This morning, I sat for a while and I was thinking about an intense conversation the Mister and I had yesterday. It was a GREAT little conversation (insert sarcastic tone). He basically put me in my place for treating him like a child. In case I’ve never said this here before, “My name is Leslie and I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with anger, codependency and control.” I don’t have any trouble admitting that, to anyone. I do however struggle with making the changes that need to happen in order for me to NOT struggle with these things. I mean, I have my moments- VICTORIES, big and small but after the conversation the Mister and I had last night, I realized that I am not doing real well in those areas right now. Some days I wonder if marriage will get any easier and some days I wonder if we will just stay stuck in the “crazy cycle” we often find ourselves trudging through. Some days I wonder if every year that we are married means that we are getting closer to less fighting, less frustration, less irritation and more maturity in both of our lives, or if this is how it’s gonna be until we die and go to heaven. Anybody else feeling the same way lately?
I had a little chat with my spiritual dad about it this afternoon as I often do and he gave me some great insight into marriage. He and his wife have been married for almost 37 years. He reminded me that if as a married couple we don’t set goals together, and work towards those goals together, we won’t get anywhere together. I’m not perfect, the Mister isn’t perfect and so, with all our flaws we are bound to always struggle with feeling disrespected and unloved by one another unless we commit to working on this area of our marriage together.
What is one way for us to move out of the crazy cycle? Set goals for our marriage. Ask questions like, where do we want to be in 5 years? What do we want to be doing together? What would we like our marriage to look like? I struggle with doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Part of the conversation the Mister and I had last night once I was done being angry was that I felt like we have been having the same conversation about certain things for the past 9 years and he said that he feels like things haven’t changed because I haven’t been responding to him the way he needs to be responded to for the past 9 years. At first, I looked at him like he was crazy and I wanted to tell him a thing or two, but then I took a breath and really thought about it. THIS situation gets us stuck in the “crazy cycle” over and over again. I always tell him that I’m going to work on responding to him better and he always says that he will work on changing whatever needs to be changed but we don’t commit to accomplishing that goal so we end up doing the same thing over and over. Does that make sense?
I know our marriage isn’t the only one that struggles in this area- so for all of you out there who are struggling in your marriage, I want to say this- If you aren’t putting God before your marriage, do that FIRST- Read your Bible. Spend time alone with God and listen. Don’t give up! Don’t walk away! Show each other grace and forgive quickly. Marriage is hard because you are two imperfect people trying to find your way through life. Learn to communicate- WELL. Figure out how your spouse needs to be communicated to and commit to each other to work on the areas that are hardest. Remember that you vowed to stay, “For better or for worse.” And let people in- find someone to mentor you, individually and as a married couple. There is so much to learn from other godly, healthy marriages.
Let me know what you think about all this.
Anyway, all that to say that on this day, 10 years ago, the Mister asked me to be his girlfriend and our journey through courtship/dating began. You can actually listen to the journal entries that I kept during that time in our life here on our podcast called, “So This Is Love.” We also do a lot of marriage/relationship real talk too.
Even through all our crazy, there isn’t anyone I would rather be learning about life with. I’m glad that he and I can be honest with each other. I’m glad that we aren’t perfect and that we often have to have difficult conversations because it means that we are learning to communicate with each other. I’m grateful for the man he is, has become and continues to grow into.