Ok. So you did the THANG!
You fell in love (whatever that means), showed some romantic consistency, and after much deliberation and consideration…
You jumped the proverbial broom.
Made the plunge.
In fact, both of you should probably be reading this together….
Now, when you and your friends get together, you talk about how hard marriage is, and how it comes with it’s ‘ups and downs’ and how you are just so HAPPY to be married and how so worth it is.
You lie and lie and lie until you get home. Until the next argument. The next blowup. Your marriage is having all these PROBLEMS…so many problems that it is making it hard to come home. Just the thought of another conflict, another battle…
It’s just too much.
But I’m going to offer some advice. Something that may not solve the immediate issue you are having, but may help shift your paradigm so you at least know what you are looking at.
Maybe what you are labeling as marital problems…are really just people problems.
I know. Mind blowing right?
But think about it. There are very few problems that are really caused because of the marriage.
Sex. Kids. Mortgage. Money (maybe, but we’ll address that at another time).
Basically, if it is not caused directly by your union, it’s not really a marital problem.
It’s really just people problems.
I have a really corny exercise I want you to do. I want you to take out a picture of your spouse. One before you were married. Really zoom in on their face, their features. More than likely, it’s a picture that reminds you of a happy time. Something fond and…fluffy. Now, I want you to look that person in the eye, and say aloud all the flaws that person possessed in that picture.
Unfortunately, many of us (not all) were under the impression that somehow getting married would liberate either you or your spouse from being human. That your love for each other would undo all of the years of bad coping skills. Look at that picture. Who do you see?
A perfect person? Probably not.
Someone who embodied all your dreams? Probably not.
No, you’re smart. You saw their flaws. Their shortcomings. And married them anyway. There was a reason. Blaming it on ‘being in love’ is a cop-out, and you know it. Maybe you just didn’t expect those flaws to be as problematic, especially if you can clearly see how the flaw or imperfection was/is getting in the way of their own progress.
My advice to you…don’t just love them despite their flaws. Love them through their flaws.
Sometimes love is tough. Sometimes it is gentle and sweet. But it is ALWAYS about helping the person be better and more effective.
A marriage doesn’t make that happen.