Re-discovering Optimism: A Couples’ Story
A Couples’ Story: Sally and Sarah have been learning the prinicples, and it has changed their marriage. A couple in their mid-30’s, they had been married for 7 years. Their relationship was up and down, due to lack of communication and fighting. Whenever they would get into a disagreement, they would talk and talk, trying to sort it through. The more they talked, the more their relationship would spiral down. They had tried couples’ counseling before, and it had only made things worse. The more the therapist pointed them in the direction of their problems, the worse they felt about themselves and the more they fought. It was to the point where they were losing optimism about being able to make it as a couple.
The first thing that hapened after learning about the 3 spiritual prinicples discovered by Sydney Banks, was that Sally got more lighthearted, and Sarah became more confident. “I never realized before how much I keep things on my mind that weigh me down,” Sally said. “I’m feeling so much happier! I was completely happy for 4 days in a row – that hasn’t happpened ever in my life that I can remember. Then I went back to work and started to get down again, until I noticed that I was thinking heavy, serious thoughts, and then it lifted and I l felt great again. This is amazing to me.” Sarah said: “It used to be whenever I was mad or upset with Sally I would pretend that I wasn’t, because I didn’t want to upset her. Now I have the confidence to feel the way I feel without worrying about Sally so much. I don’t take it out on her, but I’m not afraid to tell her how I feel.”
Affter this initial progress, the couple had a honeymoon period of enjoying their relationsip more than they could ever remember. And then they had their first big fight. “I had been saving money for over a year so that we could have another child, and I went into that account and discovered that Sally had taken out a good part of that money and used it for a bill, without telling me. I was so upset – she knows how hard I’ve worked to save that money, and how very much I want to have another child. I couldn’t even talk to her for the rest of the day. But things went so differently when we talked about it! Normally I would have approached her very upset. But I waited, because I now know that wouldn’t work. She asked me if I was upset before going to bed, and I said I was, but that I couldn’t talk about it at that time. I waited until the next day, when I was feeling more calm about it. When we found a good time to talk, I asked Sally about the money, and instead of getting all upset and angry about it, the way she normally would, she said ‘of course I can see why that would upset you.’ Then she explained why she needed to draw on that money for an immediate need, and how she had more money coming in to replace it. I couldn’t believe how easily we resolved this. Of course what she told me made sense, but if I hadn’t waited until I was feeling better, I wouldn’t have been able to hear that. Something that would normally have dragged on for days or weeks was over within a day or so. Its like a miracle! Sally: ‘It was hard for me when Sarah wouldn’t talk or be affectionate before we went to bed that night. But it was different from before. I could tell that she wasn’t being cold or mean, and that made it easier for me to wait. Then when we talked about it it went so easily! It wasn’t even an arugment. We were back on track with our relationshp in no time! This is like a miracle for us – we are so happy!” Sally and Sarah say that they now have a confidence in their relationship that they didn’t have before, and confidence in their future together.