Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Marriage Lessons Learned - Part 2

Guess what day it is? Hump Day! (My kids love those Geico commercials.) Today I share lessons that I learned through some of the humps and bumps of marriage. 
3. Invest in Some Counseling Sessions: Statically, they say most marriages go through difficulties around year seven. We hit that milestone a few years earlier. We were new parents, with a one-year-old, which added new challenges and dimensions to our marriage. I started seeing a Christian counselor and then we went together for a while. It was some of the best money I’ve ever spent.  

At the time, I felt ashamed to ask people to watch Lila so that I could to go the sessions, as if getting help for problems is a sign of weakness. I’ve since learned a lot about vulnerability: when I’m vulnerable, it encourages others to be vulnerable too. When we open up and let our walls down, it diminishes shame and provides encouragement to others. I’m not ashamed anymore to tell people we went to counseling; I encourage it because it helped us so much.

4. Accept this Fact: He Can’t Read Your Mind! As much as I wish this were true, I finally accepted that my husband is incapable of this supernatural ability. Only God can read my mind!

Prior to this realization, we often had this conversation:
Him: “What’s wrong?”
Me: “Nothing.”
Him: “Okay, just checking.” Then he’d go on his merry way to do something else.
I would feel frustrated and resentful that he didn’t keep asking me what was wrong—couldn’t he tell that “nothing” was actually something? Didn’t he know that I wanted him to continue pursuing me emotionally?
In a session, our counselor pointed out that I was actually lying to Will when I said that “nothing” was wrong, when something actually was.
Ouch. I didn’t really like being called out on that, nor did I realize that’s what I had been doing.
So, I’ve learned to start communicating when something bothers me.
I’m naturally such a peacemaking, anti-confrontational person, so this has stretched me. I realize now that confrontation is inevitable (especially within marriage) and that addressing problems is much better than holding them in, which can turn into bitterness and resentment.  This still isn’t always easy, even years later, but I've seen how it’s the best way to solve problems and how it makes a marriage better.

How have these lessons resonated with you? What marriage lessons have you learned? I’ll continue sharing mine over the next week.

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