Last week, I resolved to speak directly to my wife about issues affecting the happiness of both of us within our marriage.
The underlying issues are complex and our relationship seems to endure under undulating cycles of tension and release.
I resolved to listen more closely to what it is that she has to say, to listen without advising and to be more attentive; more open to opportunities to interact and support her needs.
Despite my good intentions, the conversation did did not go well, however, on reflection two things had occurred:-
1/ My wife had spoken for quite a while and I had listened.
2/ I had aired my complaints and frustration at the cycle of unhappiness and appealed for this to change.
The conversation ended with the both of us going off in different directions.
I felt incredibly frustrated and after a small amount of reflection, I put on my coat and left the house to wander who knows where – aimless, frustrated, angry and hurt.
I had not been out of the house long, when I had this strong feeling that this course of action was futile, and that what would be a better option would be to go home, go to bed and sleep, which is exactly what I did.
When I awoke the following morning, I behaved as if the conversation had gone well.
I spoke rather than sulked; I made breakfast; I kissed her good-bye as I left the house for work and did so with affection and a smile.
I think that to be able to respond differently in response to the immediate form of impulse, is a rare and developing quality within me which pleases me.
It means that I am able to see the longer term benefit of behaving in a way which provides the better hope for a longer term solution to the difficulties with which we grapple in our marriage.
It does not mean that I am somehow being insincere or putting on an act.
My upset state, was at the way the conversation had ended, however, my response recognised the hour long conversation and exchange which we had taken place, up to and until that point.
It means, that there is a space now for closeness and further dialogue, and a still hope and longing that our love will be enough to endure whatever comes.
My next blog will be: Confession