I’ve been off the blogging netwaves for the past couple months and, as much as I’d love to say it’s because I have Writer’s Block or because I’m much too busy with work or any number of other convenient excuses, it’s mostly because my marriage has been going through some serious stress and I’m just too tired to write about anything.
Considering I’m a wedding photographer and I make a significant portion of my income these days by documenting the leap into marriage for many a happy couple, admitting that my own marriage has been suffering is a difficult and pride-filled issue to admit to and talk about. However, I’m not one to let pride hold me back from talking about my feelings, so yes, world, my marriage has been rocky lately and recently reached what I would call a crisis point.
We had some fundamental marital issues long before Cora died but when we lost her, we were tighter than we’d ever been and helped each other through our grief. Somewhere along the line, our previous issues surfaced and we started to deal with our grief and aversion of those issues in ways that involved being apart, rather than together. I filled up my time with derby and work and Greg spent his time motorbiking around North America. We conveniently forgot about the importance of connecting with and checking in with each other. The result was, essentially, two people who used to love deeply, but have become alienated from each other on all sorts of different levels. And, even though Greg and I have been to counselling many times, we have been slacking off on the effort and good communication a marriage requires in order to survive and thrive. As a result, we somehow completely lost touch with each other without even realizing it.
What hurts the most is that it has taken a fight or flight kind of crisis for us to realize it and pull our heads out of the clouds in order to deal with our issues and start figuring them out. I have been lost inside my head for weeks, trying to figure out how I could have ever let something this important to me slip through my awareness so easily. I have been beating myself up for not being my usually communicative and expressive self for such a long time and for ignoring the warning signs of an impending marital shitstorm. How can such an intelligent person be so ridiculously obtuse for so long?
My mind is exhausted and feels as though I just took a 12 hour exam on the philosophy behind quantum physics.
The irony of all this is that I used to tell people that we were one of those lucky couples who have been brought closer as the result of our child’s death. I used to feel proud that we held together and didn’t fall apart like so many other parents do in similar situations. Ha! We were actually falling apart while I was thinking we were stuck together like glue.
This isn’t going to be a long blog-I’m too tired today to do much writing-but it does have a purpose.
I believe that everything that happens in our lives is either meant to teach us something and help us to learn and grow or to teach others. This is a double whammy for me. Greg and I have both discovered some lessons in this and we are learning from them and making some changes in an effort to get ourselves back on track and reconnected. On the other side of that, my experience is also serving as a reminder to everyone out there who reads this and is in a relationship that means something to you. If you sense big changes happening in your relationship and you are aware that you and your spouse are growing apart, talk about it right away. Make a plan to start doing things together that made you connect in the first place. Be honest about how you’re feeling, even if you think it will hurt your spouse – feelings are never wrong and they can’t be dealt with if you aren’t honest about them. Go see a counsellor for help if you can’t seem to get back on track on your own. Just do your best to hang on to your awareness because it’s the most important aspect of a relationship. Check in. Communicate.
Lucky for us, we caught ourselves in time to make necessary changes to fix and improve our relationship. It could have went an entirely different way and, for many couples out there, it does.
Today, I’m feeling grateful for marital shitstorms because it has once again brought me back to awareness of my relationship with Greg and to the important things in my life.
And I’ve also discovered that Chris Angel has nothing on us. Marriage is the ultimate mind fuck!
Enjoy your Wednesday, my friends.
I wish you all enough…