What is the definition of my life/marriage?
“Are you spending your moments in ways that will return big dividends, or are your valuable moments dribbling away without notice? How you choose to spend your time reveals more about you than nearly anything else. In fact, how you spend your time not only defines you, it defines your marriage.” Les and Leslie Parrot
I want to back up to when I began writing my posts on marriage, and then go even further back to when I graduated with my Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling, and even a few more years before that I stood before God and witnesses and married my husband. If I could rewind 7 years ago sit on my couch and watch my life unfold for me on a big screen TV I would have never guessed I would be where I am today in my own marriage.
I never knew I would be confessing the naive statement of, “marriage takes work”….it does’t just work itself out. Let me repeat those words… marriage does not work itself out, it takes work. Can I get a witness? I always knew I had a passion for marriage, and wanted to see others succeed in their own marriages, but I never stopped to see that my own marriage needed boundaries, accountability, moments set aside for intimate conversation, times throughout the day sending silly texts, praying together….. all those things we were so passionate about while dating….and then LIFE hit us between the eyes with moving away from our families to a different state, dedication to studying, then moving again to a new town/state and starting all over again, and having our second baby (still all without family)….it seemed like it was one thing after another. While all this was going on, was I (we) setting aside time to nurture our marriage? While looking back, it is evident our time and devotion went to the business of everyday life….
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to enjoy it sometimes, it will pass you by.” Ferris Bueller
We were both drowning, and not aware of it until something hit us from behind, and all became a huge snowball effect…..it left us with starting from the ground up. Did it take unconditional love…you bet…. did it take teamwork….you bet…..did it take going to counseling….you bet. Are we through it completely….no. Is there hope….yes. Do I love my husband more than I ever had before….yes.
I know I am not filling in all the gaps, as I do not see necessary at this time. My main point I am getting to is that the more we as a couple realized where our time was being spent, was defining our marriage. It was so easy for me to justify putting the kids first, then having to get my editing done, and I could only do that in the evenings, so when was I ever making time for my husband….. Oh that’s right, I was leaving it for that imaginary nobody to take care of it for me. And that nobody made me believe lies that even though we rarely fought, we had this great marriage. All relationships take nurturing and pruning, and nurturing and pruning take quality time.
The rude awakening opened my eyes a few months ago, and the first thing that changed was no more time on the computer in the evenings. And then Justin and I started making boundaries with how we were using our time. We finally made the plunge to put our phones in another room every night from 6-9. We force ourselves to truly focus on one another, without any other distractions “dinging or lighting up our phone”. We also have started to read a book together called, Your time-starved marriage by Parrott & Parrott.
I know this post was a lot more personal and about my marriage, but I don’t want my readers looking at me thinking I have it all together, because I feel like the furthest person away from having it together. I mean, I feel like I have been fooling myself all along…how sad, right? I am thankful for God opening my eyes, convicting my heart, and letting us having a fresh start per say. I share these things with you because maybe you yourself can take a step back on your own marriage and realize your hoping it will just work itself out. What action will you and your spouse take today to plunge into a new realm of your relationship?
“Love must rest on trust, honesty, and plain old fun,” says author Bill Hybels. “It is only when those foundations are built and maintained that oneness is possible.”
So, here is the question I leave you and your spouse with today…..what is the definition of your marriage, and how does the time you spend together or in general define you as a couple?
Anna Pociask, MA