Marriage Monday :: Communication

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Marriage monday…

If I were in school, I would have an F in blogging! Seriously, its one of those things, that somehow magically seems to get pushed to the back. March and April were filled with spring breaks, and guests in town, and prepping for FSA…oh, and some weddings too! I am not sure where the last two months of my life went…so I am doing some blog catch up, and starting here. I have some crazy posts coming up, and am excited {and a tad nervous} about sharing but, I am nothing if not an open book- and if you know me, you know none of what I discuss is off limits for my friends, so voila, here we are!

This week, I wanted to start tackling communication. After almost 11 years of marriage, mark and I have had our share of great communication…and some not so great communication. One of the things that works well for mark and I in the bedroom is passion…but in communication, not so much. We are both very type A, and we both love to be right…and as you can imagine thats not always a winning combination. Its funny, as I get older, and more women come in and out of my life, I find that how we all communicate is the same, and generally {I think} its the same for men. But when men and women communicate, it gets all kinds of crazy! There is a reason Men are from Mars is such a best seller! And while, I am aware of the differences, I seem to forget them when Mark and I are having a discussion.

When I speak with other women about this, it always amazes me that we all have the same issues, they just reveal themselves differently to all of us. The working mom struggling with the balance of marriage, family, work and children. The stay at home mom struggling with the guilt of not working, and also balancing all the activities that fall on her. The man who worries about being a good provider, but also being a great parent. 50 years ago {so I hear}, the “gender” guides were easier. Moms were moms, dads were providers. Women made the kids, Men made the money. And somewhere along the way, we started sharing roles {which is great} but we also started taking on greater stresses, and more tasks. Think I am kidding- go to the self help section at a bookstore, and you are in for a treat!

When you start off, without kids, and both working, roles kind of “make sense”. But then, someones job takes more time, or kids come along, or someone travels for work. And, eventually it all weighs on you. I read once, and I paraphrase here, that the person you are is not based on what you go through, but how you respond to it. I think its a bit of both. I am seeing in my 40’s, and I know my friends can agree, that I feel like a gumby. Can I be a good mom? a good photographer? a good wife? Can I make it in to school for the field trips, and make it to the gym to take care of me, and make it home to cook dinner, and make it to a meeting, or a luncheon. I dont know about you, but the older I get, the harder it gets!

So…communication. Thats the name of the marriage game. Its communicating with friends, getting advice, its communicating with your significant other about their needs and your own needs, and I will tell you, I think its communicating with a good counselor! And while I definitely do not have the end all answer, my goal is to try and add more of this little gem in my marriage. I read a great book {yeah, I read a lot}- the five love languages {more on this to come} and its been years since I read it, but I still know for mark and I it changed how we viewed each other and communicating our needs {as I write this, I think its time to pull it off the bookshelf again}.

So this month I am setting some goals, to help me in this journey. When I write it here, its like I am making myself accountable. Making my marriage accountable. And, since its the single most important relationship I have, I guess thats a good thing.

My goals on communication
1) reread the love languages book
2) weekly state of the union’s with mark on the back porch {with wine- well duh}
3) more intimacy. Yeah, I said it. We women know its the first thing to go when we are stressed. More on this topic later- week!

As I write on this topic more and more, I see it as a few things. I love letter to my husband. Not always written perfectly, but perfectly honest. I also see it as a guide for my kids. Marriage is not easy {did you hear that, maybe you should read again, kids} and not a step to take lightly. It is a commitment, and a challenge, and a job, all in one. But, on the flip side, it is one of the most rewarding adventures I believe you can take. For my friends and clients, so that you see you are not alone, or you see what happens in marriage. Opening up about this is not easy, but its so freeing! My job is focused around families and love, and marriage is at the core of that- whether its a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man, or any combination there of- and being honest about the good, and the not so good is an amazing release. Yoga for the marriage mind…

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