Turning Toward One Another

Russ and I celebrated 29 years of marriage last June. You would think that we would have this marriage stuff perfected, but because we are continually growing and changing, our marriage has to grow along with us. Thankfully, I think we have an amazing marriage, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t take a lot of work to keep it that way.

I’ve learned that when we’re scared, hurting, stressed, or uncertain, Russ and I need to consciously turn toward one another, not away.  I know that doesn’t sound particularly brilliant, but it has had a true impact on us. We find ourselves saying, “You’re turning away – not toward me.” Sometimes I need to physically turn my body toward Russ as we talk in order to force myself to turn my heart toward him as well.

When struggles with our children are overwhelming, I tend to become more intense, less attentive,  and less generous. Sometime last spring, this became clear to me and since then, I’ve worked hard to turned toward Russ, to listen well, be open and honest, and to be generous toward him in as many ways as I can.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference –  turn toward, not away. Be generous. Keep growing.

Lisa

 

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Katie Szotkiewicz Patel
    September 3, 2013

    Good word!

    Reply
  2. Sara Engle Anderson
    September 3, 2013

    Very good word. I needed to hear this today Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Chantelle
    September 3, 2013

    Clear, straight forward and beautiful, as always. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 3, 2013

      Thanks, Chantelle. I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

      Reply
  4. Chantelle Pratt
    September 3, 2013

    short, sweet and helpful! thanks!

    Reply
  5. Barb Horst
    September 3, 2013

    So true! In parenting trauma kids, we have found this to be very real, the intensity of it can easily drain the life from our relationship. Appreciated this reminder! Blessings!

    Reply
  6. Jennifer Shirley DiStefano
    September 3, 2013

    Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
  7. Rachel Rausch
    September 3, 2013

    thanks Lisa! and something that has helped us. through the years as we went through really rough times: we walk and talk together holding hands. many a mile we have traversed hand in hand talking and processing!

    Reply
  8. Deborah Christensen Johnson
    September 3, 2013

    This one made me cry Lisa – so very true – so very very true.

    Reply
  9. Christine Lester Forbes
    September 3, 2013

    Loved this. I was stressed all weekend about so many things and I definitely took it out on my hubby. I know my marriage won’t fall apart over my stress, but it will thrive on my turning to him and practicing these little things. Thank you.

    Reply
  10. Angela
    September 3, 2013

    This is so true!! I find I react the same way when things are overwhelming, very intense and less generous! It is a struggle for me and I can say I have definitely been very intense in the past couple of years!! My husband and I also tend to pull away or turn away. I think that is just a human response but NOT helpful!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 3, 2013

      I'm glad to know I'm not alone, Angela!

      Reply
  11. Paula
    September 3, 2013

    It might be simple and straight forward, but Tom and I (married 27 years) are just now figuring this out. It's always nice to hear that one is not alone!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 3, 2013

      We're right there with you, Paula!

      Reply
  12. Emily
    September 3, 2013

    My imaginary fictional husband who looks/acts a lot like Mr. Darcy (in the second half of the movie) never turns away from me, and I never turn away from him. Which makes sense since my imaginary fictional husband is married to imaginal fictional me who is way more godly and prayerful and enduring than the regular me.

    but neither would need grace, and I'm a big fan of grace.

    So i guess i like real me better.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 3, 2013

      I'm sure your one-day-real-life husband will like the real you better than any fictional one. Not only are you a big fan of grace, you demonstrate it daily.

      Reply
      1. Emily
        September 3, 2013

        love you. 🙂

        Reply
  13. Mamitaj
    September 4, 2013

    Good advice! 🙂

    Reply
  14. Courtney
    September 5, 2013

    i needed to hear this today. thank you!! so simple, yet so true.

    Reply
  15. ASavingLove
    September 30, 2013

    Great advise!
    Cintia
    Blogger, ASaving Love…that will change a Child’s Life!
    | http://www.asavinglove.com/

    Reply

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