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Advent Marriage Day 2

Jesus said to his disciples: "Be watchful! Be alert!  

Easy to nurture a marriage
in the blush of love
I woke up this morning feeling very hopeful.  It was good to reconnect with my hubby as more of a person than as a person who became a mom.  Looking back on it what happened, happened very slowly; almost a creep you might say.
My hubby and I have been married 20 + years and like most married folks there is a comfort level you reach, when the honeymoon is over and its glow creates a life that is good, simple, little worries.  You don't notice that you have fallen into a routine because all is going well, the children are little; few problems.  So you coast like that for a while confident that things will always stay the same, but they don't, around the corner life is beginning to get more complex.

Looking back at what was happening there was a definite pattern developing, one I did not see coming, one I could only recognize when I stepped back and looked.  As my hubby got more involved with work, our marriage became more routine, and I became more preoccupied with parenting I loss sight of the marriage.  Talking with other mom friends I learned this was not an unusual thing.  We were all experiencing it.  Husbands were busy working on their careers, so were we.  It was easier to keep the status quo, the equilibrium because we were not taking the time that was needed to nurture all the relationships we had: wife, lover, self, mother.  We were all tired, weary; it was one thing too many to put on our plates!

It was the preoccupation that was the key.  The more my hubby and I were becoming lost in our roles, the more the resentment built.  There were times when we would step back and look at what was going on: How well were we communicating, were we still in line with our mutual/personal goals, were we feeling nurtured by each other, were we nurturing our marriage?  How well were we doing, that was the question we asked and depending on where we were in our emotional lives that would colour our response; sometimes we were very much in line, others not so much.  If there were times of disagreement we noticed that our satisfaction would go down and if we were not ready or willing to work on it, we would spill into a routine and stew.  This was also a time when we would emphasis one aspect over another: personal goals over mutual goals, career aspirations over marital aspirations, children nurturing over marriage/couple nurturing.

This happened most when the careers were at their most demanding.  Climbing that ladder takes a lot out of you: emotionally and spiritually.  It is also the time when the marriage can be at its most vulnerable.  Have you ever seen those variety acts with the man with the spinning plates?  Well, that is a marriage and relationship at its most preoccupied.   You work on things that are most immediate, most pressing, most important.  It is a very seductive thing: You need to have a job/career, to create the life you want, you have to care for the children so they grow to be the children you want, you have to look out for number one!

One number is what happens but one is the loneliest number; really we must look out for number all: You, your spouse, your marriage.  To nurture it takes time and work and it is of equal, if not more important, than anything else; because without it there is no life/family/job: all is broken.

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