Good evening, friends! Pondering the dynamics of marriage, a bit – this evening. For those of you who have been married for ten years, or more – how have you compromised regarding values that are not mutual, to you? Recently, I’ve been feeling that there are tenants of our relationship that I really value – that my husband doesn’t, so much. Conversely, I’m sure that there are tenants of our relationship that my husband really values – that I don’t, so much. As long as these conflicts in values aren’t too numerous, they don’t impact our relationships too heavily – right? What happens – however – when one of you starts feeling like there are numerous “values” that aren’t shared? This brings me to my next query, for all of you. I know that most couples who remain married for years, have groups that they participate in – with other women, or men – separate from their spouses. I believe that to some extent, this is healthy for all of our self-images as individuals. If we truly value our marriages, I believe that we must be careful how many – individual – activities/groups we commit to, on a regular basis. I think that those of us who are happily married also have at least a couple of activities that we share – or groups that we participate in – with our spouses. Within the last couple of weeks, I’ve found myself wondering . . . . for those of you who have spouses who travel (or who have jobs that require you to travel, yourselves) – or who are so busy with different activities, for your children – how frequently, or how occasionally – are you able to spend time together? And when you do, do you find that over the life of your marriage – you always value the same things, in your relationship? Or have your values changed (or “morphed”, at all) in different “seasons” of life? It’s been my experience that – for the last few years, as I age – it has become more important to me to “fit into” some groups. To have a group of people around me who affirm me for who I am. Recently, I’ve felt that that’s lacking – and I find myself expecting my husband to be able to fill that void, when I know that I really need to be looking to God! For ultimately, it is God who is the creator – and the author – of our days, and God who invites us to rest in Him when we’re weary, and heavy laden. Still . . . sometimes I struggle with humbling myself before Him as I’m called to do. What about you, friends? For those of you who have been married for several years – do you and your spouse share the same, personal “values” – or do you have different “values” which you’re both able to respect? And over the lives of your marriages, have those values always been the same? Or have they changed (or “morphed”, at all) – in different “seasons” of life? Blessings to you, friends – and as always, I anticipate your thoughts.