Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Some of Betsy's Thoughts

Seriously 4:45am is way early.
First of all, let me say that I am excited to be posting on the blog!  I’ve had a few thoughts swirling around and am eager to share them.

James and I have a different relationship than most people. Whether that is good, bad, or otherwise is yet to be determined, haha. I would say it works for us. We don’t have a formula or magic recipe that we follow and what works for us may not translate to other relationships. We also haven’t figured everything out…but what we do well, we do well.
When I was brainstorming what to write, I was thinking about the move. Loading up the truck, driving for days across the country, early mornings/late nights, unloading the truck, and unpacking all the boxes…any one of these things can be stressful and for me, stress exacerbates snarkiness. In thinking about the move, I was shocked and surprised that we didn’t have a fight or moments of intense snarkiness. In reflecting on what worked while moving, I realized we had hit a growth point. We reached a deeper understanding or point of connection.

We have grown a lot since a long January weekend.
Let me explain. Early on in our relationship, we would miss each other. I’m not talking about longing or hoping to be next to each other…I’m talking about completely missing the cues of the other. We would miss sacrifices that were made, invitations to explore deeper emotions/values, or expressions of affection. In thinking about the move, I realized that James and I have come to a place where we recognize the sacrifices of the other, more than our own. Everything about the move was far from sunshine and roses, but it was a lot more challenging to be frustrated or annoyed by the small things when I saw how James was working to support us. My agenda melted because I was able to recognize things in James, evaluate what to correct and what to accept, and how to promote the relationship rather than hurt it. Point blank, some things don’t matter. What does matter is my relationship with James. The move was less stressful and more enjoyable because we were able to focus on the other and our relationship. I was looking for ways in which James was working to support me and help out rather than pointing out how his ways were different than mine (note: I was successful at this most of the time. I mean, we’re all human,right? ;) )

FYI...Northern Arizona is desolate beauty at its best.
Granted some of this may be positive emotions because we are days away from our wedding, but I think there is still something valid in what I’m about to write. Being that I am an older bride, I have had the gift (though it didn’t always feel like that) to watch and observe a lot of relationships. My practice of being a marriage and family therapist has also taught me a lot. I’ve learned what not to do and what helps make a marriage strong. There is something to be said for appreciating something that you’ve waited for and hoped for. Frustration, annoyance, irritation…it’s a part of being in a relationship comprised of two broken people. The tough work of having a relationship that matters is finding ways to bring restoration and for me it is finding ways to be thankful for James by appreciating him, recognizing his efforts, and focusing on who he is rather than who he isn’t. That has caused a paradigm shift for me and the move highlighted it. Often times, I am too quick to focus on what isn’t working and it only makes the situation worse. This does not mean that problems are swept under the rug or issues aren’t addressed. It does mean that conversations and interactions are coming from the perspective of promoting the relationship, appreciating the other before anything else. In promoting the relationship, I work to highlight, accentuate, and enhance character by accepting and nurturing traits, gifts, and talents that are unique to the person. Love is complex and messy and deep and all encompassing. So why not make it a little easier by asking the question does what I am about to do, say, think, or express promote or inhibit relationship?

No comments:

Post a Comment