Host A Guest Blog: Do You Illicitly Admire Your Partner?

As I read “What Do You Secretly Admire About Your Partner?” by Psychologytoday.com, I decided to be deliberate about figuring out what I liked about my companion, I grasped that his weaknesses and strengths were all one and I would have to learn to identify and communicate exactly what I felt and work on a balance.

Recently our focus has been on a “us marriage” instead of a “you and me marriage”, identifying how our family histories inform our present behaviors, and how to navigate conflict well.  As I thought and prayed, I received a message….my spouse’s strengths and weaknesses are uniquely designed for me.

My spouse worked well under pressure, if something didn’t work he was looking to solve the problem, he’s compassionate, and can make others feel comfortable.

When I thought about his weaknesses, I completely shut down.  I knew that there was no way that I could negotiate or train away them. Dealing with flaws and strengths was a personal journey that he and I would have to make individually and then come together on one accord.  As humans, we are sure to stumble and fall, there is no such thing as a perfect person…would I be willing to take the good with the bad…could I learn to?  Marriage is inherently difficult, and we could not resent it but receive the difficulties.  Was there something in my spouse that was willing to go through the difficulties with me?

 

When the honey moon phase is over in a relationship, we in fact come to terms with who we really are and often, we find out who our spouse is.  Our strengths and weaknesses are often one and the same.  The very things that our partner fell in love with are some of the very same things that in turn could bother them.  For example, your partner may be prone to pessimism (no one likes a negative person) and always expects things to fall apart but he always has a Plan B to fix things (a positive).

In our relationships, the very things that drive us insane about our romantic partner are often associated with underlying strengths that the person has.  –psychologytoday.com

 

 

In examining myself and the different stress responses, my reaction to stressful situations or conflict is fight mode.  In fight mode, my initial reaction is fear and not love.  When overwhelmed with excessive stress, life becomes a series of short-term emergencies. I lose the ability to relax and enjoy the moment.  A “burnout” is inevitable.  My spouse on the other hand is freeze mode and flight mode.  In these moments, we find each other to be so frustrating but the positive to this is that – fighters are confrontational, but in other circumstances I am often assertive and a strong decision maker.  My spouse might tend to retreat, but in other circumstances he is very accommodating, flexible, patient, and a very strategic problem solver. 

After being in unhealthy relationships, for the first time I realized I didn’t have to fight any more.  In watching him, I saw that being confrontational was something that I didn’t have to be.  His patience with others was something that I had always admired.

My family challenges my want for control and often pushes me to shift my perspective to focus on what’s most important.  The small things can often build into mounds if not pruned but understanding that people and situations are not perfect; I see how God can use weaknesses to create something positive in others…in me.

-that was FREEING.

Teach Me…

As I walk further into my journey, I realize that I am learning who I really am EVERY DAY.  There is no pennical to the knowledge you attain and the many evolutions you will endure to be incarnated. As a woman, I feel as if I will be born again many times; learning how to fill my own cup…and what exactly I will fill it with.

I watched a video by Will Smith and he stated that his wife, Jada and he, realized that they were two individuals on separate individual journeys learning and choosing to share a life together. He stated that it was not his job to make Jada happy, she had to do that for herself. Jada couldn’t make him happy, he had to do that for himself.

The false pretense of romance and the “we are one” sentiment can often distort a marriage. I realized this fact one night on a dinner date with my husband.  Not many people have the fortune of being born into a perfect family.  As he made points about his up-bringing, and made the claim that “all women were the same”,  I immediately became offensive. True enough, we both come from two totally different upbringings; I had the knowledge of both my parents and even though they were never together, my mother or grandmothers were always present while my father went off to college.  My husband on the other hand, seemed much more traumatized by his estranged father and drug abused mother.  I saw that parts of his up-bringing in foster-homes were internalized and love was totally different for him.

As a woman, I’m naturally seeking how to learn to love and be more nurturing, that’s in my nature.  Although I had both my parents, I was never showed a healthy relationship, what role a man should play in my life, or what “love” is.  I learned that night that my husband didn’t know what love was, how to go about seeking to be loving, and what love actually looked like.  All my husband knew was loyalty and support and for him, that transpired into love and care. Marriage was in some way, an obligation that he owed to his children and at that moment I realized I didn’t want to be an obligation to him because I was the mother of his children.  I wanted to be in a marriage because we were irreplaceable to each other. I was furious until I realized that I could not depend on him to make me happy because some days, he just won’t. He won’t give me butterflies everyday and he won’t always say the right things.

I think that women often get romantic concepts from movies and want our love to be this magical love story.  Great sex, trips, date night, romance, and well-behaved children is not the full picture of an actual marriage.  In order for “Us” to work, I had to be able to focus on my goals and make time for me to be an individual and so did he.  As long as trust was not a question, we owed it to ourselves to figure out what makes us happy and be able to pursue it with the support of one another. We each deal with emotional wounds but learning to get beyond those and to the honest truth of our marriage will be hard work.

Our marriage is a living breathing organism.  It is vital to feed it and nurture it because “love” is a lot of work.  If I went by my husband’s “talk”, we would never make it. Instead, I use his actions to tell where his heart and mind is because he is not a natural born nurturer.  The next day after our date night, I decided to learn how to connect with him and be patient (and ladies it may take a lot of patience LOL).  If your husband is willing and trying to be the man that you need him to be, understand that you may have to teach him a few things and be willing to learn some things (even things you may not want to hear).

DON’T JUST SURVIVE IN YOUR MARRIAGE, PROSPER IN YOUR MARRIAGE.

I love reading a males perspective on marriage and finding activities to try with my partner.  I included a link below to a great article (it is a series)  that you ladies/men may find helpful!

via Pt. 1: How to Get Exactly What You Want From the Man in Your Life (Teach Me…)

…Now You’re Talking My Language

Looking back, I remember the days of dating and courting each other, lunches just because, dates regularly.  Bonding was such an important aspect of the reason we became so close so soon.  Immediately, we felt as if the loads of our day could be unloaded unto each other.  Two daughters later, our courtship is mostly conversation about administrating our marriage and the kids.  As much as I need “me time” away from the girls, I also need “adult time” with my spouse.  No phones, no children, just direct conversation about things that do not pertain to our responsibilities.  Finding new ways to provide the support for a strong foundation by rediscovering my love for my partner everyday.

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The goal of having meaningful conversation is to talk about things that keep you current and deepen your understanding of who your spouse is.  What are his or her likes, dislikes, preferences, feelings, stressors, friends and life dreams?

Drop your phones for 10 minutes and:

-put the kids to bed early

-remember to listen like it was your first date and never stop dating one another

-play adult games

-cook together

-laugh more

-cuddle

-Turn off the TV during dinner time

-Take a walk together and try conversation starters (link below)

Wifey Wednesday: 50 Conversation Starters For Couples