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Anyone who has followed me for more than about a hot minute learns fairly quickly I am a bit of a self-improvement fanatic.
Just the other day, a good friend of mine and I were talking, and I was sharing with her that I am perpetually reflective and restless. It is my baseline.
Harvard Professor of Psychology Daniel Gilbert once said, “Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they are finished.”
I love that observation. Absolutely love it.
I don’t ever want to lose sight of the fact that I have the potential to be a work in progress—that I am a work in progress—rather than something stagnant and completed. And it begs the question of how I can apply this same approach to becoming the best spouse I envisioned to be.
I think marriage is hard. That’s probably another universal baseline to unpack at another time, but for the vast majority of us married folk, marriage is not consistently easy. Yes, there are people who say their marriage is easy or believe it is, but in my experience, that is the exception, rather than the rule.
On a side note, I also secretly wonder if some of the marriages that seem easy just look that way from the outside or are portrayed that way. In reality, are they easy only because the two people have adopted a silo approach? They live under the same roof, but their individual lives are actually quite independent of one another.
A husband and wife, because they are individuals with their own bents and strengths and shortcomings, must navigate daily life together. The degree to which they learn to respect, accommodate and communicate varies at any given moment.
Sure, we master some things more quickly than other things, especially over time, but then life throws a curve ball or circumstances change and we’re right back at ground zero. What do we do? How does this affect us? How do we respond? How do we move together in unison yet not lose our individual selves at the same time?
I don’t know about you, but I think marriage is hard. Worth it, yes. But hard. Not hard all the time, but certainly some of the time.
Amidst the messiness and loose ends, am I still becoming the spouse I envisioned to be?
The marriage vows aren’t merely platitudes. They are drenched in concrete vision of stepping up, going above and beyond, rising to the occasion—not just when we feel like it, but for the entirety of our covenant.
Certainly a marriage ending can feel tragic on so many levels. Also tragic, though, is when a husband and wife stay together but do not strive to be the best spouses they can be. They co-exist, but never are seeking the best versions of themselves within the relationship.
I think I will always be restless and reflective, but in a way that betters myself and my marriage. That’s my hope and goal, at least. When that kind of ongoing growth and intentionality becomes our normal, only then do we discover all that is possible.
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.