In the midst of all the chaos and stress of house hunting, home buying, packing and moving, starting a new school year, getting promoted, trying to finish my dissertation, and having my son enlist, it was brought to my attention that there was a relationship suffering: my marriage. Now I’m not talking about anything truly scandalous (sorry no Jerry Springer affairs or divorce conversations). I’m just talking about not being as cuddly, feeling a little more distant, letting the exhaustion catch up, and basically just not feeling as close.
Oh I am very aware that laundry list of events and stuff would have anyone feeling the way we do, but I think because this is my second marriage, I am a LOT more aware of and in tune to the smaller shifts that happen in a marriage. Let’s face it, marriage is work.
It takes two people working hard on the same road to make a marriage a happy one that lasts. That’s the ingredient I lacked in my first marriage. We were both working hard, but on two incredibly different roads. Those roads eventually led to our divorce despite all of the effort I put in. I don’t want to travel that experience again. Any time I even slightly feel like my husband and I are getting a little distant, I double back and plug in better or more. We have that difficult conversation that some people avoid; the “this is how I’m feeling and we need to fix this” conversation. One definitely cannot do this:
I said it last night…I’m extremely focused on the legacy I’m leaving for my children. I read a book this summer called “One Word” by Jon Gordon (one of his MANY extremely AWESOME books). To make it SUPER simple, the idea is to pick a word that will focus and drive you. You need to look in, look up, and look out to find your word. Your word should be different every year. My word this year is “Legacy”. It is impacting how I parent, how I work, how I feel, my goals, my decisions, and my life. I see my word all around me. It’s kind of like when you are buying a car. You never noticed those Red Honda Accords or how many of them exist in your area until you are either thinking of buying one or you bought one. All of a sudden, everyone is driving the same thing…why are you copying me?
It’s the same concept with your word…at least it is with mine. I want to leave an incredible legacy with everyone in my life starting with my children. I want them to see a healthy and happy marriage in action. I want them to look at my marriage and know what it is they should be looking for in their own future spouse. That thought alone is currently driving me and through the love and grace of God, it will help me to make sure the work put into my marriage is exactly the amount needed at exactly the right time. Because marriage is work.