Yay!! The ‘Marriage Class’ is over!!

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Finally!  That sounds awful, doesn’t it?  It was just a whole lot of work.  Kind of like marriage, no?  To be honest, the class had value.  There was a lot of information that made sense, although it wasn’t anything we didn’t really know.  Sort of like dieting…  I mean, it’s not like I don’t know that if I want to lose weight I should eat less and move more.  Duh.  It’s the same with marriage, really… I need to fulfill my spouse’s needs, (especially if I don’t want someone else to!) to be aware of his ‘love languages’ and learn to speak them, to be less selfish and more giving… I think most of us know  these things.  However, just as it is hard to "eat less and move more" when I am addicted to food and trying to use it to fill my empty spaces,  it is hard to be the wife God intended me to be when I am hurt, or angry, or tired, or I feel like I deserve something better, or whatever….when we feel like "I’d do my part if my spouse would do his".   Guess what?  Have you ever read anywhere in the Bible that you are called to be who God wants you to be when those around you deserve it ??? I haven’t read that part.  "Christ died for us while we were yet sinners."  I think I have read that. 
I have spent a good deal of my marriage – ever since my husband’s affair – feeling like I didn’t have to really do my part because he owed me.  And while that may be true, you know what?  It hasn’t helped my marriage.  Huh – Who knew??!!  I may be tired…tired of being depressed, tired of living a life of mediocrity, tired of a marriage that feels so often like a ‘roommate’ sort of situation, just plain physically tired.  Well, "so what" to me!  It’s time to change.  I think the biggest value in the class was that we were forced to sit down for at least a while each night and really talk about US.  Not "did you pay that bill" or "do you know what the kids did today" but about US.  We made a commitment last night to continue that.  We both want to rise up above our mediocre life and dull marriage and be "all that we can be".  No, I don’t mean we’re joining the army!   God’s army, I guess…marching against selfishness and lack of trying, lol. 
Of course, I’ve wanted to do this before.  I’ve wanted to lose weight before!  Change is never easy.  It’s so much easier to stay where I am, even if I’m dying here.  Staying generally doesn’t take effort.  Just hanging out, waiting for the end…. So, we are going to try.  So the end will be something more to look forward to than just the ‘end of what is’.  So we can enjoy the trip along the way.  I’ll admit, I’m scared.  Because it hasn’t worked before.  We try to crawl out of our hole and end up slipping back down.  However, I have also read "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"….I will use that for my footholds when the going gets slippery.
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7 responses »

  1. Your insight is right on.  I think that has happened to a lot of us in marriage.  I know it did with me.  I ended up feeling more like a brother/sister in my marriage than a spouse and I suppose my ex felt the same way.  It became more about the daily functions required to make it from one day to the next.  After 24 years of marriage we did divorce, very amicably.
     
    I hope that you and your hubby\’s efforts pay major rewards and I will pray for you.  Hugs to you!

  2. Even in a "good marriage", you go through seasons.  My husband and I have a great marriage (and not without a lot of WORK!!!), but we go through "dry seasons" where it\’s boring and humdrum and I feel like we\’re roommates, like you said.  But, you\’re right.  You have to make an effort and pull yourself up by your boot straps and say, "Come on, girlie.  We\’ve got work to do."  lol  If he won\’t do it, you have to…even when you really don\’t feel like it.  This post was a good reminder to us all.  Thanks!  :o)
     

  3.  Hello, very interesting post there. You reminded me that I haven\’t done anything spontanious in years, oh my! What happened?  I remember calling in my husband for supper one night …..in the attic! Like a picnic on the floor while it was pouring rain/storm with candles an all. He used to love that weird "what\’s she gonna do now?" Thankyou for turning the candle on for me….Toodie

  4. Just read a few things on your blog and looked at a few pictures.  I came here because I saw you on the "recently updated" spaces list that comes up on my home page.  I really liked your blog.  Although I\’m an old man, my marriage (of 45 years) has been in and out of the doldrums many times.  I think I saved my midlife crisis until I was about 60 though.  I guess I was just to busy with the family, the job, the business, etc….  After retirement at age 60, I decided that I wanted to go fishing and drink a lot of beer, because I had always enjoyed it before.  Well, long story short, I just ended up drinking heavily for about 3 years.  You can imagine what that did to my marriage, which wasn\’t all that great to begin with, although I must say I had not had an affair since I was in my 20\’s (got married fresh out of high school).
     
    At the end of the drinking bout, I went to rehab and have been sober for 2 years.  I learned a lot from rehab and actually now that I look back on it, I\’m glad that happened to me.  It got all (well, most) of that crap out of me.  The resentment I felt towards my wife and kids for holding me back.  I always felt I was cut out to be "somebody" and they had held me back because I had to work hard to pay for all the middle class crap and keep up with the Jones.  Lots and lots of baggage like that in my "old" life.  Anyway, I had wonderful counselors in rehab (all of them were "recovering" drunks and/or druggies – recovering just means you\’re not doing it anymore – you\’re never cured) and they somehow showed me the way to the ephiphany, seeing the light so to speak.
     
    I have not been a nice person for many years.  I have been unhappy for years.  Now I\’m pretty happy most of the time and I think pretty nice.  What I learned was this:  Don\’t drink, After 45 years I\’m not going to find another woman half as good and who loves me as much as my wife, I love my kids and grandkids more than anything in the world, Money is NOTHING (I always thought it was GOD), health and a loving family and friends are more important than money or prestige or any THING you can own, I am not perfect or even close, neither is anybody else, don\’t give other people advice unless they ask for it and then make it short, there is no such thing as constructive critizism to me.  Anyway, that\’s the short list. 
     
    Finally, I was a jerk in many ways as a husband and father.  I was taught to just try hard to think about how what I said and did affected my family and friends.  I try very hard to not be a jerk now.  I hope my life continues to improve as it has up to now.  And I hope yours improves also.  Life is damned hard, and it always will be, but I still prefer it to the alternative.  I don\’t know how you can impress these ideas on your husband, maybe he\’ll grow up some day, or maybe he wont, but you CAN be happy.  Enjoy your family and friends and health, it\’s all you\’ll ever really have.
     
    One more thing.  I read somewhere in your blogs about a trip to Kansas.  Well I\’m basically a Kansas lifer, just not living there at the moment.  I am not the cowboy you kissed in the bar.  I don\’t have blond hair!!!!  HHHAAA!
     
    Have a great day and don\’t worry about cleaning up the damn house. 

  5. Hi Ann.  It is so easy to live a married life where the baseline is mediocrity.  I can relate on so many levels to what you wrote.  However, I\’m the one that tends to get apathetic.  The other night I awoke in the middle of the night to Michael praying over me.  He had been doing it for the last hour!  I think of my shortcomings as a wife and I realize that sometimes I\’m the one that holds us back from really enjoying a fulfilling intimate marriage.  (My problem is rooted in selfishness I\’m sure.) 
     
    Anyways, it is good to hear that you have specific things that you are doing/continue to do to make your marriage all it can be!
     
    Take care,
    B

  6. You know, Ann, it was a real blessing to read your heart-felt  thoughts, along with the comments, which were also a blessing to read.  Marriage is work, with two people that are willing to give and take, in the ebb and flow of a relationship, that builds trust by the willingness of each to keep to their commitment.   I can\’t imagine doing so without the Lord\’s guidance, and love, and taking it one day at a time.  The Serenity Prayer, by Reinhold Niebuhr, comes to mind.
     

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference.
    Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful worldas it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things rightif I surrender to His Will;That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with HimForever in the next.Amen
    Love and hugs,
    Beth

  7. I AM TAKING THIS CLASS WITH MY HUSBAND!!!!!
     THIS IS CRAZY! I THHOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE……. WE HAVE TONS IN COMMON. MY HUSBAND WON"T ADMIT TO HIS AFFAIR, BUT IT HAPPENED- AND WE WERE SHATTERED. wow

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