You Are Not My Enemy

How a mantra I learned at a marriage retreat guides my leadership.
You Are Not My Enemy
Image: Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho / Flickr

For the past 25 years of marriage, my wife Becky and I often repeat powerful words we remember from a couples retreat: “My mate is not my enemy.”

In reality, my mate is my friend. My best friend. My greatest cheerleader. Trustworthy companion. Co-sojourner. Listening ear. Friendly smile. Comforter. Healer. Oh, the list could go on. So why do I need to remember that she’s not my enemy? A prompt needed too frequently, I admit.

Whenever my comments progress from cute to cutting, I’m reminded that my mate is not my enemy. On occasions where I look for someone to blame and my accusing gaze falls on the person closest to me, I’m reminded that my mate is not my enemy. And when a large dent appears in the car door that nobody tells me about until after the rust starts and now it’s a big deal because I didn’t find out about it right after it happened and this will be either hard or expensive to fix, I’m reminded that my mate is not my enemy.

Clearly, ...

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