I believe in change. Don’t be frightened off – this is not another post about politics.
Anyway, I could not do my job if I did not believe in change.
But this is not about those challenging and occasionally likable high schoolers.
No, this is about relationships and marriage.
The other night my wife and I were having a discussion. Actually, it’s private. Yes, even bloggers hold some things back.
Anyway, in the middle of the discussion, it hit me. We had this same basic discussion about the same basic issue previously. I don’t mean last week, and it’s only coming up again because we are sleep deprived or have exhausted every non-child topic after nearly 12 years of marriage.
No, because in this case, my wife and I have not changed – at least not dramatically.
A little background.
When we first met, we went out a few times over a month, and then, I broke up with her. We met up again, by chance, a few weeks later, at some event and ended up walking home together. We had a discussion and decided to give it another try.
Six months later, we were serious. I had even brought her home to visit my family. This is definitely not something I made a habit of. I prefer asking questions to answering them. Anyway, afterwards, she told me she needed to pull back and think some things over.
A few months later we were engaged, and a few months later we were married.
And everything was perfect!
Yeah right. And life’s a Disney movie.
A couple of years into our marriage and after BR was born, we visited a therapist.
Each of these stoppages, etc. was really for the same issue.
So, while circumstances have changed – from getting to know you, to seriously involved, to parents etc. – the same issue was still there.
And I don’t think the issue is going to go away. Don’t fret. This is not the sweeps episode where something dramatic happens. No blood, tears, or loss of limb here.
Thankfully, my wife and I had a good discussion which left both of us more understanding of what the other is thinking/feeling.
Despite that, I don’t things will change dramatically. Yes, I know what I said earlier about how I believe in change. We each have some things about ourselves which we will always be working on throughout our lives. Some moments, days, years even, we will have more success and other times less. Life will continue to be busy and stressful, crazy and rushed. Stuff we can’t plan for or imagine will happen, and it will be easy to slip into old patterns. Intentional or not.
In a marriage, you can’t just shut down – you keep trying to make those changes. Really, it’s about communicating.
I don’t really believe in change. Idealistically maybe, but realistically not really. At least not the drastic change one might hope for.
Marriage is hard work. It’s a constant nurturing relationship where, yes, communication is the key. Trust, honesty & the willingness to let some things go are equally important to me as well.
I agree that drastic change is extremely rare. However, I do believe in incremental change over time.
I also agree with the other traits you noted as crucial to a marriage.
What a lovely post! I love that after all of these years you two are committed to each other and making a point to talk to each other! That just warms my heart! I don’t adapt very well, so change is hard for me; however, I am a big believer that we should always be changing, evolving, making ourselves better people.
I’m glad to hear that you aren’t stagnant and that you and the Mrs. are willing to and working on change!
Thanks for your kind words. We are trying and recognize that when couples stop trying, things only get worse.
I’ve seen this same sort of thing in my parents’ marriage, and they’ve been married for 40 years. They just keep tackling the same issue over and over again.
I’m proud that you keep going!
40 years – wow – may they have many more.
Ha! You should see my parents. They’re truly nuts and lousy communicators but they can’t live without each other.
You’re funny. Maybe, your parents gave you your material.
Larry, my wife and I have been to couples therapy, too. I think it’s cool to admit that, because it’s so stigmatized, even though in my opinion it’s the people who are willing to go who are demonstrating more effort than many who don’t.
Anyway, I believe in change, too. And I believe in trying to change, which is related but not exactly the same. If your spouse can see your making efforts and trying to communicate, that can offer a kind of change all in itself, even if it’s not earth-shattering or immediately obvious.
I have no problems admitting we went to therapy. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. In a way, I am proud. We put in effort to make our marriage better. That’s a good thing.
Well, I can see you know what I mean based on your comments.
On that note, thanks for checking in.
Yeah, I get that. My husband and I go over the same couple of issues. Not deal breakers, but those things that just never go away. Each time we discuss those issues, though, we become a little more understanding of each other. Maybe we’re just getting tired of talking about it. 😉
I hear you. Progress is being made. That’s a good thing. Anyway, I hear you.
Me and my husband aren’t very good at communicating, not sure if I don’t communicate clearly or if he just doesn’t listen, guess it’s probably a bit of both :-). We do ok though, I think knowing your weaknesses helps you work around them, or fix them if they are fixable.
I agree that knowing weaknesses helps becuase as you can you can compensate for them. Glad its working for you.
My husband and I have some differences/issues that have always been there from the start and I’m not sure if we were ever resolve them because they’re fundamental to who we are. We would have to change who we are at the core. I think what marriage is or at least has been is trying to understand that and accept it even if we don’t like it. For example my husband is asleep right now, which drives me crazy because we’re watching a show and its 10:15 and he’s already asleep! But I know that I stay up later and he doesn’t. And that’s just what it is. That’s a very little thing, but happening right now which is why I thought of it!
I agree with you that you have to learn to accept some elements of your spouse even if you are not particularly comfortable with them. However, somethings are changable to some degree and if that can improve the marriage, the spouse should look into it.
Love the line “this is not the sweeps episode!” Hah! Right there with you guys – my husband and I have a couple of issues that we still revisit periodically even after 13 years together. Hubs and I may not always be the best communicators, but we keep trying. Amen to that. Beautiful post!
Glad to hear from you on this one as I had a feelign it was up your ally.
Anyway, yes we do keep revisiting these issues. They are not my favorite visits. However, it is necessary to keep trying as you say.
You’re absolutely right. Things change over time. but I must say that you made a GOOD decision, when you married your wife. She’s very Bright, Understanding and an All-Round Good person. You should have MANY years together, with your boys, too!
Amen to that!