Prayer helps perspective. For Miguel, married for 12 years to Beatriz, compromise is easier when he is actively taking time to pray. “When I spend a few minutes in prayer at the beginning of my day, I find that our marriage flows better,” he says. “I have an easier time letting go of my own agenda and being able to compromise when I am prayerful.”
Conversely, Miguel noticed that during a recent rocky patch in their marriage, neither he nor his wife were praying. “A couple years ago, we were both so busy at work and with the kids that prayer fell off our priority list. We felt that we couldn’t afford the time to go to Mass or to pray. But looking back, I see we weren’t as kind to each other—everything was an argument. We were each only thinking of ourselves.”
Life decisions can be a compromise. While every marriage is full of a thousand small compromises (you can go out with your friends tonight, I’ll stay home with the kids), some marriages also include a major compromise on the part of one spouse for the good of the marriage or family overall. A wife’s job has such potential that her husband agrees to give up his job and move to a new city; a husband has a chronic illness and his wife often needs to parent alone; a wife struggles with an eating disorder and her husband goes to therapy with her.
In these cases, one spouse needs to reach deep within to recognize and appreciate the daily compromise the other spouse is making in order to maintain the marriage. Max, a recovering alcoholic, has this to say about his wife:“Even though I have caused her great pain, Patty fully supports me in my recovery and often tells me how proud she is of me.”
By Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the Best in Class award in 2014 from the Associated Church Press, as well as a First Place General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association for four years running. Here’s a sample issue.
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