It is election day in the United States. This is the time to exercise one of our greatest privileges and responsibilities of citizenship. It is also the time I get to give unselfishly to my spouse. I have the opportunity to forsake absolutely anything I find enjoyable and watch hours upon hours of election day results. This is the night, my spouse, an early to bed early to rise kind of person, stays up until her eyes are burning as she watches the screen reveal one result after the other. She is as interested in Mississippi as she is Minnesota.

Her excitement began building last week when she excitedly declared  “6 more days until the best night of the year. I will make popcorn and we can watch the results come in together!” Oh, how I wished she hadn’t said that! Listen, I know we can’t change people and it would be cruel to try to diminish her joy about election day. However it was the “together” part of the sentence which let me know, for the sake of our relationship, I would be giving up a night doing the things I love to do, or even enjoy to watch hours and hours of election night coverage.

I will survive the night, and if I can be gracious about it, I know it will strengthen our bond as a couple. This is an example of one of the easier ways to be generous. Sometimes much harder compromises and sacrifices are required. Regardless, it is often difficult to give up our likes or wants for someone else and yet marriage requires each person to do this daily in some way. Every time we do something that takes energy and may not be what we want to do such as: dishes, listening to the same worry again and again or going to our spouse’s favorite restaurant, we are choosing to strengthen our marriage.

Diane Sawyer once said, “A Good Marriage is a contest is generosity” I love this quote because research has proved this true and because a contest requires two people. Both partners in the relationship have to be willing to be generous and act accordingly.

One definition of the word “vote”  is “A formal expression of opinion or choice, either positive or negative, made by an individual.” Each day we vote to enrich or weaken our marriage. Today I will vote for my country and tonight I will vote FOR my marriage. Tonight I will put my likes second and spend an evening doing something my spouse enjoys. Most likely tomorrow she will do the same for me. As a nation we may not agree on politicians however we can all agree that a good marriage requires generosity by both people. I encourage all of you to vote “YES” for YOUR marriage today and everyday!