Saturday, January 15, 2011

Marriage and Grief

I learned many many years ago that mourning and grief do not always come from the death of a loved one. We can grieve just about any thing. In my own life that has mostly been my marriage. As Tim and I approach 16 years of wedded bliss... is there such a thing... I can tell you that my marriage looks nothing like I thought it was going to look when we got married. In some ways it is sooo much more and in others it is sooo much less. My expectations have changed over the years but they did not change easily nor without pain, mourning, and LONG periods of grieving.

This past week I was privileged to attend some training with some of the spouses from my husbands unit. The Chaplain was speaking on the subject of grief and the grieving cycle and he said something that really stuck out to me and made PERFECT sense! He said not to try and take someones grief away from them. WOW! What a concept! How many times in an attempt to help a loved one/friend move on do we try to take that away from them? Not only getting over the death of a loved one but also things like moving past a divorce or an infidelity.

Another tidbit that really stuck with me is that we can relive an earlier grief period by being exposed to stimuli that brings it back to us. I can REALLY relate to this in my personal life and for the longest time I really thought something was wrong with me because it seemed as if I wasn't letting a hurt go and moving on when in reality I was. I'd be going along fine not thinking about the hurt for a year and then wham, just a simple conversation with a friend would bring up a memory that would trigger those same feelings of grief. This is NORMAL and it amazes me that I didn't really put that together before now.

Back to my marriage.... :) It's hard sometimes and I still think of the marriage I thought we were going to have and experience sadness at times. It was hard to let go of that ideal of what our marriage was going to be and accept that this is the marriage God wants us to have. I don't want  you to read this and think that it's bad cause it's not. It's just different than what I expected. Letting expectations go and changing is hard even when it's positive. My nature is to control anything I can and I still resist letting God have control even all these years later.

Sometimes we have to go through some difficult times in order to come out the other side better off. God taught me some hard lessons (still learning them too)  but I really wouldn't have it any other way. My Salvation is directly tied to some of the issues Tim and I have faced in our 16 years together and while we aren't perfect we are so much closer to each other and to God and for that I would walk through any trial!