marriage tip from a horror novel
Before my mom-break this year, I picked up What the Night Knows by Koontz. The basic premise is that a demon occupies the Calvino's house and torments them, with an end goal of murdering them by influencing people who come into the house.
Each member of the family experienced weird, scary things. They all thought that they must be insane or that the house was haunted, but that it was only affecting them. The demon convinced them that the rest of the family wouldn't believe them and that they had to endure it alone. All five of the family members at different points in the book considered telling each other what they were seeing or experiencing, but then changed their minds. The family became divided and withdrew from each other, especially the husband and wife.
If at any point, they had just told each other what was going on, the others would have said, "Oh! ME TOO!" And they may have been able to defeat their common enemy sooner, as a united family, or even as a united married couple. Instead, they didn't talk about it until they were fighting for their lives at the end.
It's one of those enfuriating moments, like watching a horror movie. You yell at the character on the screen to turn around or don't go in there. And they don't follow your advice.
After I read I this book, Rodgers and I were going through a husband and wife devotional from the You Version app. The first day covers communication and poses the question: Do you ever not tell your spouse how you are feeling or how something effects you?
We talked about the thoughts we have that prevent us from telling each other things. This is my problem; I need to suck it up and bear it on my own. S/he wouldn't understand so why bother? We discovered that the same issues bother both of us, but in different ways. We can't see each other's perspective until we talk about it. And we can't understand each other and reach a solution until then either. Sucking it up just separates us from each other.
And I said, "You know, this was in a book I read..." and told him all of the above.
Those thoughts drive a wedge between us and prevent us from being able to tackle life's problems as a team. We agree that we're better when we're working together, so why believe these lies? They just seem So True sometimes. But like the Calvinos, we can overcome if we just tell each other what's going on. Obviously, we should do that using non-judgmental, non-accusatory words, simply saying, "You need to know how I perceive this situation and how it's affecting me."