If Your Marriage Feels Harder Right Now
The need for love is big right now for most all of us. Love is like bedrock under all this uncertainty in our lives. AND, the challenges in love may feel really big right now, too. If little issues with your partner feel bigger than normal, if problems are magnified or come up more often-- that’s because those things were already there. Right now, with all the craziness in the world, spending a whole lot more time around your significant other and/or with stress levels elevated…the fault lines that were already invisibly in the ground beneath your feet are being exposed. The cracks are growing glaringly obvious. It’s happening here, in my marriage, too. The cracks revealing those last pesky issues poking their heads up like weeds in a garden. Or, maybe for you they feel more like those giant worms from Dune rearing their nasty big heads... This is not a problem, mind you. This is an opportunity. A good thing! Leonard Cohen said it best: ”There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”.
Because what we can see clearly we can work with more easily. We can’t slay worms under the sand... I just made some good progress resolving an old issue with my husband that's been sitting there for years...because it had become so glaringly obvious and I just decided I was sick of it, and if we are going to be spending months together at home, well, time to clean that crud up. It's felt so freeing.
My suggestion to you is the same: take advantage of this chance! Let this time highlight exactly where your work is to make your marriage great again. Find the cracks, let the light in, and heal them… The “symptoms” you are experiencing can point to what the underlying cause of the problem is, and show you where your work is to make your marriage better than ever. Here are some hints to point you in the right direction: Irritated at your partner a lot? It’s likely a signal that you need better boundaries and more time to take care of yourself. Feeling resentful? Likely a sign that you have expectations that aren’t serving your marriage or yourself. Or... you’re forcing yourself to live up to your partner’s unrealistic expectations because you don’t want to rock the boat (but resentment in you will always rock the boat, anyway!) Feeling lonely or unappreciated? Very much a sign that you haven't fully learned how to love and nurture the being that is you ...and, lovely one, it is well past time to do so. Having trouble trusting him? That comes from not feeling secure in yourself, from letting fear sit in the driver seat of your life, and not having built a solid sense of emotional safety inside your own self. Trouble letting go of past hurts? That comes from not recognizing how you only hurt yourself to hold things against others--from not knowing forgiveness is for YOU, and it’s only one thought away. Jealousy or inadequacy? Comes from totally overlooking how darn amazing you yourself really are. Feeling like you’re just roommates? It’s all about how you’re thinking of yourself and how you’re thinking of him. And the intention you bring to creating romance. Having lots of little fights? Likely you’re either having trouble releasing control (ha, that’s been my biggest work!), or you’re really invested in having his opinion of you be a good one all the time, so you are defensive and quick to react (and he may have the same issue!) You haven't yet accepted him or yourself for who you are fully... This weird wild moment in time is an opportunity to overcome all of those things, and whatever other difficulties are showing up between you, so you can finally feel real ease, affection, and steady love in your marriage. Not all opportunities feel all good, though… right? Sometimes it takes a bit of short term discomfort to get to long-term comfort. That’s what's being called for here. It’s like the hero's journey: there is an obvious task at hand, an important journey you are being called to go on. Although terrifying, you know deep down you must go forth, slay the dragons (er, worms?), and rescue the love you once had...Or make it stronger than it has ever been. Heed the call. Love NEEDs strengthening right now. Love is the one thing you have control over these days. The thing that will make your life light up, bring you strength and joy--even in these challenging times. With Much love, Hannah