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Deepening Marital Unity With a Unicycle

Posted on March 09, 2023 in: Marriage

Deepening Marital Unity With a Unicycle

It was the Christmas of the unicycle. Yes, I said unicycle.

For as far back as I can remember, my husband has wanted to learn how to ride a unicycle. Often at Christmas or around his birthday, he would mention his desire for one as a possible gift. I would just scoff, roll my eyes and shake my head no.

My attitude about the topic was further cemented in January 2022 when he fell on the ice, resulting in a serious injury to his knee. It required surgery to repair it and months of physical therapy and recovery.  This, and the fact he isn’t getting any younger, prompted me to judge a unicycle wasn’t in his best interest and should remain an unfulfilled dream. After all, as his wife, don’t I know what’s best for him?  

As Christmas 2022 neared, he once again mentioned the unicycle. This time, however, my heart softened, allowing me to appreciate that he is capable of making his own decisions. If a unicycle is something he really wants, who am I to say that’s right or wrong for him?

When he opened it up on Christmas morning, the joy, surprise and excitement on his face brought tears to my eyes. He was like Ralphie from the classic movie A Christmas Story, finding the Red Ryder air rifle he had always wanted waiting for him on Christmas morning.

Sometimes, a spouse can develop a superior attitude thinking he or she knows what’s best for the other or, even worse, is better at something than the other. The wife believes she’s a better parent because she’s more compassionate and sensitive to the needs of her children. The husband thinks he’s better at handling money because he has a greater understanding of the complexities of finances and long-term financial planning.

Without realizing it, superior attitudes can lead to condescending remarks to one another or behaviors that can create a wedge in the relationship, deriding the unity that God desires for marriage. Scripture tells us that in marriage, “The two shall become one.” Couples come to the altar as two separate and unique individuals who die to self and resurrect as one. It is the unity the couple shares that strengthens them through the challenges and difficulties they will experience throughout their married lives.

This unity requires that both spouses work together in a shared purpose to create a family life and home filled with peace and harmony where love and faith take root and deepen.  It means making decisions with the good of the other and the good of the relationship always in the forefront. United as one, and filled with God’s grace, a couple faces the unknown mysteries of life trusting each other will be there to lean on for love and support.

Each spouse has equal dignity and should be honored and respected by the other as someone uniquely created in God’s image and likeness. That dignity is compromised when we allow superior attitudes to take root in our relationship or think we know what is best for our spouse and make decisions therein without considering his or her feelings or input.

So, I bought my husband the unicycle and will cringe each time he rides it. I’m going to trust his wisdom in knowing what precautions he has to take to keep his body safe. And, if he falls, and I imagine he probably will, I won’t say, “I told you so.” I’ll just help him up, support him in fulfilling this dream and deepen our unity through his travels on the unicycle. 

By Mary-Jo McLaughlin

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