Marriage is a duel to the death that no man should decline. -GKC
There the obligatory quote is out of the way, twice (the title is from Orthodoxy).
I ran across a statement the other day by a wise person (not GKC) who said "marriage is choosing to die slowly for another." Hmm. Especially thoughtful when rolling in the church as the bride of Christ and him dying for the church.
Yes; a noble act of taking the proverbial bullet for your wife is fairly easy to envision and say "yup, I would." But the tougher task is choosing to die daily. Being bound. Searching each day for ways to serve your marriage. Choosing "us" more than "me". For marriage to be a lifetime commitment it also needs to be a daily commitment.
At various points in life and self evaluation you reach epiphany moments. Realizing where you have been wrong in thoughts, actions, or words and have a new outlook. Not always 180-degree u-turns, sometimes just 1-degree adjustments. I don't have a defined moment on all of this, but reading that thought wisdom was certainly a marker to me of how I used to be.
I do lots of stuff. I like doing stuff and I'm generally pretty good at it. I like being involved. But every time I choose to say "yes" to stuff, I'm saying "no" to my wife. Especially when I pick the "me" stuff. I've been doing too much stuff for too long at the cost of neglecting my wife who will be with me when all the stuff is faded away to memories and creaky joints.
It was also convicting to watch Kevin Leman in an awful 90's red sweater saying don't overbook your kids. They need to belong in the family more than in every sports/music/drama/church thing. While pretty good at not overbooking the kids, I do overbook myself.
Just something to start nudging the other way.