“I don’t feel close to my husband,” Jane told me. Her husband was sitting right next to her. She shared this when I asked her what she and her husband wanted from the Marriage Intensive Program.
“Why?” I asked why she would say such a thing when she and her husband, Darren, have been married for over ten years.
“He works 10 hours a day and has an hour commute. My kids and I are exhausted when he gets home.”
Darren stiffened at those words.
“The first thing I do is,” he said defensively. I don’t know what more you want from me. ”
“I want more and more,” she said softly. “I want a companion. I want to know what’s going on inside you. I want to connect with you closely. That’s why we’re in this Intensive.”
“I will talk about my working day,” he continued. “That’s what’s going on inside me. I’ll tell you the problems I’m having at the office. That’s all that’s inside me.”
Darren became very defensive and appeared upset.
“She says this to me all the time,” he said, clearly exasperated. “It pisses me off because I don’t know what else she wants.”
“Can you tell him?” she asked, looking at me. “I’ve shared everything before. He heard me yelling that I needed vulnerability from him. Can you tell him?”
“Maybe,” I said. “But I think I could share more. Why don’t you turn to him and tell him your perfect night? Let’s see if he can connect with you.”
“Connection,” she said quickly. “Those words. I want connection. I want vulnerability. I want to know what you’re feeling and what you want out of life.”
“Okay,” I said. “Tell him what a perfect night would look like. How would you feel? What exactly would it be like?”
Jane begins complaining about the usual development of the evening, with Darren coming home, turning on the TV, and checking emails. She noted how busy he was with work around the house that required his attention.
“Still give him a perfect night,” I said.
“Okay. Come to the door ready to engage with me. Turn off your cell phone, have a nice dinner with me and the kids, and then help them get to sleep. , after the kids go to bed, we want to sit down and talk about our lives: where we want to go on vacation, whether we want to keep our house small, how much we want to be involved in church, how we can make friends together, etc. , I want to dream together.I want you to listen to my dreams and hopes and be interested in me.I want you to share the same things with me.I want to share each other’s feelings.”
“Wow,” said Darren. “I don’t express emotions, I don’t dream. I keep myself busy with work and household chores.”
“Yes,” Jane said. “I know. But we want each other to be vulnerable. That’s how I feel really close to you. I want you to have it.”
This conversation with me was a key turning point for Darren and Jane, and many others who found themselves emotionally adrift. I am often tired and stressed. Marriage does not work well in such an environment.
Couples often fall apart. It rarely occurs transiently, but slowly disintegrates over time.
The Apostle Paul, showing vulnerability in the same way that marriage requires, says to the Corinthian church:
“Men of Corinth, we have spoken frankly, and we have opened our hearts wide to you. withholding… keep your heart wide open too. (2 Corinthians 6: 11-13)
Discuss how this couple and others can work together on this key issue of fragile communication.
First, be honest with each other about your current connection. As painful as it may be, share with each other how you feel about the connection. Be honest. Discuss topics such as your emotional connection, how you spend your time, whether you’re enjoying your marriage, whether you’re enjoying physical intimacy.
Second, share with each other what a true connection looks like to you. Don’t get bogged down in talking only about things that aren’t happening in your marriage. Talk about what you want. Be specific and share exactly how you want to spend your time and what makes your marriage more exciting and connected. please. what kind of dream do you have? What kind of dream would you like to see?
Third, make a plan for developing intimacy, connection, and vulnerability. Intimacy and vulnerability do not come easily. You should develop a plan for how this will happen. How do you create an atmosphere that fosters intimacy? Don’t be impatient. Developing intimacy takes time and effort if you haven’t experienced it in a while. Even a small amount of time spent deliberately focusing on each other can help achieve intimacy.
Fourth, enjoy your new connections. Be aware of what works and what doesn’t as you make lifestyle changes. Be aware of how you feel when you spend time together. Be adventurous. Try new experiences. Share information openly and openly with each other and enjoy each other’s company.
Finally, hold each other accountable for following through on the plan. Again, change doesn’t just happen. Be intentional when you spend more time together. Take extra care to carve out moments in time, even if time blocks aren’t available. However, find a time when you can really enjoy each other’s company.
God designed us for relationships. If you don’t pay attention to this in your marriage, you will feel neglected. Marriage can also be a wonderful place for us to reflect God in the world. Make rebuilding your marriage a priority.
Need to reconnect with your spouse? Need more help? Contact us here. Please send your reply. firstname.lastname@example.org Also read more marriage recovery center our website Learn about our Personal Intensives and Marriage Intensives.
Photo credit: ©Unsplash/Osman Rana
date of issue: January 10, 2017