What is your confidence level in marriage?
I want to address an issue around being confident in marriage. In order to be truly confident in your marriage you must be confident in who you are. I know that when I was younger in my 20’s and early 30’s I will admit my self esteem and confidence in who I was had some issues at times. After being divorced once I know my marriage confidence level had taken a pretty severe beating.
I found out that the more confidence I had in myself and my abilities in my life the more confidence I had in my marriage. Why is this important? I believe that when you lack confidence in your marriage you do not deal with the hard issues until they become so bad that you have to. Or how about those really intimate conversations you want to have with your spouse but never sure when the right time is? When you have confidence in your marriage you are willing to take the time to ask those questions without fear of judgment or shame. You also communicate clearly on the important issues instead of sweeping them under the rug.
I know throughout the years I have struggled with some issues around confidence in talking to my husband about some important issues. Money, bills, kids, sex as well as dreams and desires. Some of the time my lack of confidence in certain issues created arguments and mental shut down.
I will admit that none of my children were ever planned! At least not by me! I say God decided more than I did. My oldest son was conceived the first time I had sex. My second son came after a contraceptive failed. Third son, I don’t even know what happened there and my daughter was discovered after I was three months pregnant after injuring my foot! My husband and I never spoke about having kids when. The only thing that we ever talked about was, we can’t have more kids because we just can not afford them. “I want to make more money and get the business going strong before we have any more” is what he would say. And wouldn’t you know it we still did not have the business going where we wanted it to be yet and another one was on the way! I was always afraid to tell him I was pregnant. Never once in my life have I experienced the joy of discovering that I was pregnant. The joys came later but my confidence in my marriage was not where it needed to be.
Having conversations about money has always been an issue for me. Since I grew up with my parents telling me “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “no you can’t have that”, “we can’t afford that” for a long time I had some major scarcity issues around money. Even to this day it takes some tender loving care from my husband to talk to me about money. It is not so much a scarcity issue anymore, it is more about a belief that is deeply ingrained in me that I choose to work on all the time.
Asking my husband for what I need in the relationship used to sound a little like nagging or whining. Now we can sit down and have some pretty fabulous conversations about what we both need and want in the relationship.
The more you and your spouse talk about what is important in your life together the more confidence you build with each other. If there is a subject that you are scared to talk about, start challenging yourself to be open about that topic. Let your spouse know that this topic is difficult or emotional for you. This is not a male/female thing by the way. Men have just as much difficulty talking about important issues as women. It just shows up differently!
Practice what you want to say ahead of time. I used to write my husband letters because I could keep my emotion out of it and explain my feelings without the emotions getting in the way.
If you are having self esteem issues then work to build yourself up. Find mentors and friends who remind you of what you want to be like. Keep reminding yourself that you deserve a wonderful and confident marriage. It will be up to you to build this confidence and learn to have fun with your conversations with your spouse.