Wednesday, June 13, 2018 – – a red letter day in my life! John & I sought counseling from our pastor for some irksome communication issues that have been gumming up the workings of our relationship.
Much as my human nature likes to think of them as my KEET’s issues or ours, it became very clear very fast that a) they were in fact MINE; b) were tightly entrenched in past issues which are no longer active in my life EXCEPT when my Ego drags them in, unbeckoned by my healthier sense of Self; c) the very things that I’ve worked on faithfully for 44+ years to identify, engage & resolve have been stubbornly hanging on by their fingernails to keep a presence in a life that’s ready to roll onward & upward.
At the end of that first session, Tom made one simple suggestion – stop dragging the past into the present. Live in the NOW.
While the suggestion was simple, neither John nor I expected its implementation to be easy. To our surprise & delight, living in the now has come easily, naturally to me. We had three situations since Wednesday that could have turned nasty (on my part) pre-06/13/18 that instead turned out, in each situation, to stay first civil, then tender, then loving. And each was informing & enlightening.
Today, at my beloved Be Well, a friend who’d seen us yesterday at a social gathering told me how much joy she gets seeing me & John just being with each other. She commented, “You’ve been married a long time, right?” Twenty-nine years this 09/03 – – head over heels since 02/03/89.
We were super “old” when we married – John was 43, I was 37. When my brother pushed me to have him announce our engagement instead of a mutual friend, I pointed out that studies indicated I had as much chance, at 37, of being hit by lightening than getting married for the first time & I would do as I jolly well pleased.
One of the things that has kept our marriage such a pleasure for both of us is our willingness to face difficulties in the face, to head ’em off at the pass whenever we can. Started almost twenty years ago, when we sought communications coaching from Mom’s psychologist. We were ready to shell out big bucks for top-notch care, but were never billed! Turned out the psychologist was so happy to be able to provide a couple with preventive care – rather than mend breaks & heal wounds – the sessions were her gift to us!
When we went to see Tom on Wednesday – an appointment which John took total charge of arranging, to my joy – I was edging closer & closer to being the basket case I was in 1998, torn between John’s healthy persona & Mom’s sweetly yet determinedly dysfunctional. Only now a healthy present was being dislocated by a mislocated past.
It’s my experience that even the happiest marriages are filled with unhappy moments. In our case, from day one, we acknowledge distress when it rears its head, do what we can to resolve it between the two or us ~or~ seek help.
In my experience, the same holds true for all relationships. Husband & wife, brother & sister, mother & daughter, friend to friend, co-workers, boss & employee. Being willing to spot potential quicksand, seek firmer ground or a steady hand to avert disaster, strive for the ideal & accept the real.
There, in a nutshell – my prescription for a happy marriage, friendship, family connection, work space! Don’t expect perfection, welcome hard work, put that shoulder to the wheel & work for good better best!