I don't really have a cohesive point in my post today, so I'll share some thoughts and follow-ups from previous posts.
Thank you for the positive feedback on my last post. I, too, have come to the decision that blogging is different from evangelizing (and different from having a conversation). My blog needs to be my outlet for what I am thinking and feeling. It's why I started it and why I enjoy writing. So, onward I go!
Donald and I are on our own again, for nearly an entire week this time! I already made up dinner menus for five nights and Donald is going grocery shopping. I'll have to let you know how the recipes go. Most of them are dishes I have never made before.
I think I'm having a tough time coming up with something to write about this time because I'm somewhat emotionally drained. Donald and I went to a wedding over the weekend. The bride was the daughter of family friends; she and her sister and parents went on trips with Donald and his siblings and parents at least once a year. It was amazing to finally meet them after hearing many of the hilarious stories from their adventures together.
The ceremony was really beautiful. I cried before anyone even processed down the aisle, and continued to weep silently through the whole thing. I seem to be incapable of attending a wedding without getting tears in my eyes. I sit there, hanging on to Donald's hand or arm for dear life, my emotions rising and falling like a small boat on rough waves. The meaningfulness of marriage is overwhelming. I think that our struggles and triumphs in our own marriage give it an even greater impact when I witness a couple taking their first steps into their own adventure.
I feel especially emotional when those in attendance are charged with supporting the newly official couple through their married life. At our ceremony, a dear friend of ours gave the homily and asked us to face our friends and family who had gathered that day. She emphasized the fundamental need for a couple to have a supportive community and made sure that all of those in attendance knew that the survival of our marriage might depend on each and every one of them. The power of community was made clear.
One of the hardest things in marriage is figuring out how to support your spouse through difficult and personal things and, at the same time, how to support your marriage by asking for help. When the issues are especially personal, much like those Donald and I are struggling with now, it can feel like a betrayal to share what is going on with those around you, even with close friends and family. I have reached out through my blog, to people I do not know, people who did not witness the commitment Donald and I made to each other, for support during these difficult times. What prevents me from utilizing all of those wonderful people who were present the day of our wedding?
Do you ever feel like you're always supposed to have a positive face on your marriage in public? Do you feel like asking for help means that you have failed? Does admitting to difficulty have to come with shame?
Why do we hesitate to ask for help from the very people who are most likely to support us unconditionally? Why do we try to have a "perfect" marriage despite knowing that such a thing does not exist? Why do we insist on carrying on as though everything is fine when doing so might actually doom our relationship?
Too many relationships end because of a failure to acknowledge the truth. Frustrations are kept bottled up. The quality of the marriage is not assessed. Children become the ultimate distraction. We stop listening to ourselves. We stop listening to each other.
What would happen if we simply spoke the simple honest truth and trusted that we would still be accepted and supported? What are the costs if we do not?