One of the most endearing and terrifying questions a partner can whisper is “Babe, do you trust me?”
That terror-filled moment when an aeroplane takes off or the fear that explodes in your heart as the roller coaster descends comes somewhat close to this moment in any relationship. Next thing you’re lost in the details of wedding preparation. The decisions, the expectations and the angst can test even the closest relationship.
One of the greatest lessons I have learnt in marriage is to find peace in the midst of difference. Gracing each other with the opportunity to grow together as a couple no matter what happens. Seasons change as your marriage unfolds and each new day brings a new set of challenges. Not only do we need to learn to communicate and trust one another but bring a village of people around us to bring wisdom and strength.
When my partner and I first lived together, we argued endlessly about the placement of our artwork. We lived in a beautiful yet tiny Hawaiian beach shack. After the thank-you cards had been sent and the gifts put away the journey began to find a style that suited both of our very diverse tastes.
My style could be described as eclectic, repurposed and colourful. My new husband’s preference was minimalist, monochrome and modern. This journey became the greatest lesson of trust in our newly formed family. Little by little, we learned to understand and love each other’s quirks and difference. Understanding when we each made a choice that was different to one another, it wasn’t bad or good, just different.
This is what makes trust such an unusual part of marriage. Every person has a different perspective and the moments that have impacted the preferences that we now hold as our own opinion are valid.
Interior design may have been a pressing point of conflict in our early years of marriage but it highlighted something that I never realised has the opportunity to be a breaking point in many marriages. Finding a way to trust people in the midst of diversity. It is a lesson many people do not surrender to and the ensuing conflict can be heartbreaking.
It is easy to gather around people who think like you and have similar tastes, thoughts and cultural preferences. What about those who think very differently to you? How can you find a way to thrive in the midst of diversity?
Learning to allow one another to have different opinions and preference is the beginning point of the tightrope held between people of trust. Being able to hold that tension tight between one another and learning to walk along the beauty oƒ complexity.
The language of love is immersed in moments where trust is tested. Without opportunities to stretch these muscles of opportunity between one another, to allow each other grace, beauty and autonomy.
These early years of discovery became a foundation of our family culture. Today we delight in renovating and coming up with a mix of both our styles. It has impacted every area of our life especially now our family has grown to a group of four very different individuals. Being able to accommodate opposing thoughts, opinions and personalities to thrive under one roof.
Lessons learnt from something so simple have reverberated out across the village we need so deeply to raise our family with strength. We have learnt as a family, the greatest way we can exist together is to exist within a community and find people that want to learn from one another.
When we became parents for the first time we realised that we needed help. The diversity that we found in parenting was not only confusing but asked us to trust the experience of those who had gone before us. We had to walk that tightrope again and ask family members, friends and neighbours to hold parts of our life.
Have you ever walked a season where you needed to trust someone?
Each and every one of us will go through seasons of stress and change, maybe emotional tiredness or great success. When these seasons come and go, the greatest gift we can give to ourselves is to learn to trust another to bring a community to the core of our personal ecosystem. To be able to do this with strength and courage, however, the beginning point is learning to allow one another to thrive within the deep chasm of our own personal experiences, strengths and weaknesses.
Who could have thought that the placement of artwork in our little beach could be the beginning of something so formative in our marriage?
Next time you find yourself conflicting with your partner about something, it could just be the beginning of a beautiful awakening.
Amanda Viviers is an Author, Speaker and Novice Mum. Her latest book New Days can be found here