Sunday, August 25, 2013

Quality of Relationship More Important Than Length Of Time

Happy 41st Anniversary, Daniel

I want to start out this post by sharing a quote from a friend of mine about relationships and marriage that I read on Saturday and liked so well that I requested the use of it in this post to my dear, sweet husband for our 41st wedding anniversary. Here is the quote:

"It is not how long you have been in your relationship or marriage that matters but how well. It is time to pause and think. How has this relationship affected your well being? Our well being is an important aspect of our lives that we must take serious. If our relationships affect our well being positively, we are bound to live life to the fullest..." Ebele Solu

Thank you Ebele for allowing me to use your words. As I get older, time seems to be going by so much faster. I sometimes struggle to keep up. Most times, I don't worry about it as I sit here in the safe home that Daniel and I created together and I love our life together. As I know I have said many times before on here as I have shared my healing journey, life hasn't always been easy on me or on our marriage. Our marriage has lasted thru all of the times of struggle, not only because we love each other, but also because we are friends. If we didn't like each other we probably would have given up when the struggles got near impossible. Daniel's love, strength and patience have gotten me through so many dark times. Living with an incest survivor is never easy, on so many levels, even one who is healing. Before and during the initial stages of healing, I was so angry, even rageful like my dad. I was in so much emotional pain that I didn't have an outlet for, that it came out as rage most often. I was so full of fears that I had to work at facing and cutting down to size. Daniel had to live with all of that pain while I healed it and learned to control, not him as I had done in earlier years, but my reactions to my fears. As you have read in my recent blog post after the fears that came up during our trip to and from Gettysburg, some of those fears are still with me and occasionally come up to be acknowledged and worked thru. 

You may look at what I just wrote and ask how can she call her marriage a good one? How has it survived all of that pain, anger and fears. My answer would be that we have survived as a couple partly because of God's Grace, I do believe that, partly because we are both very stubborn individuals who refuse to give up on our marriage or ourselves but mostly because we do love each other. My definition of true love is wanting what is best for the other person. Sometimes that love requires sacrifice and other times compromise. We have both done our share of those over the years. One very basic fact is that we trust each other. With that trust in place, there is no place for jealousy which I see doing so much harm in many relationships today. If you trust someone, there is no room or need for jealousy. Trust is a very big issue for me as an incest survivor. If I didn't trust Daniel I would not be married to him. It is that simple. He is a good man. I have seen that over and over throughout our years together. He cares about me, our marriage, our family and other people. He has a kindness that I have learned from. 

Kindness wasn't taught in my childhood home. Control, bullying, rage, fear were constants in my childhood. My parents were married for just over 30 years when they were divorced. Even though I had wanted my mom to leave my dad for most of my childhood, when the divorce was final, I cried. It meant the end of a dream that at some future date my parents would love each other and we would come together as a healthy, loving family. The divorce put an end to that fairy tale that my inner child held on to. Their marriage with 30 years had very little quality to it. Theirs was a marriage of domestic violence and the secret of incest. 

My grandparents had a long marriage that only ended with the death of my grandfather. My dad's alcoholism was passed down to him by his dad who got it from his dad most probably. The rage was also passed down from generation to generation. So was domestic violence within the marriages. These are my examples of length of time not being as important as quality in marriages and relationships. These examples of my childhood are why I am willing to continue to work on my marriage with the help of my husband Daniel.

I love you more today than I ever have, Daniel, simply because you are who you are and because you have stayed by my side and given me the space to do my healing. I hope that you agree with me when I say that our marriage is better than it has ever been. To get here today has been a mutual effort. I couldn't have gotten when I am today without your love and support. I would not have the full life that I do today without you in it. You have allowed me the space and time to grow into who I am today. You have loved me since before I could tell you the source of my pain. You have seen me thru the Hell of denial of the incest and the days of healing which in their own way were Hell too. Today I feel joy and peace. Laughter often rings through our home. You play a big part in all of that for me. 

I love you with all my heart, Daniel.
Happy Anniversary, Honey.

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