With relationships as both my personal and professional learning forum, I thought I might share a story of discovery and learning.
Adults, as we all know, tend to learn best experientially. Sometimes though, thanks to old habits and complacency, we don’t realise what a potential for wisdom and learning we have, in the people we see and experience every day of our lives …
She’d married in her early twenties full of bright optimism, and rosy-glowed expectations of living happily ever after.
Her knowledge of marriage was what the 50s and 60s had taught her. Divorce was scandalous and virtually unknown to her. If her parents fought, she’d never seen it. If she ever thought about it, she’d probably have decided that her father just always gave in!
Now here she was, seventeen years into this marriage, and sadly disillusioned. She felt stuck. She’d made a vow to keep this marriage forever, and felt committed to that. But, with teenage kids, a mortgage, and a man she certainly loved, but secretly labelled (not-so-lovingly or politely) an "emotional retard", she asked herself endlessly: Is that all there is?
In her mind, this situation was entirely of HIS making, because at least she opened her mouth and communicated. It was all HIS fault.
It’s a common enough tale of disillusionment, dissatisfaction, disappointment.
In the Noughties, it’s almost always the prelude to divorce. If it’s not working, ditch it! We’ve all become so used to built-in obsolescence.
Back in the early 90s, this young woman was me. Fortunately, somehow, my husband SweetP and I found a way to breach the massive gap between us and discovered that a relationship is the place where we could thrive and grow as humans.
It had NEVER occurred to us to even consider that was possible.
Our tertiary education certainly hadn’t given us any assistance, protection, or insights. Nor had our parents’ marriages or any Christian upbringing taught us what to look for.
Clearly we’d not picked up on the message! IF the message was out there.
So what was the message we had absorbed?