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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Going Through the Fire, Coming Out As Pure Gold

Being the eldest child and facing various obstacles and challenges during my adolescent years, has caused me to have a much more mature mindset and attitude towards life. I was always a step ahead of my peers. These factors of maturity and challenges also caused me to erect a very thick wall that prevented me from allowing myself to build substantial and genuine relationships with people. I guarded my emotions like a soldier guarding her country. Outside of my family, I permitted very few people to penetrate that barrier. Because of this, I was very individualistic. I did things on my own because I chose to do things on my own. I was self-motivated and self-sufficient; I didn’t rely on others to help, console, or energize me. So when I met my husband he had to fight through my wall and he didn’t get through without a fight back. Luckily he was very persistent; with each chisel, he inched closer and closer until he broke in and revealed his target – my heart.

I had faced several challenges during the early stages, particularly the first year and a half, of my marriage. Breaking barriers, trust, pride, and one of which I figured out just recently: learning to be both a woman and a wife at the same time. Beginning with the latter, I feel that this was a challenge because usually these very important stages in life come one at a time: womanhood being a foundation to have going into a marriage. As a result of this, I became frustrated and confused at times because I didn’t know how to handle or approach certain situations and I felt that I lacked the level of strength and confidence that older women possess. These feelings of frustration and lack of confidence were portrayed in some of my actions – actions that didn’t sit well with my husband, nor were they healthy for my marriage. Another challenging obstacle for me was letting go of my pride. I lusted after the last word in an argument, which always escalated the issue, and it was very difficult for me to admit my wrongdoing. Pride even hindered me from apologizing at times and that was unfair to him, because, even though he too had a pride issue, he made sure to make amends and apologize for doing wrong. The other obstacle was trust, which goes hand in hand with breaking barriers, because the reason for the barrier was lack of trust.

By overcoming these obstacles and now being an outsider looking in, I packed a few things under my belt. I learned the importance of seeking guidance. We sought after a couple who has been married for over 10 years to be our mentors, which I would recommend doing from the get go. It eases a lot of worries because you now have a connection that will guide and mentor you through unfamiliar territories. I also learned to be vulnerable, which sounds scary and unappealing to many. But really, in order to have peace and be able to grow as a couple it is imperative that each individual in the relationship breaks down any wall or barrier that would usually be erected for emotional defense. A marriage is built upon trust and for as long as you disallow yourself to trust that your spouse loves and would never desire to work against you but for you the marriage will be stunted and would ultimately fail. Because of the barrier I upheld between my husband and me, our growth was stunted. Communication was almost non-existent on my part because I didn’t let him into my thoughts and failed to express my emotions. I would shut down and not say a word after an argument; I would never initiate a conversation to talk about what the trigger was and how we could avoid the situation either. He would have to probe for that information and he shouldn’t have had to. Assuming is also a negative practice. We both learned not to assume; just ask, clarify and talk about it. The last important tool that I’ll mention is to break down pride. It is difficult to be egotistical and prideful when striving to have a meaningful and successful relationship.

As a result of overcoming these obstacles as a couple I am definitely more confident in myself as an individual, a woman, and a wife. I am better equipped to handle and solve problems. I am more trusting and have no more barriers! I have a greater love and understanding towards my husband and overall, I’m a better me.


Anonymous Jordan Bunger said...

"A marriage is built upon trust and for as long as you disallow yourself to trust that your spouse loves and would never desire to work against you but for you the marriage will be stunted and would ultimately fail."

Thank you for this post. I took away a lot from it.

April 15, 2011 at 3:52 AM  

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