Why being willing to hold space with my wife and fight with her more has kept us married.
You heard me right....
Seems counter productive, right?
At some point or another, in nearly every relationship, someone plays the role as the "avoider."
They will avoid confrontation and instead, completely sedate how they feel.
They will also internalize their emotions until they boil over and explode out of frustration.
At times, I have been that person and at other times, my wife.
That's why confrontation is a MUST and why its actually VERY productive, when handled appropriately.
Now, I am NO relationship expert....
And, my marriage is FAR from perfect.
But, one thing I can tell you after being married nearly 16 years is...
When I sedated how I felt and just boxed it up, the stories I had about my wife nearly destroyed my marriage.
Instead of loving her well and approaching her with how I felt and what I needed, I would just avoid the issues and then wonder why things would spiral out of control.
Even now, when we walk around frustrated or angry, it causes distance and that is when I know that confrontation needs to occur.
I am NOT talking about the type of confrontation that is NOT productive....
You know, the kind where one person blames the other for being a turd and then it turns into a race to see who can be the biggest victim...
Yeah, that is not EVER going to work unless your objective is to get no where.
I am talking about the type of confrontation that brings ALL the issues to the surface.
Even the minor ones.
And, then, like a puzzle, all the pieces are out on the table for everyone to see.
Once everyone can see them and once everyone has vented...
Healing can begin.
And... something NEW can be created.
But, when we avoid THAT conversation and we get trapped in the circle of...
"My spouse should (insert statement)"
"My spouse needs to (insert statement)"
"My spouse is a (insert statement)"
Well, all that will do is take us FURTHER from what we truly want...
Which in most cases, is to feel heard, loved, appreciated, cared for, respected, etc.
Because we are human, we just sometimes lose that focus and then we drift apart and from there, if we don't work to confront it....
Every MINOR issue begins to feel like it's MAJOR and if left unaddressed for long periods of time, can cause enough distance to end a marriage.
Engage your spouse regularly.
Talk to him/her about what you want and need.
Create agreements about how that happens.
Honor your agreements.
And, when a break down occurs....
CONFRONT IT and set new agreements.
I sedated for a LONG time in my marriage. I avoided saying a thing and I know my wife did, too.
And, it was NOT productive.
We deserve to have marriages that are AMAZING....
We also have to be willing to confront and be confronted when our marriage drifts in a direction that has us feeling disconnected.
Just like anything, it takes willingness and work....
And, just like anything, the more we are willing, the more it works.