If you remember, Part One of Day Four was about marriage: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2012/04/06/day-four-part-one-twenty-days-toward-being-a-more-mindful-mother/ Tonight I grabbed some of my well-worn (and needing to be cleaned) block crayons and set to work depicting something one often hears about marriages: how marriages have seasons.
Spring marriages are hopeful, excited, optimistic about the future, full of thankfulness! So thankful and grateful I found you! So excited about the possibilities for the future! There may be disagreements swirling around like the spring winds, but they seem small and breezy with the sun always shining through. Many couples would say “spring” describes a season of early marriage, the beginning with all its shiny newness and glory.
In my almost twenty years of marriage, I can honestly say there have been many spring seasons, not just one. The hope of being together in love, in the creation of new opportunities and possibilities, the joy of the ever-changing landscape that is marriage has been there many times, always prompting me to learn something new about my spouse and about us. Spring starts to define who we want to be, who we are and what our marriage is about.
A summer marriage reaps the relaxed and contented fruits of spring. I envision summer as a time of comfortable positivity where the ebb and flow of conflict gets easily resolved in a laugh out in the sun. It is a time when you know who you are, who your spouse is, what your marriage is about, and the mellow joy that comes from that knowledge.
Sometimes after periods of spring and summer, we fall into periods of other emotions. Fall is often that time of tension: I can feel the winter coming, will we survive it? Maybe it is a time of emotional distance, a time of not knowing how to shore up the marriage for the future and knowing something needs to be done.
Winter often signifies a time of hardship for many couples. This may be the season when a marriage hits a silent wall of discouragement, anger, resentment, disconnection. I think all marriages go through periods of fall and winter; sometimes counseling can be helpful. Sometimes, if you are able to open up the lines of communication together, the winter can be blown away and left behind as spring comes again in all its glory.
Thinking about marriage today and its inevitable seasonal changes as time passes,