Monday, October 28, 2013

On Marriage, Caring, Conflict and Connectedness

So this past weekend Dave and I attended a Marriage Care Weekend at church. Twenty couples, at different stages in their marriage, came together to be led in a whole weekend to work on keeping their marriages healthy. One of the organizers, who is a counselor, said, "I wanted a weekend to focus on promoting marital health before it hits a crisis point." Our facilitators, a couple who have been married for 49 1/2 years, shared four different sessions on Caring Communication, Creative Conflict, Satisfying Sex and Family of Origin. This couple was amazing in sharing from their own marriage as well as other resources.

Dave and I were excited to have a weekend, without our kids, to talk about different things in our marriage. We had a couple of really good breakthroughs and I am looking forward to seeing the results of those play out over the next weeks and months. One of the things we discovered is that a frustration we have been having lately (trying to go home from church events in a timely fashion) was actually the result of something which attracted Dave to me in the first place (how connected I was with people). It's hard to be connected with a lot of people at church and try to exit quickly! Especially when I love to talk :) We came up with a strategy to help Dave (the introvert) deal with this issue and I will fill you in in a few weeks if it has helped at all.

This connectedness with people really hit me yesterday when I had four different conversations with various friends about struggles they are facing. Big struggles when it comes to parenting, marriage, health and work. You know, just some of the major things in life.

I was telling Dave about some of these conversations, in general, after church and he asked if having these conversations, and knowing that friends are struggling, was stressful to me. And I told him, "You know what? I feel honoured that friends invite me into their struggles with them. I feel helpless because they are dealing with big things, and I don't know what I can do, but I feel privileged that they have shared that with me."

And today this verse has been sitting with me. Galatians 6:2 "Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." This verse doesn't say to "solve each other's burdens" or "take away each other's burdens," it simply asks us to "bear" them for each other. So I will help those people I talked with yesterday by bearing their burdens, by being a listening ear, and by supporting them as best I can.

And I will give thanks for my connectedness with people. Even if Dave and I might need to have a few more strategizing sessions about leaving church.


  1. Great perspective - thanks for sharing! And glad you guys were able to get away and attend the retreat!

  2. I love this post! Thank you for sharing what you're learning!

  3. You two are just amazing and so inspiring. You are probably getting a real kick out of the comments I just left on your two birth story posts, but they just show how truly awesome you are, Super Mom! And yes, I kind of know that is the kind of person you are that you love listening and being a part of whatever your friends are going through and just being there for them. I don't really have an IRL friend like that so I love and appreciate what we have online! I also think even the strongest couples need time to get away, regroup, and be refreshed in their relationship. Anyone who denies that marriage is hard and that they have to work at it is likely in a serious state of denial. That makes me sad. I just told Eddie we needed a little getaway and time to just spend together relaxing and regrouping. Lately, even our evenings have been taken over by the toddler of the house who is having trouble staying in his own bed. :-)

  4. I love this Natasha! I would love if Jason and I could so something like this. It's funny, because we've been talking recently about my need to socialize and his need not too. lol. I look forward to you posting about your new stratergies.

  5. This is good stuff, friend! What a cool conference-- thanks for sharing some tidbits with us!


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