Lessons Learned: The Secrets of a Happy Marriage (Humility)

2. Humility makes all things possible

You might be wondering, “What the heck is Neil Diamond doing on a LIFE Marriage Retreat blog?? The guy has two failed marriages to his credit!”

Maybe it was his painful failures in marriage that inspired him to pen some of the truest words ever sung for his song, “Husbands and Wives.” Listen Here

Neil Diamond

Two broken hearts lonely looking houses
Where nobody lives
Two people each having so much pride inside
Neither side forgives

Angry words spoken in haste
Such a waste of two lives

Its my belief
Pride is the chief cause in the decline
In the number of husbands and wives

Pride is one of the absolute indispensable elements in any unhappy relationship. Certainly there can be many circumstances surrounding the erosion of a marriage, but we have yet to work with a couple in distress where pride was not a component in their unhappiness.

Think of the many places that pride can raise its ugly head in a relationship. To name just a few:

  • The need to be right. We humans seem to come equipped with this need already installed and just as powerful as our need to eat and sleep. (I can hear a lot of you saying right now, “But I AM right!” My point exactly.)
  • The inability to forgive. Somebody once said that refusing to forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
  • Narrow perspective. Our perspective is our reality. When we forget that there are other perspectives we try to force our reality on everyone else.
  • Not admitting our own legitimate needs; or not recognizing the needs of others. (or selfishly focusing only on our own needs)

The opposite of pride is Humility. Please don’t mistake humility for ‘humiliation’ or groveling. Humility is possessed only by those who are secure enough in themselves to be open to possibilities; open to other points of views, open to the reality that none of us have all the answers.

People who are appropriately humble in their relationships validate their partner and acknowledge them and their point of view, even when they don’t necessarily agree with them. They do their best to forgive when they have been offended, certainly not inviting abuse, but recognizing that we are all human and we all appreciate it when others cut us some slack.

Allow me to give you a very valuable tool. But first I must define a very broad word: Enmity. Enmity is described by many feelings and emotions such as hate, irritation, anger, feelings of superiority, bitterness, frustration, etc. The tool is this: Whenever you feel enmity toward another person you have stepped outside of humility and into pride.

This is crucial because all problems can be solved from a position of humility–and no problem can be well-solved from a space of pride.

Truly, Humility is real Power in a relationship.

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