Short Stories: Working on My Own Changes

Will and Kristin.jpg

When I met my husband, I was on the comeback trail from divorce after a 10-year relationship that wasn't healthy for me. My self-esteem was in tatters and I bore the scars.

Now, Will and I have been married for 11 years and together for 13. There have been fantastic highs and frustrating lows. We are, above all, committed to each other. But it's not always easy, and I have often said to him, "I know it's hard being married to someone scarred by a bad relationship. I know getting through can be difficult."

What I realized - just this week, in fact - was that I was still holding onto those scars. Gripping them, like a shield against my heart. I couldn't see the tiny fissures on his heart because I was so focused on mine. I haven't given him the leeway to be supported, because *I* was the scarred one. I kind of had this idea that I was the one in the right most of the time and any time I felt threatened, it must be because he was wrong.

I'm opening my eyes to the ways I can be a better spouse, and actively working toward elevating him and not just protecting myself. It's difficult to learn and take a hard look at our own behaviors and biases, because it means we have to change. It's liberating, too. And humbling.

When you find someone worth changing for, it's 100% worthwhile.

Kristin Shaw