It’s summer—the time of year when most of us ministry workaholics finally take a vacation. And while vacations are supposed to be times of relaxation, rest, and rejuvenation, they can often become just the opposite. Especially if you have kids! During our nine years of marriage we’ve experienced some awesome vacations, and plenty of hellish ones, too. (Once, we spent an entire week in Florida with another couple, all puking our guts out together. There was a trip to the hospital…it was kind of epic.)
So what can you do to make sure your time away is as enjoyable and restful as possible?
After being in a relationship with Jake for almost thirteen years now (yes, we began dating at the ever-mature age of eighteen), I've just now come to the realization that emotions make no sense. This seems like something I would have figured out over thirteen years...but no, not me!
Let me illustrate the point of my illumination: the bottle dryer vs. the dish drying rack.
We've had bottles in our house for the last two years because of having children that are only seventeen months apart. Bottles aren't simple any more, folks. They have eight million parts and special drying racks that look like plastic grass. We were given the grass bottle rack and stuck it next to our regular dish drying rack. Now, when Jake washes things, the bottle rack is organized with military-like precision. Each bottle and all its parts line up together. The rack looks gorgeous. The dish drying rack, however, looks like a tornado blew through it. Or as though Jake stood across the room and literally chucked dinnerware into it at random.
Me? I could care less about the bottles. I shove them into that plastic grass abomination however the hell they will fit. But my dishes...now that's a different story. I line all the plates up and the glasses, I want to see order and beauty staring back at me from that drying rack. Right next to the mess of bottles, mind you.
All of this to illustrate that both Jake and I make no freaking sense. Why would either of us be neat with one drying rack and not the other? They are right next to each other. We do this because we're people, with tendencies, quirks...and we just don't make an ounce of sense sometimes.
Emotions are the same way. When things get really hard in a relationship (which they will with all relationships at some time or another), you want to pick apart the why. Both parties desperately want to understand each other and also be understood. But sometimes emotions don't make sense. Sometimes you feel the way you do, for no reason other than that's just how you feel. I'm not saying to cease all lines of communication. People should keep talking to one another. But now I try reminding myself to listen to Jake's words and take them at face value; not to read his background or family history or life experiences into how he feels. If there are some of those things going on, it's his job to tell me about them. I try to coerce his feelings into making sense, when eighty percent of the time my own feelings don't have any rhyme or reason—they just are. If I want my emotions to be respected and heard, then I need to do the same with Jake. Sometimes, the best response to another's emotion is a head nod and, "Wow, I hear you. Tell me more about how you feel."
Our goal of this blog is to share stories (both good and bad), thoughts and insights about our marriage and we would love for you to jump into the conversation.
The goal is to provide three things: 1) HOPE for struggling couples that they are not alone. 2) GROWTH in our marriages and our understanding of marriage. 3) ENCOURAGEMENT to keep loving your spouse unconditionally.