...I already had this series on Marriage/Divorce ready to go before John and I received those phone calls on Friday. But gosh, it was such a better story than the one I had in que, I just knew I had to do a partial rewrite. It is such a great example that just when you think things are humming along, that tsunami wave blast comes in.
No this picture isn't a tsunami, it's an example of the ongoing effort to keeping it alive. The marriage that is. Working to strengthen the bond. I think it is also another touching photo by Peggy Farren, so no copying please.
I really cannot over emphasise the power of communication. In the Newsletter of the National Down Syndrome Congress Volume 32 #4, Renee Schultz wrote a great piece on marriage titled, You Are An Important Two... It notes that she and her husband Ron Baer offered a workshop at the convention in Sacramento. If anyone attended, I would love to hear how it was.
Ms. Schultz lists a few suggestions for couples that I think are excellent:
-Talk and listen to each other. The quality of your communication is the most critical factor in marital satisfaction.
-Validate each other - notice and express what you appreciate about your partner
-Disclosing feelings is critical including difficult feelings. Fear cuts off communication and can separate and polarize partners.
-Anger is normal, but how we express it is critical.
-Take responsibility - no blaming your partner.
-In a direct and positive way, let your partner know what you need
-As a couple, take time away from your children for the two of you.
I personally think that last one is the hardest for our circle. First finding a sitter that is qualified for the special medical needs our kids have is often tough. Even if they do not have medical challenges, just finding a sitter as our child with Ds ages can be difficult. So John and I have tried to make our bedroom a sanctuary of sorts. A place where we can be alone. We recently bought a new bed and paid more than we normally might have for the extras knowing that is our place. Our little retreat. Sometimes we have to compromise on the location but being together is so important.
As I close up this topic, you might be wondering about the posts that I took down. At dinner that night, both John and TJ told me to put them back up. Before I did though, I added some content to make the reader a bit more clear on the direction the posts were going. I could see the point trying to be made, I just did not agree with the delivery. Communication. Honest, truthful and tender communication. It's the key.
P.S. I don't often put music on here but as I was driving to the grocery store on Friday night still shaken from the ordeal earlier in the day, I popped in the new Reba CD. This song, which also happens to be the album title, brought it all back together for me...Keep On Lovin' You. If you have a minute, listen to the lyrics by clicking the word music.