‘Everybody Loves Vulnerability’ And WW Linkup!

Vulnerable in MarriageI am still unpacking what I feel are the important aspects of creating a confessional culture today, which leads me to share about a vulnerable and unflattering moment of mine in my own marriage. Sometimes the best way to communicate a reality is to learn from a real-life and raw human encounter in marriage.

It all began as my hubby and I were taking a walk and talking the other day. I said something and expected that Gary (my husband) would reply quickly to what I’d just said. He didn’t. I waited all of about 30 seconds, and then jokingly said something sarcastic to prompt him to share his affirmations or acknowledgement to me.

Whenever I do this, I picture us in some slapstick comedy like “Everybody Loves Raymond” where Deborah his wife (that would be me!) just said something sarcastic that the entire audience can relate to, and they all explode with laughter and applause.

How prideful is that?

So when Gary doesn’t like how I’m trying to immerse us into some Hollywood “sitcom”resisting his “Ray Barone Role”—I feel like he’s the problem for not taking a joke and laughing with me.

But what is he laughing at?

  • My impatience with his conversational responses?
  • My demand that he respond in the right time and way?
  • My belief that he is the one in the wrong here and should “straighten up” and get with the program—the “Everybody Loves Raymond” program?

Even more hypocritical, I think that he should be gracious to me . . .

when I’ve just withheld graciousness from him!

It is so hard to be vulnerable and apologetic in those moments. It’s like what I thought was praiseworthy is really rotten to the core. So I feel stripped down and wonder . . .

I’m thankful to report that I did apologize, but unfortunately, not as sincerely or humbly as I knew I could. I still had an attitude in my heart that resisted this vulnerability.

Truly there is a tangle of emotions that erupts in moments like these—I was disappointed in myself, I was angry with Gary for not being “gracious” with me and, worst of all, I was angry with myself for not being more gracious with him.

But deeper than emotions being stirred, I made choices to sin and keep distance in my relationship. So I ask myself, why am I not more brokenhearted over that sin?

Vulnerability is at the core of what I am grappling with and probably so are you! “Everybody may love vulnerability” . . . in others, but it’s not such a well-loved task when we are the ones who must be vulnerable.

I want to continue to explore what it means to be vulnerable with our spouses as we attempt to build a confessional culture. I hope you’ll continue to join me and please do comment! Your comments lately have really stirred so much more “processing out” of these hard issues in life and marriage.

 

What do you try to keep in mind when you know you need to apologize?

 

What intimidates you the most about being vulnerable with your mate?

 

By the way, I will be traveling to Lynchburg, Virginia on Thursday, June 18th for my son and future daughter-in-laws wedding that’s being held this Saturday. So please say a prayer for them as they begin this daunting, but exciting journey together! Also, know that I will be on vacation next week and though I’ll be posting the Wedded Wednesday Linkup as usual, I won’t be commenting or blog hopping much or at all next week.

 


Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, Wifey Wednesday, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, Cozy Reading List, So Much at Home and Wholehearted Wednesday.

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  • Mary

    I love how you described vulnerability. Choosing not to hide or cover our weaknesses. Choosing to be real and authentic is exactly what I am working on instead of covering up for the sake of not causing to make situation more difficult. You do know that these lessons are so important for singles too!!! They really help me to understand myself as well as what all relationships should look like. Thank you for that!

    I will be praying for your son and the beginning of his new life together with his bride. How exciting! Praying that everything goes well and your vacation is restful and restorative. Much love!

    • I hope these lessons are important for singles, divorced, widowed, and “messy married,” Mary! I hear from some singles at my church that the posts have helped them in their relationships, so I’m glad that don’t let the name of my blog get in the way of reading. I’m so glad that you are finding my words helpful. And if the Lord should ever bring another guy into your life, I pray that you are encouraged and brave enough to venture into the realm of “messy marriage” again. Maybe with a few less messes here and there! 😉 Thank you for your prayers for my son and the wedding. Pray that the weather cooperates, since it’s supposed to potentially rain and it’s an outdoor ceremony! Pics will be posted eventually! Love ya, girlfriend!

  • Great post that I needed to read. Thank you!
    I already pinned the quoted picture!

    • Thank you, Cassie. Your words or short and sweet but are music to my ears because it’s all about encouraging and spurring one another on in life and marriage!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Good post, but I’m not really well enough to write anything coherent.

    • I understand, Andrew, and be assured that you are in my thoughts and prayers all day long! May God wrap you in His comforting arms.

  • Susan Burfoot Mead

    I just found your linkup today. So thrilled to join you.

    May I invite you to join the dance each Friday as we linkup for DanceWithJesus at SusanBMead.com/blog-2? The Friday title will have linkup in it

    Your words would bless others there! Susan

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Susan, and for inviting me to the linkup on Friday. I won’t be able to make it this week or next due to the wedding and vacation to follow, but I will try to make it happen in the weeks ahead! Thanks for coming by and introducing yourself! Glad to have you in the line up!

  • Gary Stefffaniak

    And, just a note to you blog stalkers who are fixated on your own twisted interest … no, this would NOT an opportune time to visit what you think is our unoccupied home. Our two (very strong) 20-something boys will be home, not to mention Cheyenne, our dog that scares the holy fire out of strangers. You’re better of staying home and reading a good book … or maybe going back and reading though some of Beth’s past posts here at Messy Marriage!

    • Mary Flaherty

      I’m so glad that you read your wife’s blogs, Gary! And glad that you set us all straight! Although I don’t even know what state you live in, much less what town, so rest assured, I am not stalking Beth. Scary thought, nonetheless.

      • Yes, he does faithfully, but doesn’t often comment, Mary. I think he may feel like people would only see it as a “partial” point of view. But he’s one of my biggest supporters and is always bragging about Messy Marriage to anyone who will listen. And as far as his concern for our home, well, I think he has a point. But we really don’t have a lot that burglars would want–especially if they have to cross our fierce watchdog, Cheyenne. She barks at anyone who even walks down the sidewalk of our home! ha! Thanks for jumping into the discussion!

      • Gary Stefffaniak

        I think I should have included a 🙂 at the end of my comment.
        Hope you, and everyone else, picked up on my tongue-in-cheek.

        • Mary Flaherty

          No, it was perfect without the smiley face. It’s scarier that way.

  • What scares me most about making myself vulnerable is that my husband may use it against me sometime or take me for granted…
    Again, this fear is rooted in pride and I find that I have to continually kill pride until it has no power over me anymore.
    It is hard Beth, but not impossible, as we put our hands into Gods. Thanks for your practical approach to blogging. Have a super blessed day!
    Love

    • Thank you for taking the plunge, Ugochi, to share something vulnerable here in this place. It helps to not be the only one who’s exposed the less flattering parts of myself, my friend! And yes, my fears are also rooted in pride and lack of faith in the Lord. We must simply put our lives in His hands, as you’ve said, day after day and minute after minute. Thanks for adding to the discussion!

  • Have a wonderful trip! How exciting… a wedding!

    • Thank you, Becky! I can’t believe it’s actually happening! We are thrilled with the girl, correction woman, he’s chosen too! What could be better than a marriage between two people who are madly in love with each other but most importantly with the Lord!

  • Mary Flaherty

    All I can say is…ugh. Been there. My husband, Brian is not a talker, and apparently not much of a responder. I can’t count the times I’ve asked, “Did you hear me?” or “Are you still there?” (phone). I guess he doesn’t get that he’s supposed to acknowledge what I said. I can Soooooo relate. Enjoy the blessed event!

    • Oh yes, Mary, I think that men are not naturally wired to be conversant in the first place. So it’s always a challenge to know what they should say in reply. I so often share bits of wisdom from the perspective of a life coach and counselor rather than flesh and blood, flawed and often messy human being. I want to be sure to include that side to this conversation. It’s always easier to talk about vulnerability than to be vulnerable! Thanks for your encouragement, my friend!

  • I didn’t realize it was wedding time already!! Woot!!! What fun you all will have, so excited for you and hope to see pictures ♥

    In answer to your question: What do you need to keep in mind when you know you need to apologize? I need to remember not to make HIM feel like HE has to apologize too. I am so guilty of that. It’s like “if I have to do it then I will make him feel so bad that he will say he is sorry too”. Yikes 🙁 Great points here today Beth, not always easy to put yourself out there!

    Enjoy your family!

    • Yep! It gets here fast, Nannette! And yes, it will be sooo much fun, I’m sure! In fact, we are already having a hard time sleeping as we anxiously await the big day. I’ll be sure to share pics back here too, so come back for a gander.

      I can relate to your answer about vulnerability too. I tend to think that I am the Holy Spirit in my hubby’s life! I need to back off and let God do any convicting and in the meantime I discover that it is ME that the Lord wants to convict! ha!

  • John Wilder

    Men need respect even more than we need sex

    • I agree wholeheartedly, John. That’s truly what was at the crux of my encounter with my hubby. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

      • John Wilder

        Sadly it is in short supply in our country. The feminists have confused men as to what their role is. We have a 50 cent word called Misandry which is reverse sexism by women against men. Wikipedia does a good job explaining this word. An example can be seen in our tv commercials where the man is portrayed as this helpless boob who has yet again gotten himself and/or his family into trouble yet again. The “heroic wife” swoops in to save the day all the while tossing off condescending and insulting comments to the husband who is visually shrinking before our very eyes.

        • Mary Flaherty

          oh, I abhor those commercials! The woman is never made out to be the dumb one. The message that women are superior to men speaks more loudly than whatever the commercial is about!

          • John Wilder

            Thanks for backing me up

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  • Wow, I LOVE this. I’m learning that vulnerability is such a huge and important part of marriage, and that being vulnerable is what builds trust and intimacy in our marriage. I read this after my husband and I had a hard, vulnerable conversation tonight so the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Thanks for sharing this and hosting this linkup!

  • Have a fabulous, joy-filled celebration this weekend, Beth! You will be one gorgeous mother-of-the-bride! I hope your family gives you permission to share lots of pics and details! Just can’t wait to celebrate with you, even from afar!!!

    Blessings to all …

  • Pam

    Beth,
    I think I am hesitant to be vulnerable with my spouse because I worry that he won’t be gracious in receiving my apology. I need to not worry about that and just make my own progress.
    Congratulations on the wedding. I hope the rain holds off long enough for you! My grandparents were married on June 20th, and they had 72 wonderful years together!
    Blessings to you and your family-

  • Jesus indeed is a model of vulnerability. He never hid his feelings, be it gladness, hurt or anger.