Friday, February 4, 2011

Being responsible {with this marriage}

There's this *cycle* that happens in a lot of marriages, and mine isn't immune.  

*Something* irritates one of us and we back away, and over the course of a few days we've slowly shirked away from each other, toward the door and out of the home we're working to build.  We forget what it's all about and suddenly we're thinking of greener pastures where difficulty doesn't exist - lands of rainbows and fairies and stone skipping free play without responsibilities. 

Sometimes what irritates us is actually a cluster of over-scheduled events that pile up on each other, and it isn't always our doing.  Natural fatigue can be overwhelming sometimes.  Not just the fatigue from doing too much or from being sick.  I'm talking about those times when our body needs extra rest.  In those times our bodies are shut off from interaction with our spouse, and that just adds fuel to the fire brewing that stands between us.

Frustration brews and suddenly the temperature in the house goes from icy cold to a roaring fire of emotions.  Door hinges are tested during these times and the security of wall hangings is challenged.  Vocal chords are sometimes stretched and pages to the dictionary we hadn't heard about in awhile suddenly come flipping out our mouths.

Regret settles over us and shame hovers from what we've done or haven't done, or what we've said or haven't said.

I've been in a situation, many times, when I am waiting for my Prince to tend to me and care for me, affirming his love through gentle caresses and careful attention.

Real life doesn't work that way and when my Prince doesn't read his Princess's mind, I become infuriated and spat to him with negative undertones (admittedly, sometimes over the top tones).

As much as sometimes my actions might be valid, I am not being responsible {with this marriage} when I turn my back or walk away.

I made a commitment to...what was it?...honor, love, cherish (those sound familiar).  Regardless of the specific vows we spoke, the intent of marriage is essentially to be my husband's partner.  Partner's lift each other up, support each other, step in even when the other person isn't appearing to step up, and never turn their back.  I picture a spotter for a weight lifter.  The spotter must be there and mustn't look away - she is focused and attentive to the needs of the weight lifter.

So when one of us is sometimes a bit distracted with our own personal journey, it's nice when our partner is there to spot us - encouraging us and also keeping us safe.

I'm not *helping* my marriage when I exercise my frustration of not being tended to in the ways I want to be, and when then I turn my back in anger.  When I speak the words out loud or in my heart that it's not worth it, or forget about it, I'm essentially walking out the door on my spouse when he has a 200 pound weight over his head and I'm tired of the weight getting the attention over me.

Sometimes I need to be responsible with my marriage by deciding to postpone a discussion about my hurts, and make sure my spouse is okay.  First.  There is always time to talk about how I feel.  But basing my actions on what he has done or hasn't said, that's saying I'm more important, and I'm not.

Wouldn't it be nice if we tried to *help* our marriage relationships?  Even if we might be deserving to get pity or be mad, are we helping when we turn our backs or close the door a little stronger than usual?

Sometimes it takes a lot to help.  Helping our marriage is taking the long road and saying I care about you first.  I care about you more than my own hurts right now.  I am willing to wait on me to make sure you're okay.

Right now I don't feel like doing this.  But if I don't, it just delays me feeling good, and I live with a cloud over my head for longer than necessary.

So, how about you?  Do you need to be more responsible with your marriage?  Is how you're communicating with your spouse *helping* your marriage?

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