The Bible says that when we get married the two become one. Becoming one doesn’t mean that we lose our individuality. It does, however, mean that no longer make decisions without considering and/or consulting our partner. Today’s Marriage Monday is about moving from a “me” mindset to a “we” mindset.
If we will allow Him, God will be faithful to show us places where we need to mature and grow. Over the past year, I’ve become aware of an unhealthy pattern that I had fallen into. I’m guessing that I’m not the only one who struggles with this, so I thought it would be a good topic for Marriage Monday.
The pattern I’m talking about is operating in a “me mindset” rather than a “we mindset.” When I dissect why I do this, I can follow my pattern of thinking to thoughts like: “I know what needs to be done. “ “I know this is a good idea so I am doing it.” “I know what I want and am tired of waiting around for you to get on board, so I am doing it.”
It’s not that Mark has to consult me for every decision made, but this was often happening after he and I would discuss how he would handle a situation or a request and then he would get into the middle of it and would not stay true to what we had decided together.
Jill and I discovered this pattern a year ago and I’ve really been working hard to make a change. But just last week we found ourselves navigating it again. In this recent situation, I ended up hurting Jill because the Me Man led me to not stand firm in a decision we made together. In the moment I thought I knew best which was not what we had agreed upon.
Needless to say, when this happened not only was it frustrating that we were navigating this again, but it broke trust and we had to sort through that once again.
When Jill and I discuss something and determine how to move forward, I have a responsibility to be a man of my word (and she has the same responsibility). We have to honor the conversations we have. If we feel the decision we made isn’t a good one, then we don’t have the freedom to change our answer without another conversation with our spouse.
In this recent situation, my people pleasing side also kicked in. As I went into a conversation with some people, Jill and I determined that I would not commit to anything they might ask me to do. I would hear their requests and then bring them back for Jill and I to sort through. But when I arrived and heard them out, I didn’t feel they were asking for too much—and I like to please people—so I agreed to their request thinking that it wasn’t a big deal.
But it was a big deal for me…particularly because it was an old pattern (one that used to happen alot but hadn’t so much in recent months). I certainly didn’t want to go back after we’d worked so hard to get where we were.
But I also had to resist throwing out the progress we’ve made just because of one recurrence of the old pattern. This didn’t mean we were back where we started. It simply meant that old patterns are hard to break and we just needed to have a heart to heart discussion and recommit to the new pattern.
Mark says… This me/we thing also raises it’s head up in parenting. Jill is pretty good about telling the boys, “I’ll talk with your father about this and get back to you with an answer.” I, however, have been characterized by giving them an answer and then bringing Jill along on what I said. The problem with that is that Jill often adds new information or gives a different perspective than I had considered when I gave my answer. But because I operated with a “me” mindset, I now have set up a situation where it would be difficult to now go back with a different answer. I’m trying to learn to say, “I’ll talk with mom and get back to you,” more often so we have the wisdom of both of us weighing in answering our boys requests to do something or handling their discipline with a united front.
What about you? Do you have a “me” mindset that needs to be changed to a “we” mindset? Do you have any additional suggestions on how to successfully move from “me” to “we?”
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