Immediately following an operation my wife experienced a while ago began a very long journey with a lot of pain, slow movement, and caution. As you can imagine, a house full of kids with a mom healing can be a very difficult task. After the operation, I remember talking with the doctor to discuss what to expect during this healing process. Hs shared the side effects of the medications as well as some caution and warning signs to be looking for.
Once we got home, we put all the important documents and mediations in a safe place that we could easily get to if we had any concerns. All seemed to go well for the first few days after the operation. She had some tightness in her chest and shortness of breath, but these were expected side effects of the pain medication. All seemed to be on target, at least until I received a frantic phone call from my daughter that mommy was rushed to the hospital. As you may have heard in a recent blog I shared, my wife was later diagnosed with 2 large Pulmonary Embolisms (PE) in her lungs which could be fatal if treated too late. Come to find out the symptoms of the Pos turned out to be the same as the side effects of the medication. I was completely taken off guard. Everything seemed to be going well, until it all went wrong.
'I had waited too long and felt that it was too late and missed the opportunity to improve our relationship.'
I sat in the hospital room watching my wife lay on the bed with the constant humming and buzzing of the machines she was connected to. She was hooked to 90% oxygen and had all kinds of tubes and wiring connecting her body to these machines as they monitored her vital signs. As she laid there struggling to breath, I could not help but to reflect on our journey together. My relationship with my wife was not where I imagined it could be or should be. We were far from perfect. As she lay on the bed having difficulty breathing and fighting for her life, I felt I had waited too long or that it was too late and missed the opportunity to improve our relationship.
Maybe you have felt what I felt, that it is too late or that your relationship is on life support right now and your just stumbling through day to day simply to survive. If so, here are three things you can do to start to turn your relationship around.
The strongest relationships are able to connect in many ways. They spend time together, they have fun and laugh together, they share common interest or are willing to join in on what the other person wants to do. For some couples this can be pretty difficulty. But to get started, you can look back to what you used to do back when you first had interest in each other and were dating. For those who want to change things up a bit, try some new things together as a couple.
You have to be committed. If you are committed to working on and improving both yourself and the relationship, you have hope. Without hope, the relationship dies a slow and painful death. Take care of yourself and take responsibility for your part in the relationship difficulties. Be committed to communicating effectively as well as resolving conflict as a team.
3. Improve Trust
Trust is something that must be earned, but can also be destroyed quickly. Many couples have some area where they do not completely trust the other. This can be in the area of finances, sexually (sexual affair, pornography, or an emotional affair) or even handling each other's emotions (little or no understanding and empathy being offered). Trust must be earned through both time and intentional behavioral changes to gain bak the trust in that area. There must be vulnerability to receive that trust back again as well. When done well, trust will not just be earned, but can be stronger than ever.