Do you want to see a great “Date Night” movie? (OK – OK! A chick flick. Hey guys – remember that most of the time she watches those shoot-‘em up movies with you and so a chick flick is perfectly ok and this one even has time travel for us guys!) Anyways, let me recommend The Family Man with Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni. It’s a great movie with an even better message.
After a series of events the husband, played by Nicolas Cage, comes to realize he needs to pursue his dream and passion to where he feels led in life. But it requires major life changes for the family, including moving, changing schools for the kids, and being away from grandparents. His wife passionately argues that they just can’t do that; they would be giving up too much. They would have to leave their house, friends, and family. The next day after some time of reflection and soul searching, she says to her husband, “Being with you is more important for me than to hold on to anything. Where you go, I’ll go.” And then she says, “I choose us!”
Think about that! “I choose us!” I make a conscious choice to put my personal needs and wants aside for what is a better choice for “Us.” We each come to our relationships with our own personal dreams and aspirations, our own plans and goals. They’re my goals, my plans, my career, and my education. And somehow we must meld those two sets of desires into one. It can no longer be all about me. It needs to become all about “Us”.
Here are a few suggestions to help you to work at making “Us” a focus:
- Ask your spouse “Is there something special I can do for you this week?” And don’t just ask, remember to Do It!
- When needed, say “I’m sorry. Would you forgive me?”
- Commit to two times per week for special one on one alone time together. Read a book together, share a massage or back rub – Be creative - I’m sure you can come up with something!
- Make plans for two special trips away together each year. (Camping in the backyard doesn’t count)
- Work at overcoming “me” and “my” and instead work on “Us”!
- Talk about your favorite memories together.
- Talk about your dreams and future together.
In the movie, the husband was faced with a choice of “me” or “us” and he chose “me”. He became successful and quite wealthy. His choice led him to a lonely and isolated life. Sure he had wealth, but also an empty unfulfilled life. Too late, he came to see that he had made the wrong choice.
Now for today’s assignment: Get the movie and watch it together and when the time is right, nuzzle up to your spouse and give them a nibble on that special provocative spot and whisper in his or her ear, “From now on, I choose Us!” Can you see that special sparkle in her eyes? That’s the “Us” sparkle!!