Friday, March 25, 2016

Love and Marriage: Courtney's Advice

Happy Good Friday blog world! We are visiting Mikhail's family in Atlanta and having a great time reconnecting with his birth mother - On this particular Friday it reminds me so much of God's redemption displayed even in our little family! We are rounding out this series with my advice - and I will preface this by saying I in no way am an expert on this marriage thing and still have much to learn! Marriage is such a process and right when everything seems to be falling into place life throws you a curve ball and changes it up! One thing I will say is that a healthy marriage is in no way stagnant - it takes work and tenacity and an ability to adapt to many of life's changing situations! But alas, this is not my advice :)

In my inspiration post I was sharing that I had made some real connections about personal responsibility and ultimately joy while reading through the "You and Me Forever" book. Working through this book, coupled with a great couple's therapist, I was able to come to a life changing revelation - I had lost myself.

Somehow through life's ups and downs and over the years - careers, businesses, moves, and several children later I managed to place everything in my life as a priority over myself. I think as women, we are often times wired this way- it is very natural for us to take care of all the needs around us while neglecting our own - many times we don't even know we are doing it! I found myself in this very situation! Whatever my kids, husband, business, house, life, friend needed was what I focused on. I realized how out of touch I was with my self when my therapist asked me what my ideal life/relationship looked like - How would Mikhail treat me, how would my children behave, what would the parameters of my life look like when I would call it good. I had no idea.....I had honestly never considered what I wanted for my life - I was consumed by what everyone else wanted or needed n theirs.

This lack of self awareness manifested itself in many ugly ways in not only my marriage but other relationships as well! When you don't know how you want to be treated, how can you direct others to treat you in an appropriate and respectful way? When you are never doing anything for yourself you are quick to resent doing and giving to others - robbing yourself and the recipient of the joy intended! When you have not taken the time to refuel yourself - you are working on fumes while serving others - and those are quickly exhausted!

It became abundantly clear to me that while there were (still are) issues that pertain to us as a couple - there were some major issues between me and myself and only I could work on those! I made it a point to take care of me first! And this ladies is my advice to matter what stage in life you are in (Newly married, new mom, gaggle of children, empty nester) take the time, energy, and resources that you so lavishly pour into everyone else and instead pour those into you! This will make you a more energetic mom, a more patient partner, a more giving sister, a more loving daughter and an all around more confident woman - and nothing is more sexy and desirable than a confident, fulfilled woman!


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