Saturday, May 28, 2011

Communication Traps and Emotional Scraps

Just wanted to share more insights from the book I'm reading, "Creating an Intimate Marriage" by Jim Burns. It dawned on me today that most people who would chose to read a book like this are in an unhappy marriage and possibly contemplating divorce or something. That's not us. Not AT ALL. I am madly in love with him and couldn't imagine my life without him. I just think that most of the challenges that we have with being apart are problems that are addressed in this type of book. We are already facing difficulties that are unlike most couples in the first few years of their marriage. Well, let's face it, most of them live together. They can hug and hold hands and cook dinner for each other, etc. This book stresses the importance of a weekly date night. Hmm... that could be hard to do.
One of the biggest hurdles that this book addresses is communication, which is the hardest thing to do from long distance. It talks about reasons we give each other emotional scraps. Being tired and over committed is one of the biggest culprits. That's definitely a factor for me. At the end of the day or after rehearsal when I am drained, it's such a challenge not to give him emotional scraps.
A phrase that really stuck out to me is "if we want a healthy relationship we have to put in the training and do what it takes to make it work." "Too many of us work on trying to be better instead of training to be." I have to strive to give Adam more than emotional scraps when I'm drained to make it easier in the long run.
According to Jim Burns, a relationship is like a bank account. We make deposits into each others' emotional well being by showing affection, warmth, and encouragement so that when we need to make a withdrawal by complaining or venting, we don't leave the other empty. I want to always leave him full.
Communication is going to be a challenge when we head to Canada for the summer. In three days. I'm in denial and REALLY don't want to go but it's happening and I need to get on board.
Luckily Adam will be there for a few days when I arrive! I can't wait! It's been a long month without him...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Reading Material

I started a new book on my kindle (which I love but that's another topic) yesterday called "Creating an Intimate Marriage" by Jim Burns. He was a guest speaker at Saddleback, which is a church in Orange County that has an online campus. Makes it easy to tune in on tour, which I've started doing since Easter. Anyways, he was easy to listen to and mentioned he has a book on intimacy in marriage, one thing that is pretty darn hard to hold on to when in different time zones.

The book first mentioned one of the biggest challenges of marriages is being under-connected and over-committed. HELLO! He just described being on tour. It's so easy to slip into our separate routines, his in NJ and mine in wherever the heck I am, and lose our connection. Occasionally, I am so used to our 'audio relationship' of talking on the phone that it takes a minute to adjust when we are actually in the same place. I shouldn't have to adjust to being with my husband, but it happens. It doesn't mean we don't love each other more than anything in the world, it just means we're human. Jim Burns wrote, "Marriage is a humbling journey." And it is.

I have to keep my priorities in check. I can't put my job before my husband, even though at times I feel that's what I'm doing by being out here. That's not the case, but I need to make more of an effort to let my husband know he is more important than any job, as amazing a job as it is and as thankful I am for it. He's my soul mate.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Family Matters

I know I haven't written in a long time. I get concerned that sometimes by sharing our story, it makes me dwell too much on what we don't have and how much we are missing out on by being so far away from each other. But in hopes that this inspires at least someone out there...

Lately I've been really missing my family. On my vacation in March, I was so lucky to spend time with my hubby's side of the family (his parents, his sister and her husband and their three adorable girls) at Disney World and my side of the family (my parents, sister, and future brother-in-law) at St. Simons Island (where we were married).

 Almost a year before this photo, we took our vows here.

 My sweet parents had a surprise for us...

 They saved flowers from our wedding cake and had a 'top layer' for us! They also had a 'top layer' of the grooms' peanut butter/ chocolate cake, which neither of us got a piece of. It was so popular, there was none leftover. It was so thoughtful! I hope to always be that thoughtful of others.
After the departure of one of my closest friends on tour, I've really taken a good look at my life and my priorities. It's so easy to get caught up in the Wicked bubble, where the world revolves around this show and the cities we go to and the audiences and who goes on for whom, etc. But when Lauren was getting ready to say her goodbyes, I figuratively tried on her shoes, and there is a huge world out there. This is an amazing, wonderful job, which I am so thankful for, but it's a job. Family and relationships are what matters. I'm been working on my self and my own happiness and self worth. 
It kills me to not be a part of my family's life. My sister is graduating from law school on Saturday and I'm in Spokane. It was a big ordeal to just get the days off to go to her wedding. My sister's wedding.  My niece just turned 10 and I would have loved to celebrate her birthday in person, not just over the phone.
And now I'm off to Canada in two weeks, for pretty much all summer. This is going to be interesting. My phone is going to just be my phone again. No texting, no data (unless there is wifi). It's like 10 years ago, when we had phones to talk. It's going to be a great exercise in being a little less accessible and connected... ;-)

Our anniversary in Dana Point, CA