We almost didn't make it to the finish line.
My husband and I have been married for 33 years. Now I don’t share this to receive high fives, whoo hoos or anything like that. I share this because there’s a reality that comes with those 33 years and it’s called ongoing work.
Quite honestly, in my younger, more naïve years, there was a time when I thought that after a certain number of years—although I’m no longer sure what that number was—that we would have seen it all with each other, figured it all out and finally get to a place of smooth sailing, day in and day out.
It’s always been our intention to continue growing in our marriage emotionally, spiritually and mentally. And with that comes growing pains—that’s just the way it is. And by the way, this can apply to any close relationship, not just marriage. Not long ago, we hit a place that had me wondering if I was going to be able to ride the storm and come out on the other side like we’ve done many times before. Without disclosing specifics, so as to honor my husband’s privacy, he has been dealing with an enormous change in his life and therefore the "he" becomes "we" since we’re in this together.
The experience we were going through had some very serious rough patches along the way and one in particular that just sent me into an emotional tailspin and saying to myself, "Can I get to the other side of this with him? Do I have any more patience, compassion, understanding left in me to weather through this with him? I feel like we’ve taken a giant step backwards."
I was scared, frustrated, confused and because he was dealing with his own emotional turmoil, the idea of a heart-to-heart was not exactly on our radar at the moment. So I did the only thing I knew I could do and reached out to a dear friend, who would help me breathe again, regain my balance and gain better clarity.
You see, part of what sent me into a tailspin was that I needed him to deal with the situation in the same emotional way I would deal with it. Not possible, considering who he is and who I am. You’d think I’d remember that after 33 years! Once I really got the absolute truth of this I took it one step further and looked at his hand prints that I had taken over 2 years ago—after all I am a certified hand analyst!
Well, you could have pushed me over with a feather because everything he was exhibiting with his behavior, how he was handling himself emotionally, was staring me in the face. And with this information it became crystal clear that this is exactly how he needs to process things for himself.
His life lessons, purpose, emotions, thinking style and certain challenges were all I needed to see in those hand prints to allow my compassion and understanding toward him to flow, once again. He was being himself in the truest sense of the word. And given the magnitude of what he was dealing with, there was no way I would burden him with doing it any other way, let alone my way!
From there I was able to release all the emotional energy that wasn’t serving either of us and just BE in a state of greater calm and patience with him. It wasn’t long after, that things turned around and we were back on track, ready to take on another 33 years.
My heart, once again, was reminded that we are all here figuring life out in our own way and no two people will do it exactly the same way. We’re not here to force our way onto someone else for the simple reason there’s no guarantee it will be a fit for him or her. We’re not here to take on someone else’s pain as hard as that may be at times.
There’s no doubt that we can certainly make it harder on ourselves when we forget to continue with our inward journey and learn what drives us emotionally, keeps us stuck and in fear, stops our relationships from evolving to a more loving place, makes us repeat behaviors over and over that don’t serve us and on and on the list goes.
The answers are always in there and we just have to be willing to get to the truth of them and then let that truth lead us. When that’s taking place we will live with greater peace and our relationships thrive!
Linda Salazar, founder of Your Heart Is In Your Hands, is a Relationship Coach, author, speaker and media personality working with smart, proactive, spiritually open women who are ready for remarkable relationships. Be sure to also download Linda’s free report to discover your innate relationship style and contact Linda here.