So, a few weeks ago I wrote something of a summary of what my 2014/2015 looked like.
Bet you didn’t think all that was happening for me even while I was loving life and encouraging you. Mostly because circumstances don’t have to determine our outlook.
I wanted to take some time to specifically address this week one of the things I spoke about:
Chris and I have always been really straightforward and honest about what our pasts looked like. And how they have shaped both our perspectives and needs in a relationship. And while we are very sure footed in the foundation of our relationship that doesn’t mean that insecurities won’t be triggered.
Insecurities aren’t always based in the present. Sometimes they’re things engrained in us from a past relationship.
Mine were engrained in ALL of my prior relationships.
I went from an obsessive boyfriend that stalked and raped me while inflicting emotional abuse. To one who had a mother that thought I wasn’t good enough for her son and who cheated regularly. To a husband that habitually lied to me and cheated on me, that was also abusive mentally/emotionally/& physically.
Yeah. Lots & LOTS of baggage to unpack.
Chris and I have done a lot of unpacking together. And he’s always been very understanding and supportive.
So why were we 4 years into our relationship having conversations about infidelity?
To be clear, my husband has never stepped outside the bounds of our marriage. Nor have I. But here we were. Having the “conversation”.
Here we were, with me telling him to not open or even CRACK doors that would be tragically difficult to close. With him telling me that I have to be accountable for being sure men understand their boundaries as a friend.
These were things he and I talked about at the onset of our relationship. This wasn’t new information to us. So WHY. WERE. WE. HERE?
- Just because it’s been discussed doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be revisited
Chris and I set bedrock principles in our relationship 6 years ago. And never revisited them again.
When I worked as a supervisor I had weekly meetings with my team members. We set 30 day goals that we evaluated weekly to adjust them as necessary.
Why wasn’t I applying that in my marriage?
Set the foundation but remember the importance of monthly/quarterly/yearly check-ins
Does this still work with our life? Is this still something we need in place?
- Until you face it you don’t know how you’ll handle it
Even though Chris was clear as to his insecurities and I was clear as to mine we’d never had to actually face them with each other.
We did a lot of shutting out in the beginning of our relationship to avoid facing those things.
Some people probably think we should have let our relationship experience those things early on to see how we would have handled it. But, in retrospect, I think it was smart that we shut it out.
Would you take your newborn around someone with the flu to see how their immune systems will handle the exposure?
OF COURSE NOT!!
Be protective of your “new thing” until it has matured to a place that it can weather the storms that will inevitably come your way.
If that means deleting every male/female hetero friend out of your life because in the past one of you was plagued with a cheater. Do it.
If that means giving each other the freedom to get away every few days for a few hours because in the past one of you was plagued with a controlling partner. Do it.
Whatever that means and looks like for you, DO IT.
But do it while keeping in mind that a few years down the road your confidence will have shifted in the relationship and that when you open yourself up to some of those things you closed off you will risk triggering those insecurities and that no matter how you’ve done it in the past there’s no way to know for certain how it will play out until it does.
Use the tools I’ve given you and that you’ve acquired to be as prepared for this shift as possible. Acknowledge that it’s unfamiliar territory and approach it from that stance.
REMEMBER! Your foundation is sure footed, you will survive this.
Insecurities never stop being there. They won’t disappear just because your relationship is secure. We just learn to respond to our triggers differently.
Having a strong relationship isn’t about never having a hard moment. It’s about not letting HARD be the dominating adjective of your relationship. It’s about using the tools you have to always let your best self shine through. It’s about working as a team to keep your relationship at is most healthy place.
I love you. I’m praying for you. And I’m believing for your #limitlesslife