At this time in my life, I’ve come to the realization that it comes down to getting past all of the garbage in life, I MUST be true to only one person… Myself. But, at the same time that I’m being true to myself, the question is, “What does that true mean?”
If you’re reading this letter or you’re a follower of my blog site, you will learn that this space is a space of transparency and sincerity. I don’t come up with these letters for the sole purpose of stirring up emotions or trying to get Likes. But, I write as a release of my truth at any given moment in time.
For historical sake, I’ve been married more than once. So, here’s how it works… you’re in ‘love’, you get married, life happens… Once life hits then there are two options.
(1) BOTH people address life, find a way to overcome the current situation, and move on…
(2) Try addressing life ALONE, realize that life is overcoming YOU, and move on…
In both scenarios, life needs to be addressed, there is and overcomer, and there is moving on.
The problem is understanding the first part. Are we addressing life together or is this a one-sided venture?
I can’t successfully move on in my marriage if my partner hasn’t been an overcomer WITH me. But, all too often we don’t truly understand where our partner is in the process of addressing life because we, as people, shy away from conflict. We don’t like troubling the waters, or making waves. When asked, “How are things going?”… We like giving those fake answers ‘okay’ or ‘fine’. We learn to live in mediocrity.
Well… Life is a continual battle from which I try to learn from the past. I may error DAILY but, I try not to make the SAME errors that I did yesterday.
I know that we’ve been told that communication is the key to any relationship. To this, I agree. Communication is vital to every relationship. But, is that communication, or lack thereof, building or destroying that relationship?
Once upon a time, life would happen and I took everything that happened as an assault. I didn’t like what happened and I addressed it like a bull in a china shop. I had a short temper and when things didn’t go my way then the WHOLE WORLD knew it. Life with me was unbearable because I couldn’t stand myself. So, anything or anyone connected to me had to deal with the ramifications of crossing me. This path of destruction lead to life being the overcomer.
Once upon a time, life would happen and I’d just “deal” with it. I didn’t like what happened and I figured that making a big deal about it wouldn’t be conducive to a healthy partnership… So, I remained silent on a great many things. This approach had the veil of peace and serenity but, in all actuality, I was a powder keg ready to explode. I was hurting. So, my actions became hurtful. My decisions made life the overcomer because of my own pain.
Once upon a time (NOW), life happens and I consciously decide what direction do I want to go in and what is the best route to get there. Sometimes, many times, my response is NO RESPONSE AT ALL. Sometimes, I delay responding because if I respond RIGHT NOW then, I’ll be that bull in the china shop again AND that’s NOT what I want. And other times, I respond immediately but, my responses are much more thoughtful.
But, HOW did I get here?
At one point, or another, I had to figure out what EXACTLY it was that I wanted. What was I looking for out of life? What does my existence mean in the grand scale and how will my actions affect my destiny?
One of the greatest problems that people in relationships have are EXPECTATIONS.
My wife and I come from different worlds. She was a single mother of one daughter and divorcee for over 20 years. AND, she is the youngest child of four children. I was a fostering/adoptive father with over 30 children and married for over 20 years. AND, I am the oldest man child of three children. So, not only do we have the women are from Venus and men from Mars thing going but, we also have completely different life experiences and our perspective of home life is skewed due to our upbringing.
Our individual expectations are truly different. But, in order to overcome those expectations, we had to start communicating. No yelling. No arguing. No fussing and fighting. Let’s just talk…
Here’s a recent example…
One thing that I noticed was that whenever we’d sit down to eat, as a family, my wife would make her plate, go sit at the table and wait for the children and I to get our food. Well, this was NOT my expectation but, since this was something that she consistently did… I didn’t want to make a big deal about it.
This particular day, dinner was ready to be served and I left the kitchen and sat down in the living room. I overheard an exchange between my wife and my youngest son… She was concerned about there being enough food for your Dad and the fact that he is known for filling up his plate and not finishing. This was my official opportunity to address who should eat first.
So, I did a search online for that very question… who should eat first. I found an article written by an African American woman that referenced a post by an African American man that pointed out that the man of the house should be served first, then the children, etc. I sent this article to my wife.
The next day, I received a message that basically said I understand and we’ll do meals that way from now on.
WOW!!! There was no hard feelings, no emotions, no tempers flaring… Just a wise exchange. Why did this happen? It happened because I knew what I wanted and I was conscious about the best way to address my need.
The hard part is truly figuring out what those needs are…
I’ve run way long on this post and I’m far from its conclusion. There will be more to come.