During my childhood, the month of August was always a surreal and significant month in my household. The excitement of buying and unwrapping new school supplies and the nervousness of meeting new people and seeing old friends seemed ever present. The most depressing aspect of August was that I always had to go back to balancing my life again.
By the time I finished my masters in counseling, I had become a bit of an expert at balancing my schedule. During that time I was working full-time, completing my practicum hours, seeing clients, attending class and also trying to maintain my first year of marriage. I only put my marriage last because a lot of times that is exactly where it was placed on my priority list.
Thank God for the support structures in my life during that time. My wife always went above and beyond during that year, not only to make it special but also to take care of several things that I didn’t have time to do. The week before my graduation, my selfishness culminated in a moment between us that was a bit hostile and not very fun. She confronted me on how much of the burden in the marriage she was carrying versus how much I was carrying.
At that point I realized that I had succeeded in all of my financial, scholastic and career related achievements but I had forgotten her. I had taken the time to meet everyone else’s needs and neglected my own wife’s needs. My epiphany came almost immediately and I was able to figure out what I had done wrong.
My priority list had me at the top of it above both God and my wife. I had to rebalance everything in my life because everything was about to change yet again. This time I planned to put God first, her second and everything else behind that. I can’t claim that I have done this perfectly since then but I can confidently state that this daily attempt at rebalancing has made a tremendous difference in our marriage.
My advice to anyone that reads this is that your marriage is a relationship of three. Don’t be foolish by putting your needs above all else in the relationship. By positioning God first in your marriage, everything is far more likely to fall into place than when you try to do everything by yourself for yourself.