They say that marriage is hard…
They say that. I remember being engaged and people talking on and on about how hard marriage is and how you have to work at it. I didn’t know what they were talking about. I thought, “This means we’re going to have to relate. I like relating. No problem.” But I misunderstood.
Steve and I had a fight the other day. He touched on a hot spot for me (unintentionally, I’m sure). I exploded (unjustifiably, I’m sure). Then we’re there – the moment when I’ve been hurt and I’ve hurt him. The moment when all I want to do is protect myself, justify myself, make it better for, well, me. Twenty years into it, I think, I bet this is the hard part they were talking about. (Have I mentioned that I’m a quick learner?)
Marriage is hard in many ways, of course, but this is one way that’s interesting to me currently. In my pain, I have to open myself up more. I have to reveal the actual nature of my out-of-proportion reaction, which is rather vulnerable. I have to trust even when I feel least trusting, when my husband may be acting in ways that are hurtful. Even with a history of other similar hurts. I have to choose to consider the hurt I’ve caused him. I have to take responsibility for what I’ve done wrong. To be fair, I was forewarned it would be hard…
Often during these moments, I fantasize about becoming a hermit. Don’t you think it would be great? I would never get hurt by others. I’d never be to blame for hurting someone else. Plus, I would get a lot done. I think that’s the point that marriage provides, though. It puts us in places where you have to face this monster within. It provides us with opportunity to choose to feed the monster or starve it. Hopefully, we choose to starve it sometimes, because our spouse matters to us. The hermit, however, can let the monster rage on.
We’re hosting a marriage conference for folks who want to continue to love well. Fair warning: the people who are hosting and teaching and sharing and singing are not perfect. They have marriages that have been hard at times and good at times. We’re talking about how to get the good out of marriage even when it’s hard. We’re focusing on forgiveness; we’re covering how to talk to each other when emotions run hot; and we’re giving couples time to deepen their connection. Most importantly, we’re going to laugh together. Wherever you are at in your marriage, you are most welcome to join us.
It’s called Rock Strong Marriages and will be on November 10-11, 2017. Rock Strong Marriages will be in Castle Rock with affordable childcare available. See www.rockstrongmarriages.com for more information and to register. Use the discount code of WGA734 to get $10 off a couple’s registration price.
Dr. Veronica Johnson is co-founder of Envision Counseling Clinic and is a Licensed Psychologist in Castle Rock, Colorado. She has specialized training and over 15 years of experience working with individuals who experience same-sex attractions and find themselves in conflict with other aspects of their identity, such as their spirituality. For women and teen girls who struggle with eating disorders, Veronica uses Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills to help clients regulate their emotions, particularly around food, perfection, and self-image. Having worked for PREP, Inc. Veronica is trained in PREP’s well-known and effective communication skills for couples. She is trained in EMDR, a technique used to overcome symptoms arising from traumatic experiences. She has also edited books and written articles for publication.
Dr. Johnson is devoted to love and authenticity whether in the counseling office or elsewhere. She is guided by biblical understandings of who we are and what life is about. She uses an interactive style of therapy that puts men and women at ease. Clients feel cared for, challenged, and encouraged in Dr. Johnson’s office.
Dr. Johnson obtained her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Regent University in 2012 shortly after completing her doctoral internship at Eden Counseling Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia. During her doctoral training, she was an active research member at the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity. Her masters degree is in Professional and Biblical Counseling from Colorado Christian University, and she is also an alumnus of Biola University, in Los Angeles, California.
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