Every year, I make goals.
Every year, I’m successful at some and not so successful with others.
This year is a bit different, letting you into my methods to be successful. One such goal is to have a better marriage. Let me give you a little background.
Growing up, I was not surrounded by happily married couples.
My parents seemed happy on the outside, but on the inside, they were distant. My mother content clicking away on the computer keyboard in her office while my dad, well, he was kinda just there. Even at a young age, I realized they weren’t right for each other. I couldn’t say that there was any fundamental flaw with either one of them, just that the other wasn’t a complement. Their quiet bickering in their room only affirmed my belief and so did their eventual divorce.
Most of my extended family never married. Single motherhood was, and still is, the norm. For the few that had taken the plunge, abuse was rampant, the impressions apparent on my generation.
There were a couple of married couples that seemed to survive, but as I aged, I found out they were at best dealing with each other.
When my proposal came, I was excited, but I also had very low expectations. In all honesty, if I could avoid Aggression, Abuse and Adultery, I would be able to make it last forever.
So we married… and a lot of things occurred: financial ruin, death of a child, strained familial relationships, but none of the three As. We made it to the other side, relatively unscathed.
Or so I thought.
I thought we were happy. I thought we were a great couple.
We are, but we aren’t.
In our desire to keep a peaceful relationship, we skip the argument and turn it into animosity and resentment. We wish the other did things. Occasionally, we’d discuss it, but we rarely resolved it.
What do you do about non-issues? I tried to figure out how it would go in therapy:
Therapist: What brought you in today?
Us: We don’t argue, but somethings wrong.
Us: *shoulder shrug*
Sadly, we’d be telling the truth. We didn’t know what was wrong, just that something was.
When our church announced that they started a ministry called Re|Engage for married couples, I was eager to sign up. They introduced it as a ministry that will bring a marriage back from the brink of death and/or improve the best of marriages. Sounds like we couldn’t go wrong.
I told my husband about it. As usual, he had little reaction to the news.
Until last December, when he heard about it at church. Well, when he processed the announcement from church, he decided it was something we should do together.
We went to our first meeting, of course, right before the winter break. Three weeks went by. But we started right back up again in 2016.
Their format requires that you attend weekly meetings, initially being placed into an Open Group, then eventually Closed Group. In order for this process to work, you have to be comfortable sharing and laying your flaws on the table. Until you are comfortable, you stay in an Open Group. The Open Group changes weekly, as couples come and go. Once you’re ready to really dig deeper, you can request to join a Closed Group.
A Closed Group is several couples who promise to keep the session confidential, so that everyone can freely speak without rejection or judgment. When you reach the Closed Group, you work through the workbook, chapter by chapter, diving deeper into yourself, your heart and your soul.
After four short weeks, we have made it into a Closed Group. Now, I can truly share our journey and what we are getting from the sessions. Please join me through the process.
So, to finish this week’s sentence: “I’m thankful for…”
- I’m thankful that my husband not only wants a decent marriage, but wants a great one.
- I’m thankful that he opted to come because I would not have pushed.
- I’m thankful that our church offered a solution, an alternative to traditional therapy.
- I’m thankful that he’s excited to go.
- I’m thankful that we’ve started praying together.
- I’m thankful that the church offers childcare so that we can go weekly, without the need of a babysitter.
- I’m thankful that it’s at a time that is convenient.
- I’m thankful for the couples that we’ve met.
- I’m thankful for the leaders of the ministry for their time.
Most of all,
- I’m thankful that we, as a couple, are on the same page, as we embark on 2016 to make our marriage stronger.
Finish the Sentence Friday is a link-up where writers and bloggers come together to share their themselves with a particular sentence. If you’d like to stay ahead of future sentences and participate, join our Facebook group. Link up your sentence prompts below!
This, dear ones, is a glorious-most-wonderful mash-up of Finish the Sentence Friday and Ten Things of Thankful joining forces for one WONDERFUL weekend.
If you want to join in, the starter sentence is “I’m thankful…”
Feel free to answer it any way you wish.