talk so that decisions could be made and things would consistently be moving forward.
Now, a Turtle (meaning me) likes to stay in his/her shell minimizing and withdrawing. I felt tight inside and unable to tell Pam why I’m upset. I got stuck dealing with self-rejection, I’m-a-failure and a gigantic root of fear. “Just leave me alone and let me deal with things.” Inside our home, I spent hours alone “working through my depression.” Yet, on the outside, I was a very outgoing guy. Pam would often think out loud. “What you see ain’t what you get with Rick.” She found herself in a conundrum! What a mess!
But you know what? we finally gave up trying to solve the puzzle of our relationship and differences in our personalities and turned to God. He instructed us in Ephesians 5:21 to “submit to one another because of our awesome respect for Jesus” recognizing His desire for us to live out our marriage well. This meant that we started showing compassion for each other. We learned that compassion always starts with the interest of the other not yourself. As we began this “Compassion Exercise” together, we began to see our marriage as God saw it. We were perfect for each other. Even though, no doubt about it, I got the best end of the deal and will admit it to anyone.
There is an insightful, powerful verse that summed up what happened to our marriage. Philippians 2 states, “3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” As we began to live this out, a trust, respect and love developed between each other. I valued Pam more than anyone else on this planet even our children. As I continued to interact with and observe her, I came to realize that she was by far my biggest cheerleader. She was loyal to me to a fault. Pam’s a really good person. Man, I have totally fallen for this woman!
Pam, Happy Valentine’s Day Sweetheart and a wonderful birthday to you. I love you Baby!