I used to think that ours was a happy marriage. Imperfect, yes, but happy nevertheless. For the most part, this is true. My husband and I are practically attached to the hip. We do things together mostly. We have become even closer after my mother-in-law passed.
Then, something came up that challenged my own view of marriage, of our union.
We were invited to join a Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WME) weekend. While my husband was all for it, I said yes reluctantly. Given my parents are active members, it would do them disservice if we turned the invitation down. So we went.
Days leading up to the weekend, I remember telling my husband to just go through the motions. In my head, I, in all hubris, thought that while we had to do it, we certainly did not need it.
So Friday finally came. We drove up to the WME Retreat Center in San Jose. Here we go, I remember thinking, breathed in and out, and went down with all smiles. My parents were waiting by the door leading up to the conference room to see us off. All of a sudden, I thought of all the places I wanted to go, things I wanted to do other than joining the weekend. Goodbye, plans, I quietly muttered.
And then, the weekend unfolded.
I realized that there were things that I thought were true but really weren’t. That it is so easy to basically sweep stuff under the rug to preserve the peace. That it is a long road ahead and if we are not careful, there might come a day that we would wake up beside a stranger.
I learned that to be truly intimate is to learn to communicate the right way; to listen without judgment; to forgive and to choose to love and honor one’s partner time and time again.
We picked up a wonderful technique. It is nothing new but is rarely practiced. I am talking about dialoguing. It is very simple really. One writes his/her thoughts, feelings, hurts, concerns, plans and at the beginning or end of the day, the couple shares notes in prayer and in love. Each listens to his/ her partner without conditions, objections, or rebuttals. It truly is a beautiful thing.
My husband and I were profoundly touched by the experience, each of us gaining insights and inspiration. After the weekend, we have become even more committed to be better partners to each other.
These words taken from the song long considered as WME’s anthem of sorts resonate with us:
There is always someone For each of us, they say And you’ll be my someone Forever and a day I could search the whole world over Until my life is through But I know I’ll never find another you
For couples reading this, should you want to know more about the WME weekend (there will be another one on July 20), please feel free to contact us at 09171575930.