How Failure Can Make Your Marriage Stronger
How do you respond when you fail in life? I suppose fail by definition is different for everyone, but in a general sense, when you aim for something and fall short, how do you respond? This is something that I often struggled with. I aim to please, and when I miss the mark I get a wrenching feeling in the pit of my stomach. You know the feeling? It hurts - I'm embarrassed, ashamed, regretful, disappointed, and sometimes even angry at myself.
And this is why I love being married! My wife knows more about me than anyone else would care to know. I mean, intimacy in marriage is more than what happens between the sheets [tweet that]. It means that we share our deepest darkest secrets with each other, and that we are brutally honest with one another, too (in love, of course).
I'm here to tell Kelsey when she has something in her teeth when nobody else will, and she points out all of the crazy ideas I've had over the years. It's love at it's finest. Let me explain...
Personalities play a big part in marriage, and for Kelsey and I there is often a healthy tension between us that steers the overall course of our family.
- Is cautious
- Doesn't invite chaos into her life
- Won't commit to something unless she's sure she can follow through
- Is slow to respond and thinks long and hard before making decisions
I, on the other hand, ...
- Love a good challenge
- Will bite off more than I can chew
- Shoot from the hip when making decisions (I go with my gut, if you will)
What a difference, right? What a balance. The differences cause a bit of tension between us, but we choose to embrace the differences and actually lean on each other for fresh perspective.
A few weeks ago, Kelsey served me a sweet slice of humble pie in this department. The issue is that all my ideas come as soon as we get under the covers. Turns out 9:30 pm is not a great time to bounce or pitch ideas to a cautious, no-chaos, think-long-and-hard wife. This particular night, Kelsey had (rightfully) had enough and gently, with love, reminded me of all the "great in-the-moment" ideas that I've had over the years that have never amounted to anything.
Initially, I was deflated. It stung...bad. The phrase that came to mind was "I'm a failure." She was right. I've had a lot of ideas over the years, and she has had to listen to them, not knowing how to help or what she could do to encourage or support me in my endeavors. Most of the time she gives me the "Go for it! Just don't get me involved..." answer.
But that night I realized how much I need her and her personality. She keeps me balanced and is exactly the right person for me to bounce my ideas off of. I just need to learn some patience and wait for her wise council.
How Failure Can Make You Stronger
Yup, I've had some silly ideas over the years. I've also had some good ones. But, what if I gave up on my ideas when one of them didn't work out? What if I didn't get back on the horse, or was afraid or ashamed to share my ideas with my wife? That would kill my spirit and leave me suppressing one of my strengths.
In that moment, lying in bed, I told Kelsey that I appreciated her pointing out my lousy ideas, but also said that she better get used to it. Because I'm not going to stop sharing my ideas with her. For better or for worse... (hopefully better as time goes by).
I'm resolving to press on. To get knocked down, but to also get up again. As long as I get back up, it won't be counted as a failure; just a learning experience.
Failure CAN make you stronger, if you choose to embrace it.
How do you deal with failure?