Just thinking about the missus today, and how far she’s come, and how far we’ve both come, together. No occasion–it’s not our anniversary–but the mind wanders some days when the office is slow.
They say communication is a vital part of marriage, and we knew that coming in, and thought we were doing great. Well, I thought we were doing great. Life was good, you know? She ain’t complaining, I aint complaining – what’s there to say, eh?
But then you start talking for real. You find out she’s bottled herself up for years to keep me happy. You find out that Bill Gothard teaching is so ingrained in her thinking that she can’t bear to say no to me, that her life revolves around making me happy, while sparing little time for her own happiness. You find out about the guilt and frustration eating her because keeping me happy is not automatically leading to her happiness as was promised by her upbringing. And that she can’t bring herself to say anything about this because–you guessed it–that might make me unhappy.
I’m a fairly passive feller. I wasn’t being an ass, but I absolutely was oblivious and not directly helping the situation. I mean, what conflict is there when your partner won’t say no? It’s also hard to respect someone who won’t stand up to you, and as someone who absolutely needs critical feedback, bumped heads, and scalded fingers to learn, I was not growing either.
Getting this out in the open has changed our marriage, and I’m especially thankful for a few female friends (who know who they are) that influenced me, and therefore us, intentionally and unintentionally over the past year or so, and brought us closer. Nobody should be voiceless in a marriage. Together we’re to be greater than the sum of the parts, not lesser, and the happiness and growth of the one doesn’t come at the expense of the other. Sacrifice is not one way, respect is not one-sided, and love and submission is mutual.
The missus is an overcomer. Her voice is stronger now than it ever was. I love her more now than I ever did.