It’s one of those strange things. You can get two people to look at a picture and you can get two very different descriptions of what is in them. In fact, it is quite amazing how we let our circumstances and moods influence the way we see the world.
This was particularly true last weekend when I was talking with a friend of mine. She and her husband were married 6 months ago, and it was interesting to hear of her experiences in their short-lived marriage. Of particular interest to me were her repeated references to wanting to work on their marital problems, or more particularly the way they both communicate.
So many people see marriage as the golden apple, and once they have it they assume they will ride off into the sunset and leave the trivialities and problems in their relationship behind. After all, that’s what we are conditioned to believe in the fairytales isn’t it?
But what if Cinderella had abandonment issues from her childhood, or if Robin Hood was a controlling and dominant husband to Maid Marian due to repressed feelings from past relationships? What if Snow White suffered from a diminished sex drive due to her low self-esteem or depression? There is no such thing as happily ever after unless the two of you are committed to it.
Back to my friend however, and her situation. The insecurities that she had from her dysfunctional childhood had led her to have a very negative self-image, and she let her insecurities cloud her judgement of her marriage. She spoke of when her husband would finally get sick of her and decide to end their marriage. Her married life was an endless chapter of crises, and she spent all of her free time examining every word he told her for hidden meanings, perhaps indications that he too was going to leave her in the way her father did.
I was amazed. In her efforts in focusing on the many negative things that might happen in her relationship, she was failing to focus on the many great things that were currently happening in her relationship. She had a home, her health, and the love and support of a great man. It might not be the type of love she would always want, and at times she might not understand it. But I told her simply to have faith.
That’s it. Have faith.
Have faith in the fact that her husband has his reasons for still being married. Have faith that he will climb into bed beside her every night because he wants to be there. And have faith that he loves you even if he doesn’t speak the love language that you want him to speak.
The glass is not half empty. It is half-full. It is often too easy to focus on what needs doing in your relationship rather than looking at all the good that you already have. So it’s all about attitude.
And a little faith.