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  • Regina Stafford

​“Marriage Does Not Complete You”

Marriage does not complete you. You complete you. Marriage is an opportunity to compliment each other’s completeness.” How I love that statement! I heard it a few years back and love how simple and profound it was. As individuals, it is our responsibility to keep growing, watering and pruning our lives. It’s good for each of us to pull aside every now and then to do a ‘wellness check up’ within our hearts; not being overly introspective, but enough to be aware of our own feelings, our needs and our desires. Take the time to retreat, to get quiet, to listen, and to reflect on how you’re doing in the midst of your busy life. This regular practice can help us avoid having something sneak up on us suddenly, and cause needless problems. All of us experience restlessness at different times in our married lives. Studies indicate certain points in our lives when we are more vulnerable to feelings of dissatisfaction than others. A few are; the first year of marriage, the seventh year, when we have children, when they leave the nest, and certainly the time when we hit mid life. It is in these times of transition that can make us feel off balance and cause us to question ourselves, our marriage, and so on. Sometimes, depending on how intense the feelings are, people can have knee jerk reactions and make drastic decisions and changes based only on their current feelings. We all know the best decisions always come when you listen to your feelings, take a step back from them, and then get your critical thinking involved. We all know marriage takes work and attention from both husband and wife to thrive for the long haul. It needs both parties putting in 100% each, not the 50/50 commitment that is so popular today. We need to do whatever it takes to keep it strong. The focus of this blog is on only one person, “you”. How many times have you felt restless or bored? Have you checked Facebook, and found that others seem to have it better than you? The smiling faces, the hugging, the excitement, the travel, and all the friends they seem to have. Have you spoken to single friends and compared your life to theirs? All of this green grass on the other side can wreak havoc in a restless heart. In many cases I’ve seen people begin to expect their mate to know how they feel and do something about it. Maybe be more romantic, adventurous, or be sexier for you? Real life comes up lacking in light of what seems to be “out there”, and somehow it becomes our mate’s job to make us feel better. If they can’t, maybe another person can? No!!! No one else can. It’s not your mates’ job to make you happy, or to make you feel fulfilled. (Again, this is a separate from an obvious situation where it absolutely needs both of you to work on an issue). This is why I suggest stepping aside every so often to sit with your thoughts, so that you can get in touch with your feelings. If you can quiet the chatter in your mind for a bit, you will hear them. They’re there whether you listen to them or not, and they will find expression. Why not pay attention to what’s happening just below the surface? I recommend prayer, meditation, and journaling as a way of turning inward to check on your heart. Ask yourself some questions like, “what am I not paying attention to that has been rustling around in the back of my mind? Where do I feel unfulfilled? What exactly am I feeling? What would help me feel better? “Don’t stress yourself during this time, just let it all come up. Remember, no decisions have to be made right now! You are just listening and observing for whatever comes up. Sometimes just hearing your own heart can make you feel better. Your feelings have been acknowledged and honored and that might have been all that was needed. Other times it may take much more reflection to understand what’s going on and what you need or want. This is the true essence of self-care; tending to our soul and our emotions. I once read about a woman who was unhappy in her life. She was irritable and snapping at everyone in her home. She came to a point where she just wanted to buy a motorcycle and take off on the open road by herself. (Boy, have I felt like that at times too). But instead, she took off for the day and sat with her thoughts for a while at a quiet park. She realized she had the power to make one or two changes in how she perceived her situation, and she almost immediately felt much better. Prior to that, it was everyone else’s fault that she was so upset. It’s not always so simple, but then again it actually can be. We also need to remember that each of us is made of three parts; body, soul and spirit. If we’re not caring for all three parts, we will feel the lack within ourselves.  Are we getting some exercise? The exercise does not need to consist of extreme cross fit training, or kick boxing. Good, old-fashioned exercise is just as good, if that’s more your style. The same goes for what you eat. Simply incorporating some foods in and out of your diet, can work wonders! Lastly, the one that seems to lack the most is our spirit; the one part of us where our very essence and inner being flows. The more you invest in your spiritual life the more you will reap its rewards. I have found that looking into the bible, finding out who God says I am and what I need for a healthy productive life. (after all, He created me)  This has grounded me greatly. It has also filled me with purpose and passion. After being married for 33 years and having passed through all the stages of life I mentioned, I whole-heartedly can attest to its saving grace. It is no one else’s responsibility to make us happy but ourselves. Make a habit of doing a wellness check up. When both you and your spouse feel complete in yourselves, you will be free to more fully enjoy the complimenting of each other’s completeness.   #marriage #completeness #retreat #heartcheckup #wellnesscheckup #reawrdscoaching #marriagebuilders #lifecoach

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