Skip to main content

What did we sign up for?

Photo by Rene Asmussen from Pexels
You’re standing there on your wedding day. You’re dressed in clothes fit for a prince and princess. All your family and friends have gathered. You’ve spent months planning to make this the absolute most. perfect. day. ever.

You repeat the words as they’re given to you: 
“I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse for as long as we both shall live.” (Or something like that.)
Fast-forward 5 years, 15 years, 25 years… and you may find yourself thinking back to those words wondering, “Is this what those words meant?”

In the past few weeks we have had a chance to reflect on this as we have faced a health challenge involving Jen having surgery. Of all the words in that sentence, the word ‘challenge’ is the most significant. No marriage can escape challenge. No relationship is free of it, whether it’s a financial challenge, a health challenge, an extended family challenge or all of the above. The word challenge means that you have to work to get through something, and you or your marriage may change because of it.

Nick: One thing I didn’t appreciate well enough is the way that challenges are like little emotional amplifiers.  Misunderstandings are easier to come by when there is the stress of a challenge to contend with. When it comes to Jen’s recent surgery and recovery, I too easily see myself as a helpless bystander.  My emotions are all over the place – from worry to sympathy to frustration – depending on the moment.  For better or worse means I get to ride the roller coaster, doing what I can to support Jen.  She doesn’t need me to distance myself from her in my insecurities.  She needs me to stay connected, in sickness and in health, no matter what.

Jen: My fuse is shorter when challenges arise for us, especially when things are out of my control. Being the one in need this time and not being able to do things for others has been a particularly humbling challenge for me. I feel helpless in a hollow, paralyzing way. Learning to let others do things for me when I am usually the one taking care of everyone else can frustrate me. I feel impatient to get back to my normal routine and abilities.

Each challenge we face will pass, but our marriage will continue on. Knowing this can help us let go of the little grievances we are holding onto. We forgive each other or ask for forgiveness faster. We appreciate each other more. 

Indeed, this IS what we signed up for - working at loving each other fully each day, regardless of the challenges that come our way.





Comments

Other Popular Posts

5 Things Men Want

1. RESPECT: (KEN) : When a man is asked, 'Would you rather be respected or loved?' most would choose being respected.  In his book Love and Respect , Dr. E. Eggerichs explains this tendency.   (JANINE) : For years, I didn't appreciate how important it was to Ken that I treat him with respect.  I also didn't understand how hurtful it was when I dis respected him.  When I show Ken respect ( by affirming his decisions,  avoiding sarcasm or by not using a demeaning tone) it translates (for him) into feeling 'loved.'  Another way to say this is: when a man is dis respected, he receives the message he is NOT loved. 2.  SEX:  

What Can’t You Afford to Edit out of Your Story?

Michelle: When I was a teenager, I remember coming home after breaking up with a guy and my dad asking me how it went. I gave the inevitable teenage response, “I don’t want to talk about it.” My dad responded, “You don’t have to. But you do need to remember that there are some things in life that you can’t afford to edit out of your story. Is this one of them?”

The 5 "P's" of Constructive Feedback

Photo Credit:  Ian Schneider (Reprise of post originally published on 09-16-2019) We once read an article on criticism in marriage.  The Author's bottom line was "don't do it."  Even asking: "Can I give you some feedback?" was cautioned against.  Sometimes suggestions given with the best intent with regard to work, chores, relationships with the kids can back fire.  Think back seat driving.  Experience has taught us 5 Key Points for when we just want to give each other a little suggestion.  These 5 simple points set the tone and enable us to let down our defenses and be supportive of each other when offering a little constructive feedback.   

Remember When...

It's easy to get lost in our day-to-day. Once we're out of the honeymoon phase of marriage and real life settles in, we develop routines and patterns of behavior. We become consumed by the here and now, and sometimes we can lose sight of the excitement and passion that brought us together and inspired us to get married in the first place.

The Healing Power of Touch

  Our last blog explored a super power we all have within us – the Super Power of Affirmation.    But did you know that you possess another Super Power?  It’s the Healing Power of Touch.  Holy Hole in a Doughnut, Batman!  Bet you didn’t know you had all that in you!

Easter Greetings!

 Dear Readers, As Spring unfolds and we continue to recover from this pandemic, there could not be a more wonderful time to nurture relationship growth. Wishing you a Happy Easter and a Springtime of Promise. From all of us at TheCouplesPost

When All Else Fails . . . Eat Ice Cream

For many of us the COVID honeymoon is long over.  Isolation, loss of routines, access to the gym, financial worries, working from home and changing school schedules has had us stretched too thin too long.  We'd rather eat an entire loaf of bread than bake one and if we hear how much someone enjoys the extra time with their kids we'll scream!  This is COVID Stress.  We've all experienced it.

10 Things Women Want

1)  Learn her “Love Language :"   And speak it often! (Learn more:  What Language Are You Speaking? ) Janine’s love language is “Acts of Service.” So, when I vacuum or do dishes or cook, it fills up her ‘love tank' - her mood brightens and there’s a whole different vibe between us.   I can tell I’ve found a direct path to her heart.  

8 Misunderstandings That Are Hurting Your Sex Life

Why are we writing about sex again?  Sex in marriage is more important than most people think.  It's mysterious. There are a lot of "layers" and complexities to this whole topic.... read on... 

Getting More of What You Want in Your Marriage

Recently, we attended a work-shop on how to incorporate more positivity into our lives. We were reminded how easily the challenges of life can dominate our thinking. This can be especially true where our couple relationship is concerned. Have you ever thought, “He never gives me any affection” or “She always nags me”?