[“Guest” Post Series] Relationship Tips: #4 – It isn’t your job to entertain your significant other.

Today’s “guest” blogger is me. ‘Cause I ran outta guests.

My phone buzzed on the nightstand next to my bed. Happy to hear from him, I answered. But not feeling so well, I was mellow and not much in the mood for talking.

“I’m really sorry I’m so boring tonight,” I told him.

He – then the guy in my life – paused thoughtfully. When he spoke, he said something I didn’t expect:

“I didn’t know it was your job to entertain me. …I just want to talk to you.”

When he said it, I realized a meaningful relationship isn’t based on how entertained you are by the person, or how happy the person makes you. I also realized in a relationship worth your time, you won’t be judged or dumped because you’re “boring” sometimes, or because you can’t make the other person happy.


Because in a good relationship, it is not your job to entertain your significant other.

If it were, your relationship would be based on a “friendship of utility,” in which “the affection is based on the benefit or use the friends derive from the relationship.”

It is not your job to make him or her happy.

If it were, your relationship would be based on a “pleasant friendship,” in which “the basis of affection is the pleasure one gets out of the relationship.”

There is another kind of friendship on which a relationship might be based – one that is deeper. It doesn’t require your relationship to end if one of you gets boring. It doesn’t require you to be responsible for the other person’s feelings. It’s a “virtuous friendship,” in which “the two friends are united not in self-interest but in the pursuit of a common goal: the good life, moral life that is found in virtue.”

A virtuous friendship is the kind that takes the pressure off. The kind that makes a marriage.

“The problem with useful and pleasant friendships is that the emphasis is on what I get out of the relationship. However, in the virtuous friendship the two friends are committed to pursuing something outside themselves, something that goes beyond each of their own self interests. And it is this higher good that united them in friendship.”

It is this higher good for which we all ought to aim.

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Quoted material above comes from Men, Women and the Mystery of Love by Edward Sri. The three kinds of friendship come from the philosophy of Aristotle.

Relationship Tips is a series of guest posts (except for this one, lol). Click here to read all the posts in the series.

[Guest Post Series] Relationship Tips: #3 – Imitate Christ: Love requires us to take blows.

Guest blogger Edmund and his family.

There is an old Jewish story of a rabbi who married the naggiest of women. Day after day she tormented him with her sharp tongue. After many years, his neighbors knew his saintly patience well.

One day a woman asked, “How can you be so patient with such a wicked wife?”

“It must be God’s will,” replied the old rabbi.

“Nonsense!” gasped the woman, “How could God have willed that a holy man like you be plagued by such a scoundrel?”

“Common sense tells me so. What if my wife had married an impatient man instead? He certainly would have divorced her and ruined her life! So you can see God’s wisdom in giving her to me, who can tolerate her nagging.”

As Christ loves the Church

In Ephesians, St. Paul admonishes married men to “love your wives, even as Christ loves the Church and handed himself over for her” and asks wives to “be subordinate to your husbands” (Ephesians 5:25).

In long lasting relationships, you certainly become intimately familiar with your significant other’s imperfections, putting you on the receiving end of those imperfections. In long lasting relationships, you certainly become intimately familiar with your significant other’s faults. But if to be a husband is to love as Christ loved the Church, then love requires a martyrdom for the good of the beloved.

The Princess, the Knight and the Dragon

People in love, listen up: this isn’t your normal fairy tale. The knight needs to slay the dragon, but so does the princess. We all have dragons – impatience, laziness, selfishness – these are our faults and weaknesses. The dragon does not live outside the castle walls, but within. And Satan feeds the dragons. We do not battle flesh and blood, but the dark powers of this world (Ephesians 6:12) who have bastions within our minds screaming “MY will be done.”

The only sword heavy enough to slay the dragon is the same sword Jesus used to defeat the soldiers that scourged him – total selfless love. Just as selfless love led Jesus to the pillar he was scourged on to defeat sin, and the cross on which he trampled death. In this sign, you too shall conquer.

Scourged in Relationship

To lay down your life would be easy enough. To take a bullet or blow from an aggressor would be over in a flash. But marriage is the long haul of selfless-love. Want to lay down your life? What about taking the tearing of sarcasm? What about suffering the calm agitation of laziness or the whips of impatience? What about lovingly enduring ingratitude and lack of appreciation?

Learn from Christ. The fallen imperfections of your lover are the saving scourges of your marriage. Only by enduring them with charity, humility, and patience will you win your bride, and at the same time yourself, from the clutches of the enemy. Defeat your lover’s dragons, so you can present him/her “without spot or wrinkle…that she might be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:27)

The mystery of it all is that by winning your spouse you are winning yourself – for he who loves his wife loves himself. (Ephesians 5:28) Conquer your dragons.

About the blogger: Edmund Mitchell is a Catholic youth minister with a passion for Jesus, evangelization, and rugby – especially when all three go together. For now he enjoys being a Catholic hipster, until too many people start enjoying it with him, then he’ll probably go mainstream. Edmund works in ministry with his pregnant wife (Danielle) and 5 month old (Ignatius) in Toledo, Ohio. Edmund and Danielle have been married for one year and five months. He blogs over at CatholicYouthMinister.wordpress.com and tweets at https://twitter.com/EdmundMitchell.

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Relationship Tips is a series of guest posts. Click here to read all the posts in the series.

[Guest Post Series] Relationship Tips: #2 – Give him (or her) the benefit of the doubt.

Guest blogger Abby Brundage!

It was a bad fight and it all stemmed from an assumption. I’m not taking 100% of the blame, but I will say that I should have given my husband the benefit of the doubt.

He had a social engagement for work that I thought would get him home by dinner time. When we spoke on the phone I expected that he would be pulling in the driveway. He was actually pulling out of the parking lot. An hour from home. During rush hour. Not happy.

I’ll cut to the chase. I accused him of putting work before me and our son. He freaked on me and said, “You should always assume that I would rather be with you and our child than at work! Why are you so quick to think the opposite?!” It was loud and emotionally-charged. I sat in the closet and cried as pork chops burned on the stove and smoke filled the kitchen.

Don’t you want the best to be assumed about you or do you always want to have to defend yourself to your spouse? I know there’s a fine line between doing this and just being naive and ignoring signs of trouble, but that’s where trust and communication come in. It’s all on the recipe card for a healthy relationship.

We let a little voice in our head inject bits of poison. This poison causes us to make false accusations, assume dishonesty or lack of concern and doubt our spouse’s commitment.

Whose voice is that? I don’t feel like it’s mine but it is. It’s my own insecurities. Why would he want to be home shoving food in a baby’s mouth and helping me prep dinner when he can be rubbing elbows with work buddies? What do I have to offer?

Your spouse chose you for a reason. He would rather be with you than anyone else in the world, but NOT the “you” that is pointing fingers and finding faults. Have confidence that you are worth loving and when you think maybe he did something wrong, give him the benefit of the doubt. Innocence before guilt. He’ll  appreciate it and you’ll save a couple pork chops.

About the blogger: Abby Brundage is the morning show host and promotions director at Spirit FM 90.5, Tampa Bay’s Hit Christian Music! She lives in Seffner, Fla. – a suburb of a suburb of Tampa. It’s a sub-suburb! She has been married to her husband Josh since 2008 and they have one gigantic son, Liam, age 1. Click here to read her Spirit FM Mom Squad blog.

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Relationship Tips is a series of guest posts. Click here to read all the posts in the series.

[Guest Post Series] Relationship Tips: #1 – Define your relationship (with Christ).

Mr. and Mrs. Fisher!

Define The Relationship.

A DTR is the conversation in which you and your date ask the tough questions. Do we want to make this official? Where is this relationship heading? It’s a time to communicate.

It’s the same with God. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He said that God would “give [us] another Advocate who will never leave [us]. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth” (John 14:16-17). We can communicate with the Spirit, telling God our hopes, dreams, fears, expectations, concerns, confusion, and doubts. We can speak in absolute honesty, trusting that nothing we say could ever separate us from Him or make Him love us any less.

Read John 14:15-17. Do you feel like you can speak openly with God? Do you feel anything in your past could separate you from His love?

{Excerpt taken from Not Another Dating Book}

About the blogger: Renee Johnson Fisher is a spirited speaker to the 20-somethings and author of Faithbook of Jesus and Not Another Dating Book. She loves her engineering husband and together they rescued a pit bull. She blogs at devotionaldiva.com.

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Relationship Tips is a series of guest posts. Click here to read all the posts in the series.