Last fall, I was struggling in my marriage. For the first time, I was concerned and scared that we wouldn’t be able to make it. Our marriage felt hopeless and irreparable. We were having a hard time communicating and feeling safe with each other. It was the darkest time I have ever experienced with my husband.
I don’t think we would have made it through, except for one thing: we still had trust. Both of us are deeply committed to our marriage and even though it felt like hell, we could trust the promises that we made to each other when we got married. We could also trust that we were willing to do the work and get the support we needed to get through this challenging time. Trusting each other and our partnership gave us the space to acknowledge that we were in a tough spot and that we needed to hunker down and get support.
We knew we needed more than trust, in each other, and in the vows we had once made. We needed to surrender, too—to the realm of not having any control, to not knowing what the outcome would be. We had to surrender to Grace, and let ourselves trust the process. Both my husband and I are planners and control freaks. For us to not know what our future would be, to not know a clear path to mending our marriage, was far outside of our comfort zone. However, by surrendering to the process, and even more importantly, surrendering to Grace, we allowed ourselves, and each other, to take one step at a time, one day at a time.
Within this space of trust and surrender, we shared with our communities and families that we were struggling. We didn’t pretend like we were “fine” or try to hide our issues. We each created a support team of our best friends to hold us accountable and let us be vulnerable. Let me tell you, I “ugly” cried so much last fall. It wasn’t pretty, but it was real. And yet, we trusted our family and community to love and support us during this painful time.
One of the most important aspects of surrender and trust for us was that we had to be willing to do the work. We started seeing a couples therapist, and during those sessions we both realized that we each needed to see an individual therapist so that we could do deep inner work on our own in order to get more value out of our couples therapy. Thus, we were having three sessions of therapy a week: one for me, one for my husband, and one for our couples therapy.
If surrender is the dynamic of finding our place in the scheme of things, of giving over to the goodness that is in us, around us, and beyond us, and Lee said in the last newsletter, it feels like we have found it. It was the path that we followed back to believing in the goodness of each of us, separately and together. For us, this went hand in hand with a trust that somehow, some way, it was all going to be okay.
Six months later, I am happy to report that my husband and I are doing so much better! Brad got the job of his dreams. I started as the General Manager for COR. We both feel so supported and empowered with our new jobs. One of the signs that we have made major progress for us is that we have our sense of humor back in our relationship. We are laughing together again, and it feels great. We still get triggered and it isn’t perfect, but we have made huge progress in our marriage and I know we wouldn’t have been able to do it without surrender and trust.
I invite you to consider where can you bring surrender and trust into your relationships? Where are surrender and trust missing? Please share with us on Facebook and let us know what is happening in your world.