Can we just be real for a minute? In fact, can we just take that refreshing, candid approach and make it the theme of this blog?
It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to finally speak your mind and take a moment to figure out what you need from and for your marriage. It’s okay to want more than your current cycle of being that person that holds it together for their family – plastering on a weary smile to everyone outside your home when in reality you’re hanging on to your wellbeing by a thread. It’s okay to admit when you’re struggling. It’s okay to seek help from an appropriate source external to your marriage, i.e. counselling.
The above is most definitely a note to self…
I’m someone who loves to do things well and I hold myself to a high standard. That goes for the way that I present myself, the way I work and the content I create, and most definitely my marriage. This is just as much a strength as it is a weakness, as it can be hard for me to put things down or to allow others to take control, let alone to admit that I need help.
Often we have expectations for our marriage without even needing to recognise them – only noticing how significant they are when someone fails to meet them. Here are a few examples:
Your spouse is out for the day, but you hardly hear from him/her. You start to feel agitated as to why you haven’t received so much as a text to say when they will be home.
You’re tired and haven’t managed to cook as planned, only for your spouse to get home from work and show that they have no intention to cook either. You’re frustrated at the fact that there wasn’t so much as an offer from them to cook.
You see your spouse developing a close relationship with someone of the opposite sex. You feel uneasy as you don’t know the individual personally and feel as though you are starting to take a back-seat to their relationship.
All of these examples are very real and more than likely relatable. Sometimes we just don’t feel like loving our spouse in that moment – let’s be honest!
Once our expectations aren’t met, or worse are disregarded, then it can be hard to look at the person we married with that same passionate love we began with. It’s so important for us to voice our expectations when we recognise them, as all too often we fall into the habit of just expecting our partner to know what we want and need. We then react negatively when we don’t receive even close to what we expect, having failed to even so much as ask!
So what do you do when that uncomfortable, “unlovable” feeling hits? Is it a sign that your marriage is on the rocks?
I’ll tell you what it does prove when you feel like this – it proves that you’re human. In a world where we live through the literal cameral lense of our social media bubbles, being human is the last thing that we are reminded of. Profile after profile has been edited and artfully arranged to create as close to a perfected image and portrayal of “that” lifestyle as technology can manage.
I’ve heard social media described as the “highlight reel” of someone’s life, yet we adopt this as some sort of alternate reality where everyone seems happier than we are, just because we can’t see their reality behind the screens. Don’t fall into that trap of forgetting that we are all humans with positive and negative emotions to match the positive and negative experiences that come with life! Some days you will be full of motivation and drive for the day, and on other days you’ll want to curl up under your duvet and hide away for a while.
If I’ve learned one thing since becoming a wife and now mum, it’s that love shouldn’t be restricted by the way I feel. If my daughter was to do something that disappointed me, yes I would feel disappointed, but it wouldn’t mean that I would love her any less. In the same way, my husband won’t always get it right because guess what… he’s human too! Of course there are times where he frustrates me (as I’m sure I frustrate him too), but I still love him very deeply for the human he is.
When you can learn how to love despite the turbulence of your feelings, you’ll begin to experience an entire new side to love as you’ve never known. Yes that side can sometimes be super uncomfortable, but it is one of the most rewarding ways to refine your character and ultimately your marriage.
Next time you don’t feel like loving your husband/wife, take some time to write down 5 reasons why you love him/her and why you married them in the first place. You can also sit down together and each share one thing that you appreciated about your wedding day, and explain why you chose that memory.