Well, if it ain’t the bloomin’ day #3 of Marriage Week at the NDD!
The Defensive Marriage
I am in the middle of a conversation right now about a friend’s defensiveness on her blog and in her marriage. Here is Monica’s blog entry so you’ll know what I am talking about. I found the quote above as I typed out a response and it occurred to me that defensiveness only comes about when you perceive an enemy.
If you are defensive in your marriage you might be perceiving a real threat, like an abusive spouse, in which case you are smart to be in the defensive posture. But what if you aren’t perceiving a real threat, but are simply being defensive out of habit? Perhaps being defensive in the face of a false threat might cause your spouse to respond defensively as well. And then what happens? Then you are no longer on the same side and it’s very unlikely that your marriage will blossom sinces it’s a pretty hard task to love an enemy, real or imagined.
So, the solution is to be vulnerable and not defensive. But doesn’t that bring it’s own problems? When you are vulnerable, don’t you risk being taken advantage of, exploited, treated unfairly? Isn’t that a threat worth protecting against? Yes, it is. But you have to decide when that risk of exploitation is likely or unlikely and adjust to that reality, not just implement a learned behavior of defensiveness that is no longer an effective response to your current life.
You have to be on the same side if you want your love to blossom.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman, who is preaching to himself, as usual.
Inspiration from the writings of Monica Bielanko
Quote by Tom Mullen