Getting to the marriage you want is not supposed to feel comfortable. Nope, it’s not all rainbows and daisies.
It will — for sure! — mean moments of deep joy that inspire wonder and a sense of magic as you feel your marriage coming back to life. My clients regularly cry tears of joy (not exaggerating!) along their journey as they see the success of their efforts.
But discomfort is an inevitable part of the journey to make your marriage great:
Looking at yourself when you are contributing to the problem in your marriage can be uncomfortable.
Having difficult conversations you've been avoiding with your partner can be uncomfortable.
Apologizing for a way you spoke to him can be uncomfortable.
Asking for what you really want can be uncomfortable.
Setting boundaries to take care of yourself can be uncomfortable.
Saying no when you are used to saying yes can be uncomfortable.
Letting him be upset instead of trying to make him feel better at your own expense can be uncomfortable.
Learning and applying a new approach (such as giving appreciations a few times a day) can be uncomfortable.
Leading love by being the first one to offer an olive branch or give a hug after a miscommunication or conflict can be uncomfortable.
Initiating intimacy can be uncomfortable.
And all of these things (and so much more) are an essential part of rebuilding, deepening, and maintaining the loving marriage you really want.
You can't avoid discomfort in life — or in love.
Because you know what is REALLY uncomfortable?
It's shake the ground-of-your-being-uncomfortable.
And divorce is where so many of us find ourselves...
…when we aren't willing to feel the discomfort of doing the uncomfortable things that make our marriages better. When we try to skip the discomfort part of marriage.
Here's the thing: anyone who ever brought to life a dream they had for themselves will tell you it required a willingness to be uncomfortable. Anyone who ever had a deeply loving, sustaining marriage knows it requires a willingness to be uncomfortable.
Sometimes deeply uncomfortable.
Because, as one of my teachers says, discomfort is the currency of our dreams.
Discomfort is the road we need to walk to get to our dreams.
I think of it like this: short term discomfort is the cost we pay to reap long term comfort and joy in our marriages.
When we try to avoid discomfort by not doing the hard things, by not feeling the hard feelings, in our marriages, we only create more of it (like divorce or ending up in an unfulfilling, lonely, painful marriage we just tolerate for the rest of our lives — talk about long-term discomfort!).
When we try to avoid discomfort, we keep ourselves from what we want: the depths of intimacy, the tender knowing each other, the being seen and loved for who we really are, the ability to love our partner — just as he is — with the fullness of our hearts.
So invite discomfort in. Say yes to it when it shows up as you do the hard things. Take an emotional risk, and welcome discomfort as the ally it is.
The marriage you so deeply want is on the other side of doing so.