Marriage in Winter

 In What is Marriage

Take a minute to notice how your mood changes around the holidays. Then notice how you feel as the days slowly get longer and the weather loops around from warm and sunny to chilly to rainy and back again.

Notice this and you’ll also notice that our ‘inner’ weather loops around quite a bit as well. Another way of saying this is ‘you never quite know who you’re married to.’

Winter brings storms, amazingly cozy days, the irritation of slow moving traffic on rainy days, the chill of a day unprepared for. We ‘layer’ our clothing but we cannot layer our feelings. We are complex and the relationships we cherish are always morphing into something we didn’t quite expect.

It is clear that we simply cannot overestimate the importance of speaking our truths even as we acknowledge that our partner’s truths may not be delivered in the form we desire. They too have loopy weather patterns.

Underneath or perhaps in back of the truths that need to be spoken, are the needs we each bring to the table. We each have a need to be ‘seen,’ ‘heard,’ considered and loved. We also acknowledge the need for respect. A woman executive that I coach recently said to me ‘Stephen, how would you define respect?’

I answered this way: you can say you relate to someone with respect if you are a) curious about them and b) if you are willing to embrace conflict with them. Both of these qualities communicate deep respect. If I am genuinely curious about you I will leave my own agenda behind. If I embrace conflict with you it’s because I trust you enough to become vulnerable with you and I get that your point of view – different from my own – is potentially valuable to me.

And the changing weather? It’s a gift that keeps us interested and interesting.

Remember: “Healthy relationships make the world a safer place for children”

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