Loving Toughness

Whether you need to heal a troubled marriage or maintain a healthy relationship, my recommendation is an attitude called "loving toughness".  I'm Dr. James Dobson with Focus on the Family.  The best way to keep a marriage healthy is to maintain a system of mutual accountability within the context of love.  In other words, to carefully protect the line of respect between a husband and wife.  Let me give you a personal example.  Suppose I work in my office two hours longer than usual on a particular night knowing that my wife is preparing a special candlelight dinner.  If I don't call to let her know I'll be late, you can be sure that I'll hear from her when I get home.  Shirley would see my behavior as insulting - and she'd be right.  She'd say, in effect, "Jim what you did was selfish and I can't let it pass."  In those few words she would have spoken her mind in love, held me accountable, and then we could move on together.  In a healthy marriage, some things are worth defending, and mutual respect is at the top of the list.  I'm not talking about nagging, insulting or publicly embarrassing your mate; but a workable system of "checks and balances" can help keep your marriage on course.  This kind of mutual accountability is the best way I know to avoid an unexpected explosion when stored resentment and anger become a critical mass.  I'm Dr. James Dobson for Focus on the Family.


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