Question: “What if our marriage never changes, what if the bad things he’s doing aren’t just a phase, like people keep telling me?”
There was a period of a few months when I lived in the most emotionally uncomfortable place I’d ever been. I had woken up fully to my reality: my marriage was hard and not getting better. But I had just asked for help with one final plea and the team of people that surrounded us (so grateful for them) needed to see what I was seeing for themselves. This meant, I had to keep living in this deep pain, knowingly, while they surveyed the situation…like, for months. It was one thing to live in when I didn’t realize it was as bad as it was, when I thought our normal was everyone’s normal, but to do so while being completely aware of the dysfunction was one of the most emotionally tenuous stretches of my life.
Thankfully, the people surrounding me knew what they were looking for: they were looking for heart change and behavior change, not just the right words, from both of us. Most of my wisdom on this subject comes from Henry Cloud’s amazing book entitled Necessary Endings. This book gave me the tools to know what I should be looking for, along with the courage to hold on long enough for time to pass and truth to reveal itself.
“Look at the past behavior in some areas that count: promises, commitments, and responsibility, and then seeing what the track record has been. That is important because the best predictor of the future is the past. What he has done in the past will be what he does in the future, unless there has been some […]