Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Coming Out of a Mousehole

Monday, September 9th, 2013

No ContactThirteen years ago I came out of the mousehole I’d been living in. Back then I viewed being in my mouse- hole as safe and feared being away from its confines  for more than a short time. I put up a good front for my family and friends but that is really all it was.

I was skiddish and jumpy most of the time and questioned many of the decisions I made. I stayed in a destructive marriage because I was absolutely convinced I would not make it without that relationship. I believed what he told me to the point that I considered it not just his truth but the only truth. I really didn’t question his opinion of who I was and what would happen to me. It took a long time to turn a corner in my thinking but when I finally did I got a glimpse of the light outside that hole and liked it.

I found the outside world wasn’t as frightening as I’d conjured it up to be. The hole was safe in some ways but in other ways it was suffocating. Inside that hole I didn’t feel I had much value although it felt familiar. What led me to crawl out was the realization that the longer I stayed the harder it would be to ever leave. The false sense of safety inside that hole would keep me there permanently if I didn’t make a move. My children had the right to have a mother who was clear thinking and unafraid. They needed someone who they felt would have their backs instead of someone who shriveled into the background of their lives.

One day I left that mousehole for good. At first it felt abnormal like I was in someone else’s life but each day I gained momentum and was forced to make decisions–good and not so good ones. Over time I got more confident about figuring things out and learned that my instincts were right on–I just needed to trust them.

I also developed the ability to be strategic focused and purposeful  in order for life to flow well for me and my children. I became more visible to my sons, my parents, my friends and most of all to myself. As a mousehole person I’d shied away from visibility. After leaving I learned that I had to stand in the forefront of my own life–no one else could do that for me.

Looking back, I see that the mousehole served a purpose–for awhile. We all need a space–a place where we can go for refuge, to be still, quiet, alone, at peace and to rest. That is a given. What I needed to give up was a hole–one that I sunk down into because I was too afraid to get out. There is a difference–a big difference between a refuge and a hole and I’m glad I figured that out.

Relationships Intact During Crisis

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Childless by Choice

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Is married without children any less a marriage than those that choose to marry and have children?

This is a question I ran across earlier this evening.

My response was–married is married with children or not. A couple that chooses to get married chooses to do so because they want to commit to each other. Childless by Choice is a movement that is going strong.

Identity Crisis?

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Perfect Partners?

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

How do you see your partner?

Do you view your partner as perfect?

Do you see your partner as perfect for you?

The way you view your relationship makes a big difference in the health and vitality of the relationship.

Cruel Words Were My Catalyst for Change

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Leaving was hard.

I knew it was best that I do it and had thought long and hard about getting out but when it came right down to it, I didn’t know if I could.

I feared living in the world without my husband. I wasn’t even sure it was possible. I’d spent 20 years with him and felt the only stability I had was that which was created from being in my marriage.

How in the world was I going to create a life on my own?

It took nearly half of the 20 years I’d spent with him to find my way out.

I knew I needed to leave. Inside the marriage I believed I was less of a person than my husband was. I was a mother and homemaker for many years and my husband felt I would never be able to hold down full time employment and I was convinced he was right. I tried and failed at a few small home businesses and when I had worked away from home it was either temporary or limited duration employment.  I really didn’t think I had it in me to be a full-time breadwinner.

And then one Saturday morning things changed.

It was a beautiful morning. I had made pancakes and the kids were gathered around the table eating with their Dad. I went into another room to get something and as I walked past my husband he said:

“You’re nothing but a leech and I should have thrown you out a long time ago with nothing but the clothes on your back.”

I stopped in my tracks, turned around, and saw first the looks on my children’s faces and then looked at him. The rest of what he said was a blur as his first sentence captured my full attention.

Those words are engrained in my mind–just a leech–and although in that moment I didn’t realize it–my catalyst for change was born. In that moment I knew and affirmed to myself silently that I was never a leech but a hard worker and had done my best to be a good wife and mother. Never-the-less the words stung.

I made up my mind then and there to build up the scrawny savings account I was forever dipping into. Where before I couldn’t imagine making my own way in the world–I was now motivated to do just that.

I was determined that I would never again hear those words from anyone.

My savings grew to a significant amount and four years later I was finally able to break free.

Catalysts often come as a direct result of painful experiences.

That Saturday morning I got the boost I needed to move forward. I wished on one hand I’d never had the experience but on the other, I’m glad I did. Without it I wouldn’t have been able to develop belief in myself & become the woman I am today.

Catalysts are opportunities presented to us for our growth. We can choose to ignore them or we can accept the challenge presented to us.

3am Conversations Create More Problems Than are Solved

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Have you ever had the urge to have a conversation with your partner in the wee hours of the morning?

Have you had concerns about the kids, job, school, your partner, anything that has bothered you to the point where it affects your sleep? If so–you’re not alone. I’m guilty of this as are many others.

Why do we do it?

According to Ralph Downey III, PhD, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Loma Linda University in California insomnia fuels a cycle of anxiety which results in our catastrophizing at 3am . Say, for example, you have a 9am interview. You go to bed but toss and turn for an hour. You wake up at 3am with nervous thoughts about the interview. Your anxiety spreads to all the other things you need to do the next day.

For me, there were issues about my marriage and the option was not available to discuss these issues with my partner during day time or evening hours.

The lesson I learned: If the only time available for conversation is in the middle of the night I rob not only myself but another person of needed sleep. If the only available time for conversation is during normal sleeping hours, the reality is that there is no time available for conversation.

Ideally life conversations need to happen when you and your partner are fully awake and willing. If you feel that despite concerted effort on your part you can not have a conversation with your spouse then you’ve got a decision to make.

Conversation is vital to your relationship. Without it both you and your partner will feel cheated. Eventually the relationship will die or you will stay together but wish you weren’t as you will merely exist in each others space.

Steps You Can Take to Create Conversation:

Let your spouse know you would like to have a conversation.

Set a date and time that is mutually agreeable and meet at that time.

If it has been awhile since the two of you have had a conversation put a time limit on it. Say 30 minutes. When that 30 minutes is up end the conversation and set a date for the next one. In the beginning allow at least one full day between conversations. When you do this you give each other time to think about the previous conversation as well as the next one. If you both want to increase the amount of time spent during conversation make sure the decision is mutual.

While in Conversation Do the Following:

State the issue at hand from your perspective.

Be specific–not vague. Your partner will appreciate your directness. Remember you’ve only got a total of 30 minutes which means approximately 15 minutes each. Your partner is not a mind reader–be as clear as you can.

Once you have stated the issue at hand from your perspective it is your partner’s turn to respond.

Don’t interrupt your partner.

If the conversation begins to feel uncomfortable for either or both of you end it. Walk away before tempers flare.

Always aim for respect in conversation.

If you feel that your relationship is beyond the point where you can have  mutually respectful interaction–don’t attempt it without seeking professional intervention as soon as possible.

We all have occasional wakeful times in the middle of the night that keeps us from normal sleep.  However, when you see that anxiety disrupts your normal sleep pattern and you are waking your partner in the process you need to take action quickly as it doesn’t take long for insomnia to get out of hand.

Sleep is precious as are our relationships.





Male Mid-Life Crisis

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Relationship Substance

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Relationship is the substance of our connections: things like family or blood relatives, as well as covenant relationship like marriage or adoption. Even beyond that, relationship can also be defined by association (church family, workplace, neighborhoods, students, etc.), or just the frequency in which we connect with people (if I see someone often, then I might say I have a relationship with them).        Dan Lentz