I have always had a hard time sharing how I feel. When I got married, I was even less likely to share my struggles about marriage. I didn’t want people to judge my husband or me because of any problems we might be going through.
My husband and I have a good marriage, but like any marriage, there are struggles. I’ve spent most of my marriage bottling up my emotions from our disagreements or struggles. By bottling up my emotions I wasn’t allowing myself to move past them or resolve them. By not communicating through our issues, it made me feel isolated and alone.
That all started to change when I started talking regularly with an old friend. We grew up together, but lost touch when I got married and moved away from home. Fate had other plans, though, because we reconnected and started talking every week. We chat, catch up, and share what’s going on in our lives.
The more we talked, the more comfortable I felt with her. And the more comfortable I felt, the more I was able to open up about all of my struggles and insecurities.
I knew I couldn’t talk with just anyone about my ups AND downs in my marriage. I refused to talk with someone who would hold what I said against my husband or allow my venting to change their view of my amazing husband. But this friend had been supportive of me and my marriage early on, so I trusted that she wouldn’t judge either of us.
Once I started opening up to this friend, I started seeing so much change in myself. It helped not only me and my mindset, but most importantly—my marriage! From the time I first shared with her that I had met the amazing man who would become my husband, and as my relationship grew with him, she was always supportive. She always wanted to see me happy and thriving! I knew I could trust her with my problems because she was always on my AND my husband’s team.
At times in my marriage my first instinct was to feel like I was always in the right and to be frustrated with my husband. But my friend never tried to pit us against one another or just sided with me. After I would get done explaining a disagreement my husband and I had had, she would say something like: Do you think he meant what he said in this way? Or: He might not of meant to say it like that. I’m sure he didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.
In those moments, she would be a voice of reason for me. She would suggest he “probably meant it this way” or that “he probably didn’t mean to come across like that.” It was a relief to have an outside perspective, as it helped me look at our disagreements in a way I may not have otherwise.
Having an amazing, non-judgmental friend to turn to and bounce ideas and feelings off of has been priceless. She has taught me to take a breather when I get frustrated. She has reminded me time and time again that my husband is on my side too and that when we get into a disagreement it is most likely a miscommunication and nothing more.
She has taught me that I can trust people outside of my marriage and that not everyone will judge me for the struggles we go through. It was helpful to have someone to talk to about everything that is going on instead of just bottling it up. But more than just lending an ear, my friend also helped me see past myself.
Even though my husband and I have a good marriage with no major problems, talking with someone has made our relationship better.