“You see, a conflict always begins with an issue – a difference of opinion, an argument. But by the time it turns into a war, the issue doesn’t matter anymore, because now it’s about one thing and one thing only: how much each side hates the other.” – Neal Shusterman
I’m back guys! So sorry for being absent! Keep reading for insight on some of what has been going on with me, and be sure to follow me on FaceBook and IG where I’ll be sharing some more info on what I’ve been up to 😊
For those who follow me on social media, you know my theme for this year is to fight. And I’ve definitely been fighting a lot so far this year. Unfortunately I engaged in the wrong kind of fighting (arguing) with my husband which resulted in me starting the year off staying with my parents for a week. We had spent so much of our marriage as enemies that the most silly, insignificant reason for an argument brought up a lot of unresolved junk in our marriage that had us both ready to call it quits. It’s unfortunate b/c we had been making such great strides to improve our marriage by learning the best ways to communicate with each other…but it was all for nought….almost…
I never really had a theme, word, or resolution for a year. I didn’t judge others for doing it, but it just never fit me personally. I’m guessing this is mostly because I never really took the time to sit down and consider my previous year vs what I needed to improve or work on for the next. But man am I glad I did for this year! Because I had this word set for my year, I was consistently reminded to keep fighting for my marriage, even when it seemed like there was no hope. This time, instead of fighting with anger, frustration, doubt, and bitterness, I had to fight with humility, patience, and vulnerability. I had to speak to my husband’s love language by affirming him with my desire to reconcile and work through it, even when he was more than ready to throw in the towel.
Let me be all the way real, I felt like a sucka through most of it. I never really been one to put myself out there, especially with a guy. If anyone showed me they weren’t interested, I moved on without looking back. I had to remind myself that this wasn’t just a guy though, this was my husband whom I vowed to love and cherish until death do us part. The man I chose to join my life with in order to become one…but sheesh, telling someone you want to stay together while it feels like they have one and a half feet out the door is like legit embarrassing. Hearing the one you entered into a covenant with, talk with you as if you are a stranger, devoid of love and affection, is hard enough, but still finding the strength to apologize for your actions AND speak life into the marriage is down right mortifying and scary. Because you can’t decide for them, and you don’t know how far gone they are, especially when struggles have been prevalent your entire marriage. But it was necessary and it was my way to stop seeing him as my enemy and start fighting…for us.
Now I absolutely know how he felt when the roles were reversed. It was hard and frustrating (s/o to my friends who let me vent, kept hope alive, prayed AND fasted for us and didn’t judge, to my face at least lol), but that approach was enough to cause a shift in him and redirect him to hope and commitment. Each day I could literally feel the scales drop from both us and was encouraged to keep fighting. I would send him my thoughts on ways we can grow and get better, consistently affirming that our purpose together was greater than any argument and that there was still hope for our marriage. I simultaneously worked on my own internal narrative so that depression and anxiety couldn’t take hold of this and sink me into pits of despair. I didn’t want to be held hostage to old hurts and bitterness, so I fought to be free. And when negative thoughts would seek to overwhelm me, I would find solace in sermons, The Love Hour Podcast, my family, completing my certification program (eCornell’s Women’s Entrepreneurship program Aye!), and a new business venture I’ll be embarking on this year (more info to come!). I used every tool I could recall to stay above the emotional waters.
Part of my ability to fight was having a safe place to voice the thoughts in my head. While in my head, I was convinced that there was no hope and that I was better off divorced. Once I was able to get all my frustrations out, to people who not only care about me, but operate in wisdom, it gave room for more constructive, hopeful, positive, and clear opinions to enter my thought-space which inevitably helped me continue to fight. And contrary to popular belief, most of my safe spaces were found in friends who are single. I talk about the importance of keeping quality single friends around after marriage in my next blog post 😉.
I fought for hope and this time it didn’t let me down. I fought to shift my focus from what bothered me about my husband to The One we entered into this covenant with, by getting back to daily scripture reading and prayer. I had neglected my spiritual walk for far too long and it was time I got back to my roots. It was time to walk out of the old wine skin of bitterness and embrace the new wine skin of oneness.
Hubs and I are doing amazingly well ever since we reunited a week later. It’s like we have a brand new marriage that is actually based on love, acceptance, and a desire to grow in every intimacy level! I now feel even more empowered to keep fighting the good fight this year and beyond. I see how powerful and life changing it can be and am encouraged daily to keep on fighting 😊.
“No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” -Jesus, Mark 2:22
Let’s Talk! Can you relate? Have you ever had to operate in humility to bring about peace/ reconciliation? Or could you picture yourself doing that? Are there areas where you may be bringing old issues into new situations and struggling to find hope? Let me know in the comments or send me a message on the “Contact” page. You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook using the links on this page and connect with me there! Thanks for reading!