Once upon a time I went to a few sessions of pre-marital counseling with Ron Wells.
I was trying really hard to do everything right... and here we are.
One of the few things I remember from those sessions thirteen years ago was,
Our pastor repeated it often, and it stuck: if you want your marriage to succeed, you have to be ruthless, he admonished. Ruthless in GUARDING your time together. Ruthless about PROTECTING that which is most valuable to you. Ruthless about cutting, hacking, and chopping off that which is harmful to your relationship.
EVEN WHEN ITS A GOOD THING, he said. Sometimes you have to CUT OUT that which is GOOD in order to protect that which is THE BEST, like when a gardener prunes perfectly good branches.... its for the good of the plant.
I believe its true: the happiest marriages I know of are the ones where they are both BULLDOGS about protecting each other. Jealously guarding, fiercely protective, securing from danger.
RUTHLESS. Its not a word they utter often in ballerina land, but its wise advice: in 100% of the marriages that fall apart, SOMEONE fails to be ruthless.
RUTHLESS (noun): having no pity : merciless, cruel; a ruthless tyrant;
(adjective) having or showing a lack of sympathy or tender feelings ; an office supervisor with a ruthless disregard for others' feelings.
Synonyms: affectless, callous, case-hardened, cold-blooded, compassionless, desensitized, hard-boiled, hard-hearted, heartless, indurate, inhuman, inhumane, insensate, insensitive, ironhearted, merciless, obdurate, pachydermatous, pitiless, remorseless, hard, slash-and-burn, soulless, stony (also stoney), stonyhearted, take-no-prisoners, thick-skinned, uncharitable, unfeeling, unmerciful, unsparing, unsympathetic
Hardly words that come to mind when you think of living happily ever after.
But, oh so wise... at least, that's the view from here...
Protect (verb) to drive danger or attack away from;the mother bear was just trying to protect her cubs;
Synonyms bulwark, cover, fence, fend, forfend, guard, keep, protect, safeguard, screen, secure, shield, ward