Most people remember the Aesop’s fable about the goose and the golden eggs, but let me share it with you and explain how it relates to your marriage.
The fable is about a poor farmer who discovers that his goose is laying golden eggs. At first the farmer thinks it must be a trick.
But when he gets the eggs appraised, he learns that they’re pure gold! The farmer can’t believe it. And he gets even more excited when he realizes the goose is laying golden eggs EVERYDAY. Eventually, the farmer becomes fabulously wealthy.
But the farmer tires of caring for the goose and waiting day after day for the golden eggs. So he decides to kill the goose and get all the golden eggs at once. But when he opens the goose, there are no golden eggs. And now the goose is gone too.
How does this relate to your marriage?
A good relationship lays many golden eggs: security, companionship, fun, intimacy, just to name a few. In the words of Jerry McGuire, “You complete me.” And that’s exactly how we feel when we’re in a successful marriage…COMPLETE.
But the golden eggs of a marriage are THE RESULT OF tending to the relationship (the goose).
Over time, most people grow tired of caring for their marriage. Most people become selfish and impatient. So they stop extending common courtesies, being sensitive, and thoughtful. They stop giving their marriage time and energy. And they treat the person closest to them in a way they would never treat even a stranger on the street.
The amazing thing is that most people’s inappropriate behavior in their marriage is, in their mind, an effort to grab some golden eggs. In other words, people aren’t trying to sabotage their marriage. They’re trying to get what they want. They’re trying to get the golden eggs. But their behavior is killing the goose!
In the beginning of your marriage, your relationship is strong and indestructible. But if you want the goose to keep laying the golden eggs, you’ve got to learn how to take care of it.
It’s easy to fall in love. But maintaining a marriage that lays golden eggs year after year is something very few people know how to do. Learning how to do that may seem overwhelming at first, but remember the first time you tried to use a computer?
Love is NOT a mystery. Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain learned skills applied to your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger.
It’s a direct cause and effect. If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable–you can “make” love.
Excerpt from Mort Fertel