Guess what? We found a house! Yes, we are excited. AND we stayed married through the process. Double win. We’ve been on a journey for the past few months to sell our house and find a new place to call “home.” To some, we did things backwards. We sold our house FIRST…and then found a new place to relocate. So needless to say, there have been some stressful moments. Here’s how we made it through…still married…and more united than ever:
1) Choose each other and lead with humility
I know, maybe this seems basic. It’s probably something you’ve heard at wedding ceremonies. But if you’re like me, you might need the reminder. When we take the time to lay down our pride and really listen with an eagerness to understand, it builds trust. For Alan and I we had to talk through how we could both show humility and make time to choose one another through small acts. When you’re busy with work, house hunting, and chasing a toddler, choosing each other can be displayed in the smallest of actions….but they matter! I say it again- small, daily actions mean a lot.
2) Marriage is to help you come back to center
What I mean by this is you have a partner that can help you out when you’re off course, and you can help them when they’re off course. Alan and I have needed to do that for each other over the past few months. Sometimes it means confronting the other person of actions that are not helpful or are even hurtful, or it might be being a source of calm when the other is anxious. Either way, know that marriage can be a way for iron to sharpen iron.
3) Marriage is not a war zone
Marriage is most fun when you are both working on behalf of the other person. That small act (well, not so small) is what builds trust. To be able to rest in the assurance that the other person is working for you rather than against you is the best thing to know
4) Connection is King
I found that everything falls into place when we feel connected. When we aren't connected to our partner there are more fights and more disagreements. Connection always wins. If you’re skeptical about this idea, check out Sue Johnson’s work. She has many books out there that talk about how fights really lose a lot of their fire when you take a look at what’s underneath the topic to see what’s at the core…a loss of connection. The more you can securely connect to another person, the less weight fights seem to have. What does secure connection mean? It’s the small little actions every day. Listening and hearing each other out. Holding hands. Doing what you say you’re going to do. Saying “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you.” It means listening not just with an ability to give a good answer, but to understand and empathize. It means there needs to be an emotional connection. We show up for another person not just with our physical body, but with all of who we are. Which means to show up with all of who we are we need to tune in emotionally.
This week as I’ve reflected on the way we’ve pulled through and regained connection, I am reminded of something someone told me when I was younger and contemplating if I ever even wanted to get married or not. I had someone tell me this when I was wildly independent and I was sowing my wild oats. Anyway, what did they say? They told me that if you want to live the life of Jesus, stay single. If you want to become more like Jesus, get married. You know what? So far I find that to be very true. I could have been living a very different life, but this life I chose is really refining me and pruning areas that need pruned. Have you ever thought of it that way? Take this as an invitation to see how you can embark on a journey to continue growing in kindness, humility, and truth through marriage. Happy rooting, everyone!