I 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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