The 3 C’s of a Loving, Lasting, Happy Marriage: Consistency

The three C’s of a loving, lasting, happy marriage; commitment, communication and consistency.

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Why is consistency part of my three C’s?

When we meet that special someone, and we take the time to get to know them, we are assessing their qualities. Trying to decide if we can relate to this person for the long term. So those qualities we fell in love with are vital to be there after the courting stage is over. That is one reason why I believe longer courtships are important, the more time you spend with someone the better chance for you to see who that person really is. If that same person changes who they are after a few months or years, then that can kill a relationship. When I think of my marriage, I can truly say my husband has been consistent, consistent with who he is, how he treats me, consistent with his love and respect for me. I fell in love with him and those qualities. Him remaining consistent in those qualities has been a vital part of our happiness.

I remember when dating my husband I made it my goal to cook him specials meals. I would take the time to learn different recipes. What man doesn’t like a good meal right? But did I stop doing that after I knew I had “won” him? No, I just worked harder at crafting the cooking skills. I can tell you he still compliments my cooking and loves the passion I put into cooking a yummy meal.

Don’t be taken in by someone that promises you things or tells you impressive things about themselves. While attending college, I met a few of those types of guys and thankfully I didn’t fall for the way they tried to woo me with this sort of talk. My parents taught me values and what to look for in people, so I wasn’t taken in by such individuals.

Relationships are intricate and actions always cause reactions. If we stop doing the things that were appreciated or relied on by our significant other, we should expect and will get an adverse reaction.

How do you ensure consistency in your relationship? Here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t start something you can’t or won’t continue. You don’t want to set high expectations that you can’t maintain.
  2. Don’t pretend to like something that someone else loves. Eventually, you will stop being involved, and they will wonder what happened and be disappointed.
  3. Find out what your significant other likes and keep doing those things. If you enjoy them, then both of you will be smiling.
  4. Don’t get lazy about your relationship. You have to keep doing these activities to have a successful relationship.
  5. Remember, marriage is hard; it takes work.

Successful relationships have a strong commitment; there are constant communication and consistency.

A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.” 
-Andre Maurois

What is life like after the NFL?

I know this next blog is supposed to be the next in the series “The 3 C’s of a loving, lasting happy marriage” But, I recently read one of my fellow Sisters in Sports posts on our Facebook page that made my heart ache. She wrote about the personal struggles she is going through watching and living the after effects of her husband’s football career. Other spouses have already lost their husbands due to CTE.

 

CHARGERS V CHIEFS
9 Oct 1994: KANSAS CITY WIDE RECEIVER J.J. BIRDEN #88 IS TACKLED BY SAN DIEGO CORNER BACK DWAYNE HARPER #28 DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THEIR MATCHUP AT JACK MURPHY STADIUM IN SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA. SAN DIEGO WON THE GAME, 20-6.

 

The struggle is real! I have spoken to a few spouses that are going through the same thing, and I have seen some of the effects on their husbands in the short time we were all together for Alumni weekend. I am also aware of the effects on my husband. It might be hard for you to relate if you didn’t play football or some other high impact sport. As a spouse I obviously didn’t play the game, and I didn’t play any impact sports, but I have been married for 25 years to a man that played nine years in the NFL and played in college and high school, about 17 years total playing football. That’s 17 years of getting knocked around and experiencing concussions. I don’t even think you can have an idea unless you have played the game or watched your partner in life go through it. The movie “Concussion” gives a glimpse of what these players and families struggle with. It was a powerful message and so heart wrenching at the same time.

It saddens me and makes me so angry that a multi-billion dollar organization does not help these former players and their families who put in years of hard work to play for them. The families of the alumni are struggling, emotionally, and financially. When husbands are affected by concussions or other physical trauma from the game, there are repercussions. These former players can suffer major depression, outbursts, forgetfulness, anger, isolation, mishandling money, attention issues, short-term memory, difficulty performing daily tasks, having a feeling of mental slowness, difficulty making decisions or processing a lot of information, trouble resolving problems. These things can put a strain on the marriage. (Information on concussion long term effects: Weil Cornell Medical College, Medical News Today)

I believe there is so much more the NFL could be doing to support, to help the players and their families. For instance, health coverage for the former player would be amazing. As many of you know, it is a nightmare acquiring and paying for healthcare. For many years there when we would apply for insurance, the insurance company would refuse to cover pre-existing conditions that my husband had from Football. Even if they are now covered, high deductibles and premiums are financially straining. Not to mention the cost when they have to have an operation for an injury that resulted from years on the field. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I know what I hear and what I see. It’s horrible! There is not enough being done period.

Some will say “they knew what they were getting into.” Those who make those types of comments don’t have all the facts. I asked my husband if he had known that he could damage his brain resulting in CTE from the physical impact of the game, would he have played. His answer was “No! I knew there was always a risk of breaking a bone, tearing a ligament. But I was never aware of the long-lasting potential of brain damage. When I think about it, most of the collisions we experienced as players weren’t just in the games, it was in the practices.” Sure there is education now, and now players can choose for themselves whether to take the risks. It’s no mystery as to why so many are retiring now from the NFL while in their prime. Unfortunately, the players before CTE was discovered and made public didn’t have the information that current athletes have.

I know football is not the only sport that has issues of concussions and physical trauma to the body, but football is what I know about. I can only freely talk about my experiences. This is an emotional subject for a lot of us. As my fellow sister so sadly said, “just knowing this will never end, is not the light at the end of the tunnel.” She is right, there doesn’t seem to be light. Keana McMahon whose husband, Justin Strzelczyk, death was related to CTE was quoted in an article talking about other spouses who have poured their hearts out to her. She said “There’s no hope to give them, and that’s a hard thing to say to somebody. There’s no hope. He will probably end up dead and you need to protect yourself is all I can say.” Meaning the damage that is done to the brain has not been found to be reversible. Therefore, those players will have to suffer from the effects of playing a game they loved.

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t” 
― Jerry Rice