Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored

12Feb/090

Marriage and the Road Trip, Part 2 of 4

Married life can be comparable to an extended road trip…spending long hours together deciding where to go, how to get there, what to eat and who’s driving. There’s bad weather, dull conversations, and traffic to make the trip difficult sometimes (not to mention occasionally getting lost), however, find the right traveling companion and follow a few key rules of road etiquette, and your bound to have a great time…and collect a lot of great road trip memories.

This post continues a multipart series of tips for marital bliss. I hope you appreciate my suggestions, and that they contribute to a smoother ride for you and your beloved companion.

Read Part 1 Here: http://www.journeymanproject.org/?p=81

Play to Your Spouse’s Strengths (and acknowledge your weaknesses)-

Rarely are two people gifted with equal navigational abilities. Stacy and I don’t just have different ways of navigating, we have different strengths and weaknesses that we’ve learned to balance on our trips. I navigate by map. I need to see the big picture in order to get there. Stacy needs step by step directions. She’s lost without street names. In cities like Tulsa, where everything is laid out in a grid by numbers, Stacy navigates. She knows that to get from 71st to 105th, we need to go east…she even knows which way east is without a compass. I just pull over and look at the map. On the other hand, if we’re in Atlanta, I drive. Atlanta is a twisting network of roads that constantly change names. There are no roads that go east or west, for more than a half-mile. Stacy has called me lost and crying from that city before. I have the picture in my head. Forget the road names, just give me the destination and I can get you there!

There are a lot of gifts between couples other than navigational skills. Some people are detail-oriented, others are big picture people. Some are entertainers and love to be around people, others prefer to spend their time reading, writing, or reflecting. Some feel loved when you give them a note, others want you to hold their hand. If you aren’t aware of the differences between you and your spouse, find out right away. You will be absolutely astounded at how much depth knowing your differences will bring to your relationship. Figure out their personality and their life aspirations as soon as you can. Most importantly, find out the emotional needs of your spouse. For help, check out the books, Fall in Love, Stay in Love by William Harvey and Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. You’ll be very glad you did!

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