My wife and I have had some of the best times in our marriage of since, call it March… I’d have gone a little later into spring but there was the night that kicked it all off in March, the Tool concert in Grand Rapids. Best night ever. It had two massive chances for going down in flames, too. I side-stepped the first one and my wife side-stepped the second and we had one phenomenal night on the town.
Since then, we’ve been busy remaking our marriage into something beyond our best hopes. We went all in, and it’s working.
We’ve also been working our asses off with some pretty sensitive and often difficult issues. Issues that we built emotional walls to protect ourselves over in the past. I knocked down my walls first, without thinking about the why or ramifications while my wife kept hers… well, let’s say my wife rolled hers down halfway with her finger on the up button just in case, until she started to believe the change was really real. Now she’s honestly working on rolling them all the way down and it’s awesome. If a little scary for both of us.
With all of this work and busting down emotional barriers, I have a tendency to get caught up in the work of it… and my wife ended up praying that we’d find a way to have a few more laughs than we usually do with the ongoing relationship work. Enter Jim Gaffigan and his YouTube compilation of drinking jokes. I didn’t know she’d been looking for the extra laughs until she mentioned praying about it after I started our evening episode of Castle up.
[That my wife won’t ask for things like “a few more lighthearted moments” is partly on me – she’s got some fear to let go of that’s associated with asking for what she wants, but that’s not the end of that discussion. It used to be, when my wife asked for something more in our marriage, she didn’t do it very well and I took it as being “attacked”, so a simple “hey, we should do something so we can have a few laughs amidst all this serious work” became a fight. For my part in this, I had change quite a bit. I had to drop the fear that my wife asking for something would mean an intense discussion about why I’m inadequate (we don’t even go there anymore). Then, and this is really the most important, I had to listen to my wife so we could negotiate the issue out. Once I stopped trying to “win” a fight, I was able to stop battling everything out and we actually stopped fighting and started negotiating. We still have tense moments but they’re solvable because we have cooler heads and we turn to negotiation instead of fighting. I had to stop being so damned defensive].
So back to the laughs, for God’s sake! My wife and I shared several and we fell asleep well and woke up even better. Thanks, Jim Gaffigan.
And thanks, God. What a great prayer answered.
Next up, I’ll get into how we are learning to laugh more just talking between the two of us…