The Cascade of Distance, Loneliness and Isolation starts with one thought:

It’s better to just deal with this on my own.

I remember a time when I felt I was reaching out to old friends, new neighbors and my team.   Crickets.

I was laying in bed and  turned to my husband, “Do you ever feel like your making bids to connect with people and all you get is silence?”  He responded, “Mhm.” And that was the end of our conversation.   Now he was probably tired and done for the day himself, but I  fell asleep feeling alone, my point reinforced.

Sometimes we make bids to connect, get rejected and so we stop.

Sometimes we get disappointed in others and preemptively dive into  disappointment head first by failing to connect in advance.  Its as though we believe we can avoid pain by not setting ourselves up.

Many times I see wives (and husbands) who become enlightened to the concept that their adult spouse has free will and does not have to follow their manuals.  In response, they turn away, deal with life on their own, feeling isolated in their marriage.

They put on the thought, “Adults get to behave as adults want to behave,”  or “Others are not responsible for my happiness,” (which can be freeing thoughts).  However as they apply it, they pair it with, another thought inference,  “It’s better to deal with things on my own.”

The problem with this belief is it leaves you disconnecting from those you want to connect with. 

When you are debating dealing with something on your own or turning toward your partner, it is always better to turn toward.

If we are upset, we may need to refine our thinking before we turn toward, approaching our spouse in  a different way. You want to be calm when you talk to them.  You certainly do not want to bring The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse into the conversation. (More on these four  tomorrow!)

And so to do that, you will need new thoughts.  Thoughts that honor and respect not only yourself, but his intentions, desires, perceptions, and the bones of who he is.

You might want thoughts that create feelings of love, respect, connection, calm, peace, or acceptance.

Some helpful thoughts are:

My thoughts and feelings matter and so do his

I am committed to turning toward in a way that honors both of us

We are both doing the best we can

We are on the same team

We both want love

I can suggest thoughts, but like clothing, you will know the one that feels best for you.  A thought that helps me, may feel very different to you.

Learning to honor others perception of reality, intentions and desires, and not just impose your own manual is a process of learning.  As you implement this new concept, continue to hold the value of turning toward.

As you practice both, you will fumble and fall. You may experience frustration and confusion.  But just like learning to ride a bike, keep at it. Eventually you will figure it out my friend. This is part of growing and creating new pathways in your brain and relationship.  This is not easy work.  It goes deep. It transforms us. 

But you can do it.  And as you do, remember you are never alone.  You have your Creator and Father who loves you dearly and is always there.  As you turn toward Him and ask for new thoughts and new feelings about your man, He will partner with you and give you more than you could create yourself.  He will help you to love and see your husband the way that He sees Him.