Most marriage advice typically follows two trendy patterns: a list so exhaustive it makes you want to cry, or a takeaway so neatly packaged you'd trust it as much as you'd trust a grimy gold-toothed salesman. I'm no veteran to marital bliss, but my husband and I have weathered some serious storms together. For us, I'd say the biggest game changer has been an unwavering commitment to see each other.
It's funny, we typically all start our relationships saying, “I'm seeing someone!” Sadly, between all-consuming jobs, teething babies, sleepless nights and endless to-do-lists, we tend to stop looking. We start shutting down and inevitably at some point we are afraid to be seen.
Sometimes my daughter will ping-pong in front of me performing some fancy 'new' trick I've likely seen 80+ times in the past half hour, but my heart shifts when she belts, “Mooooommmmy, watch THIS! See what I can do! Looooook at ME!
Our souls scream with the same desperate need from our spouse more often than we let on. We can go through days on an empty tank as we pour all our energies into details and distractions. It's easy to forget the things you adore about each other, when withdrawing feels safer. Surely we can function without being 'seen', but what a lonely season. If you're not careful it can turn into a lifestyle. Marriages shake when we quit seeing each other, walls go up and hearts close off.
Remember if just for a moment - behind those tired eyes is the man who stole your heart, and underneath that worn-thin momma is a bride—still captivating! Choosing to be seen takes vulnerability. You're exposed more in your marriage than any other relationship. You're locked in at your best and your worst, but when you choose to graciously bear witness to your spouse through it all, you infuse your relationship with honor.
When you let your spouse be real with you, it blankets them with validation! Being seen isn't so much about fixing problems or even arriving at the same perspective. It's about holding enough respect for one another you can communicate in an arena of safety and love.
So, be brave and start praying some dream-soaked prayers. Shed your fears, and refuse to just let each day roll into the next, while your heart aches to be seen. I dare you - risk it all and commit to truly seeing one another! Fight for your marriage everyday by living and breathing a story that reads, “I won't let you go unnoticed, you are worth it, and I'm all in—I see you.”
Asha is a lover of adventure, family dance parties and spending time by the sea. She is married to the man of her dreams and a momma to one darling daughter who keeps her on her knees and on her toes. You can find her blogging about the intersect between faith and motherhood.