Marriage Games

Marriage Games

My husband and I love to play games. When we were first married, he taught me a few card games from his childhood, and I taught him some board games that my family played while I was growing up. There was some competitiveness, but mostly simple fun! 

While our little family was growing, we taught and played many games over the years, and still do enjoy this activity at family gatherings and with friends. Yes, we poke fun at lying, cheating, trickery, and the likes. Some of us are better at it than others…you know who you are!

Here is a thought that has come to my mind: Marriage is NOT a place where we should play games. Relationships are NOT a game.

Hence, the title, Marriage Games – the games we can sometimes play, but shouldn’t…

Scrabble : A Game of Words

Which one of us can use the best words? Do we tally up the points for stumping one another with our words? Can I be the last word on the subject? Can I use all I have, to put so many words together that I leave my spouse behind, feeling like he has lost?

Do you hang onto letters with the intent of using them later to win the game with killer awesome words? I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that in a relationship, holding onto wrongs done so as to be able to use them against the other vs forgiving, does NOT turn out as a win for either party.

Using “the list” – today you did this, yesterday you did this, and this last week…

Forgive as you want to be forgiven.

How about when you think you have no chance in this round of the game? Giving up vs always hopeful…love doesn’t give up!

The “things will never change” attitude – this happens because of keeping the list. Forgive, and keep forgiving, and never give up!

Keeping points? If you follow those guidelines, you are both on the winning end!

The Game of Risk : Manipulation vs Diplomacy

Marriage isn’t a war, or a game of conquerors. 

To manipulate, is literally to:

a. handle or control (a tool, mechanism, etc.), typically in a skillful manner;

b. control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously.

Words literally written in a definition for the game, Settlers of Catan, are as follows: “Convincing your friend to take a bad deal so you can advance your own agenda…” – I think this more than describes manipulation, and if we are honest with ourselves, it is more than probable that it is something we do not want said about us in our marriages. 

To be truthful, I can easily think of an example of manipulation, even just a simple one such as withholding affection, or “the cold shoulder” as it is called.

Some antonyms of manipulate are: 

submit, release, treat fairly

Oooh! Those can be harder pills to swallow… but oh, so worth it in the long run. Release is possibly the least controversial word here, but still can be difficult. Think of it, though. Releasing anger against someone else helps YOU. 

Submitting? This is simply accepting the will of another, and if you love your spouse, and vice-versa, then the will of the other in your relationship should be for your good, as well as their own. 

Diplomacy means:

the art of dealing with people in a sensitive and effective way

This speaks for itself, does it not? Pause, think how you wish to be treated, and how you can calmly and lovingly achieve a middle ground, or understanding.

Which of these words would you appreciate in the description of your relationship??

Balderdash : the Classic Bluffing Game

Dishonesty vs Honesty in raw form…

Lying, even in its “smallest, simplest” form, is never good. In fact, to God, it is sin.

The meaning of Honest is:

a. free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere

b. (of an action) blameless or well intentioned even if unsuccessful or misguided

We should not fear to be open and honest with one another. A strong team cannot be built on deceit and trickery.

Charades : A Guessing Game

In real life? This is Action vs Reaction.

How often do we react negatively, instead of simply calmly trying to work out our differences? The game of Charades can be fun and comical at times, but more often than not, is frustrating and foolish. The one up front, trying to get his point across, must overreact and dramatize movements and actions to be understood. 

Do not go there, giving the silent treatment, portraying the exaggerated actions of “woe is me!”…it never looks good on you, and frustrates the other person.

At this time of higher stress levels, lower incomes, and more time together in our spaces, perhaps we could be working on relationships. Be aware that we may be tempted to have even less patience with one another than usual… 

We have the time to play games, together, not against one another. Not Marriage Games – the kind that harm our relationships. Have fun together, not at the cost of one another. Married or not, these kinds of games do not belong in any healthy relationship. 

While we are protecting and caring for our health, and the health of our loved ones, and in turn, the health of others, let us protect and care for our relationships.

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