Marriage is like a horse.


The potential strength and power of the relationship are dependent on limbs that are easily damaged. In my last blog, I posed a challenge.

What names would you give the four supports of marriage?

In presenting that question, I gave myself a great deal to think about. How do I quantify the essence of marriage in four distinct categories? What if there are five? Then marriage cannot be like a horse. Or, if it is, then it has to be like a five legged horse and I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure that’s incredibly rare. But marriage isn’t rare. It’s common. As common as a four legged horse…It’s dizzying at times to be inside my head.

I’m not an expert on horses and neither am I an expert on marriage. This is just my opinion. But maybe, it isn’t about getting the list right. Maybe it’s about putting forth the energy and effort to recognize the investment required.

So, here’s my list. Set to the acronym “LEGS” for fairly obvious reasons. And, see? Four things!


Listening. Yup, got that one. Let’s move on…Wait, I mean really listening. I’m talking about more than just hearing. “I see your lips moving but all I hear is blah, blah, blah.” That’s not listening. Listening is an exercise in discovering what the other person isn’t saying.


Empathy. (Hey, I didn’t promise this to be a fun list.) What might it feel like to be the other person? What hurts and wounds do they carry that cause them to react the way they do? Put their shoes on for a day. If you catch their althete’s foot, you won’t complain about spending money on Lotrimin again.


“Great” expectations. Horses are strong. They can carry a great deal of weight. They cannot however, carry a dozen suitcases, ill packed and ranging in size. Don’t expect your spouse to be able to cart around all your baggage either. If the horse is struggling, maybe it’s time to start addressing the load it’s under.


Service and maintenance. A horse not exercised regularly cannot perform in an endurance situation. A marriage not maintained properly cannot keep going either. Spend time together. Do things that married couples do. Regularly. And if you see an opportunity to serve the other person. Do that too.


May you care regularly for the fragile legs of your marriage and may they, in turn, support you until it’s time for the glue factory in the sky. (Death do you part and all that.)

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4 Comments on "L.E.G.S."

  1. Susan lamkin
    08/06/2012 at 8:08 am Permalink

    Wow, you continue to amaze me with you insight! Keep this blog coming I look forward to it!

  2. Rebecca Qualls
    08/06/2012 at 2:49 pm Permalink

    Thank you Susan! Your encouragement means a ton!!

  3. Janet Hanson
    08/06/2012 at 6:20 pm Permalink

    I thought the question in your last post was fraught with peril–what if someone accuses me of leaving out the most essential thing? You nailed it, however. Or nailed me…

  4. Rebecca Qualls
    11/06/2012 at 6:04 pm Permalink

    “Fraught with peril”…where’s the “like” button? 🙂

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