Monday, May 10, 2021

An Update on Our Marriage

If you've been here awhile, you know the Mr and I were going through a pretty bad rough patch in our marriage a few years ago.  I talked about it in this series if you need a refresher.  I am happy to say we have never hit that low since and that was truly our rock bottom.  With a few years since starting to make an effort (and still in it), it amazes me how most of us jump into marriage without ever addressing our own crap from childhood and/or previous relationships.  It absolutely sets you up for a lesser chance of happiness.

I came from a divorced family with each parent bringing their own issues that trickled down and the Mr had a seemingly perfect childhood.  I always reinforced that I was the broken one which was a mistake that is pretty evident now.  What we found out is that no one has a perfect childhood.  Just because you don't have divorce, physical abuse or a traumatic event(s) that you can pinpoint where your path changed, doesn't mean a bunch of little things haven't piled up and left you with baggage you carry forward.

I find it the most interesting that books I bought to "fix" myself are ones that have actually ended up showing the Mr the light on some issues he's brought into the mix from his parents.  With his dad having been gone for almost 17 years, I think he felt it was disrespectful if he didn't see his dad as anything other than purity and goodness but we are all human...we are all flawed.  We were able to have some really good conversations about our parents especially after reading this book.  I bought it for myself but as I was reading it, I was seeing some things that applied to his parents as well and thought he could benefit from it too.  It was hard and I tried to be comforting as he took off the rose colored glasses of how his childhood really was compared to how he'd built it up all of these years.  That's not to say it was bad but I won't lie when I say it's been frustrating at times hearing for almost 30 years how great he had it in comparison to how hard I did.  He realized that we were on a bit more of a level playing field than he'd ever allowed himself to consider and that was kind of a big deal.  

I am so proud of all of the strides he's made over the past year because he's had so much growth in an emotional area that he was stagnant in for much of our relationship.  He said he always thought "this is just how I am.  I'm not a bad person so just deal with these 'little things' that frustrate you."  But as they say in a different context, "the little things are the big things."  I don't think he realized how much he was suffocating himself and his own happiness.  It's been amazing to see some freedoms he denied himself our whole life.  I still struggle with self compassion and am working on how to be a better wife but know I am a work in progress.  I wish I felt that I have had as much growth as he has but I still feel somewhat stifled.  The Mr would probably tell you I am being hard on myself which is an immense hurdle I can't seem to conquer.  I am quicker to apologize even if I don't feel like I'm the one that should be because being happy is more important than being right.

We have "workshop Wednesdays" where we do exercises from our myriad of self help books which basically acts as therapy.  If we were going, we'd be doing that once a week anyway so why not make it a thing at home.  We go to the table, have our notebooks, and get down to work.  A lot of great conversations have come from it and interesting differences of perspective too.  It had helped a great deal hearing how we differ in ways we assumed we thought the same.  At times, I still struggle thinking I answered "wrong" because my answer was different from his but I'm getting better at accepting that our differences are allowing us to know each other better.

Not bad progress on people who just celebrated 25 years married and we'll be together 30 by the end of the year.  My biggest regret is we didn't do this work a long time ago.  We still have work to do but the improvements we've seen are big and we've had much quicker recovery from things that would've ended up affecting us for days.  I'm looking forward to learning, growing and discovering even more.

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  1. Thank you for sharing. I know this is not easy but so worth it.

  2. So glad you guys have journeyed through some rough times and came away with a clearer understanding of who you are as individuals as well as partners. Not easy stuff by any stretch, but you've found what works and that is fantastic.


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