When my wife and I agreed to get married we had a dream. We dreamed we could do M better than our parents, and do it "till death do us part". We knew it would not be "happily ever after" but had no real clue what rough times could be like.
Our "dream" was to NOT have a marriage like our parents....but we didn't really have a clue what that looked like. Therapist said we had a "marriage by default".....didn't know exactly what we wanted, but knew what we didn't....didn't want our parents M.
Funny thing about dreams.....dreams without a plan are just a wish.
We thought we had a plan...who doesnt think they have a plan when they wed? My wife planned to never fight. I enjoyed "not fighting". I planned to never be in debt. Wife enjoyed "financial freedoms". 15 years of marriage saw very little fighting and us climb out of debt and become debt free.
What we didn't realize is that this was an grossly incomplete plan...pretty one dimensional. No plans in place to grow our marital crop to harvest days....more like controlling the weeds but not visualizing the harvest. KWIM?
We also didn't realize that our "other choices", while different then our parents, were in the same vane. Cycles repeated....
Our choices were actually quite consistent with our parents in that....
--high value placed on independence.
--false intimacies were acceptable and agreed to.
--walls were in place to protect ourselves from each other.
--resentment was woven into our marital fabric
What I have uncovered is that the pain my parents experienced in their FOO was carried into THEIR M and was passed down to us. Its like we recognized step "A" was unhealthy so we took step "A1" instead.....similar choice, but looked oh so much healthier.
We found ourselves in a similar spot as our parents. Adultery and addiction were a part of our history. Our M is in jeopardy. Our children have been wounded. We failed to do M differently up to this point.
IC, prayer, reading and a committment to forming and implementing a plan is something new to our families. A "live and let live" attitude was more or less our "plan". If either of us desired more we either denied we felt that way or if we did find a little courage to examine it with the other....the other would discount that effort and back in our ruts we would go.
This work IS putting together a plan to do M differently. Humbling to admit my role in repeating a family cycle....for keeping us in familiar, traditional ruts.
We ARE visualizing what a healthy M looks like....which starts with a vision for what we as individuals look like as healthy people.
A mistake we both made back in our childhoods was pretending we were healthy, that we did not experience pain and abuse, that we were just fine. We continued to make this mistake as we compared ourselves to our parents...
Our choice to do so limited our M....bonding, intimacy, committment all suffered as a result of our choices. Conscious or subconcious...we were choosing how to do M. We did the best we could...but it was on par with how our parents did M.
Dreams are GREAT! Nothing wrong with wishing either. But, at 2 years in, the only real change I have experienced has come about from intentional work and being radically honest with myself. Starts with a dream....but is far more rigorous than just dreaming.
Had it not been for reaching out (fellowship, books, prayers, and IC) I don't see how I could have pulled out of the ruts that felt comfortable to me.
Ruts are nothing more than graves with the ends kicked out.
Post was about me organizing me.
Thanks for reading.