Sunday, February 27, 2011

Top The Dog

Mr. Law and I did our pre-cana marriage session a few weeks back, and it was much more interesting that I anticipated. Our society is showing a trend where younger people are drifting away from religion in a traditional sense (I'll admit, I'm one of those younger people) and so the church seems to have made some modifications as well.

For example, our pre-cana session spoke very little about spirituality and God, but really focused on the idea that marriages are meant to last forever. During our session, we got the history of how pre-cana came to exist, and how it has changed over the years; and in fact our counselor was not a priest, but rather a professional marriage counselor himself. He believes that all marriages tend to loose their luster after a few years - and that there are very easy ways to keep the luster there.

Our counselors motto is "Top the Dog". At first I laughed, and then I laughed even more when he proposed that Mr. Law and I bark at each other (more on that later), but overall the idea is very real.

Picture this......a couple has been married maybe 10 years. They live in a typical house and they have three kids and a dog. The wife stays home to raise the kids and take care of the house, and the husband works during the day. Every day when the Mr. comes home from work, he walks in the door and the dog comes running to greet him - it's all slobbers and kisses and tail wagging and petting and love love love. After the dog the three kids come over and the dad hugs them all and asks how their days were. Then the husband goes upstairs and takes off his work clothes, maybe he takes a shower, goes on the computer and relaxes for a little. After a while the husband finally greets his wife and asks her what's for dinner.

Do you see the problem with the above?

I didn't.

Our pre-cana counselor's theory is that in a marriage, the wife should ALWAYS come first. In the above scenario, the happiest moment for the man is when he comes home and see's his dog. After the dog he takes a moment for his kids, and then after his kids he goes and relaxes, and then after a long while he finally acknowledges the wife. What should happen is that the wife should come first.

She needs to top the dog. The husband needs to greet the wife with as much joy and love as he does when he greets the dog. In fact, (and this is where I laughed out loud) our pre-cana counselor has even heard of other couples barking at each other (yes, barking  like woof-woof) to symbolize the "top the dog" idea.

I'm not going to lie, Mr. Law and I fell into the above trap. We always walk in the door and see the dog first. Well, after our pre-cana we make an effort not to do that. What's amazing is that it works. Just by walking in the door and lovingly greeting your spouse, you're really improving your over-all relationship. Now I look forward to coming home. When I walk in the door after a long day of work I no longer cringe at the idea of walking into a messy home, or having to go straight to making dinner. Instead I look forward to seeing my future husband and giving him a hug and just saying "hi, I'm glad to be home. "

If you don't believe me, just try it.

And if you are scared to hurt your dogs feelings, well, don't worry, our dog is just as happy to get my affection five minutes after I've walked in the door as she would have been as soon as I walked in.

So, as per our pre-cana, I just want to remind everybody to take just a little time to remember why you're married, and who you are married to.

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