Miscellany

The Truth About My Marriage

February 4, 2013

Have you ever had a paradigm shift?

Say, you are annoyed at your dog one evening. You came home to a chewed up pile of books and pee on your favorite leather chair. Morning walks have become a dreaded chore as you are pulled hither and yon through your neighborhood. And to top it all off, he eats way too much.

“This whole dog owner thing is way overrated,” you mumble to yourself as you grab your phone, a slobbery tennis ball, and march out the door to grumpily engage in a game of fetch.

You start unenthusiastically throwing your way-too-excited dog the soggy tennis ball and giving him the death stare each time it is returned. Suddenly distracted by your phone, you throw the ball a bit farther than anticipated and it bounces innocently into the middle of the busy street in front of your house, taunting your dog with its erratic bouncing movements.

Your dog can’t resist. Like a bolt of lightning he is gone, headed straight towards the ball which is merrily spinning in the middle of the street. It seems to be singing your dog to it because he pays no mind to your frantic shouting. Quickly you glance the other direction and, to your horror, you see a big, black truck squealing around the corner headed straight for your dog. “No!” escapes from your lips, a screamed whisper (if there is such a thing).

You cover your eyes and turn your head attempting to block out the massacre about to happen.

You hear a loooong screech, a tremendous beep, and a yelp. “That’s it, that’s the end,” you sigh and you slowly drop your hands to look at the scene before you.

The black truck is almost out of sight as your eyes focus on the scene before you. You feel movement against your pants and a wet heavy sensation as a saliva saturated ball lands squarely on the toe of your tennis shoe. Looking down and staring up at you with smiling eyes is your dog, miraculously unharmed and completely unaware of the narrow escape he just had.

This is the moment of your paradigm shift.

The shredded books and pee on your leather chair are completely forgotten as you quickly gather your dog in your arms. All sorts of silly things come flowing out of your mouth and the music seems to swell in the background as you promise steak dinners together, long runs up beautiful wildflower covered mountains, drives across the desert to visit his long-lost brother, and a new toothbrush with bacon flavored toothpaste. Completely unashamed, you cover him with kisses and tightly hug his wiggling body.

Never again will you dread your morning walks together. You are thankful simply for more time.

The paradigm shift in my marriage

This is what happened to me and my marriage. Well, not the dog part or the slimy tennis ball, or the near death experience, no, but the paradigm shift, yes!

I have been speaking lies about my marriage to myself in my head. I didn’t think of them as lies, simply as negatives. I thought they were innocent enough and it felt good to dwell there oddly enough. It made me feel better about myself if I blamed someone else.

But, recently I saw with wide open eyes the destruction my lazy mind has paved.

I was awaked, ready for change. What I proceeded to do shifted my paradigm.

I decided to write down all the things I have been telling myself about my marriage in my head, and to be downright honest about it. I nervously wrote them all down, looking around, making sure that no one was peeking over my shoulder.

I looked at my list, horrified. The stuff that I was putting into my own head was more than eye-opening.

I tore up that paper into very small bits and threw it away.

I then took a full blank legal pad and wrote in big letters at the top of the page – “THE TRUTH ABOUT MY MARRIAGE.” I proceeded to fill that page with all the beautiful things I know and see about my marriage and the vision I have for it. It was beautifully eye-opening!

This simple act changed my paradigm. I felt it immediately. I have seen the effects immediately.

I don’t ever want to look back and regret not having a strong, vibrant marriage because I was too afraid to face myself. Too fearful to admit my faults and change them. Too lazy to change the way I think and talk and act.

I posted “THE TRUTH ABOUT MY MARRIAGE” on our refrigerator and see it every day. Our story weaves more beautiful because of it.

Question: Have you ever had a paradigm shift? Do tell!

 

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14 Comments

  • Reply Ann Musico February 4, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Claudia what a great analogy – I could also relate that type of paradigm shift to my kids – because it seems no matter what they do – I am forever ready to forgive and understand.  Not always so for my poor husband!  So I can honestly say I intentionally do this paradigm shift periodically – whenever I notice my attitude toward him going south.  And I add to that speaking well of him to others because it reminds me of just how blessed I am to have him.  Thanks for the wonderful reminder!

    • Reply Claudia Good February 4, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      You are welcome Ann!
      I found what you said very interesting. Perhaps we have higher expectations of our spouses then we do of our children? 

      • Reply Ann Musico February 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm

         I think we do – after all we (maybe just me?) look at our spouses as equals at the same level we are at and our children as still learning and growing and changing, even though we are all works in progress throughout our lives!

        • Reply Claudia Good February 4, 2013 at 2:52 pm

          I think you are right Ann! And no, it’s not just you 😉 

          “We are all works in progress,” I like that reminder, and even though we are grown it doesn’t mean we aren’t still growing!!!

          blessings today friend!

          • Ann Musico February 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm

             Blessings to you too, Claudia!

  • Reply Donna Yates February 4, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Well said Claudia.  I think in most relationships we have those times when we allow negative thoughts to cloud our opinion of our spouse.  I know I have.  If we allow those to continue, we begin a slow steady decline and unfortunately for some, it leads to a very unsatisfied marriage or maybe even divorce.  I too like you have to start telling myself all the good things about my chosen mate and how fortunate I am to have him in my life.  ONce I start, I see him and myself in a totally new light.  I agree with Ann too.  Why is it we are so ready to forgive and think positively about our kids, but not always about our mates! 

    • Reply Claudia Good February 4, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Yes indeed Donna! It’s crazy how they just creep in and because they are in our own heads too often we believe the lies!

      I like how you said when you start telling yourself different things you see both your husband and yourself in a new light! Change your perspective, change your life! 

  • Reply Jody Berkey February 4, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    One of the paradigm shifts in my life was the work/home balance.  Before Elijah was born and when I was a teacher, I would pour everything into teaching.  I’d come home well after the appointed “quitting” time and be exhausted with little left to give.  Then came this precious little baby.  Internal conflict ensured: being a good mom, staying home, going to work, being a good teacher, climbing the professional ladder to becoming an administrator, being a “mom” to my students who had such screwed up home lives.  When I worked, I felt guilt guilty.  Now that I’m staying home, I feel guilty for not “contributing.” My paradigm shift has been oh-so gradual and is still a work in progress.  

    I just read this post before reading yours: http://momastery.com/blog/2013/02/04/friendly-fire-3/

    It was an interesting read. I guess I’m not alone 🙂

    • Reply Claudia Good February 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm

      Jody,
      Haha! Great read! And no my dear friend, you are surely NOT alone! 
      Those voices of guilt and worry always seem to pester don’t they. Like mosquitos they are.

      I love the idea of seasons. I find comfort in that! I tell myself “for this season I am, or I will…”

      What joy and strength you bring to your little family Jody! You are contributing in so many ways and I can see it in your son’s shining eyes and your husbands smile! You are needed where you are!

  • Reply Tom Dixon February 4, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    If you ever get angry with your toddler one minute, and then can’t find him in a crowded store – you have that paradigm shift right away!  Thanks for your openness and transparency with this post – great stuff.

    • Reply Claudia Good February 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Oh my word, yes Tom!!! Great example… makes my heart skip a beat just thinking about it because I know how fast it happens!!

      Thanks for your kind words!

    • Reply Michael Good February 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      Oh man, I can’t imagine, Tom! Yes, that would be a paradigm shift for sure.

  • Reply Michael Wright February 8, 2013 at 6:47 am

    I concur with Ann.  Every time I look into my daughter’s bedroom to check in while she’s sleeping, my heart melts.  I am just so thankful for her.  I don’t see the tension or the struggle we might have had an hour or two earlier.   You are so wise to make a list of Truths.  Isn’t it funny how we can just dwell on just one, single “fault” of another person and it just grows into a mental jury, ready to pass the worst judgement on the other person?  Too often, it is our spouses and I think it because we’re just around them so much and we get comfortable in our assumptions.  

    • Reply Claudia Good February 9, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      Michael,
      I love how kids just bounce back. They don’t hold grudges or hurts. They cry only to be laughing the next moment. I love this and am learning to be more this way myself.

      I just heard Zig saying you have to put a time limit on your bad/sad moods. A couple hours max for a small disappointment and a couple days to a week for a big one. That was a good reminder. I am in control of my emotions and I can stop feeling grumpy or sad whenever I choose to. I just have to choose.

      hmmm that was a little bit of a side rant 😉

      Thanks for your thoughts Michael!

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