Friday, April 07, 2017

Love means sharing the burden

I have a friend who suffers from mental illness. 

Her daily life is littered with psychological triggers. And so, part of her recovery practice is to avoid stimuli that might trigger her addictive behavior. 

One of the ways she accomplishes this is by deputizing her husband to screen her emails. Every day, he sifts through her inbox, searching for urgent or important messages that require his wife’s attention, but also deleting emails that might expose her to triggering language. 

Now, does that sound inconvenient for the husband? Certainly. But that’s what marriage is. Everything that comes your way is an opportunity for the love to flow more freely between the two people. A chance to throw out the scorecard, let the other person in and give yourself to them in way that you don’t give yourself to anyone else. 

I recently heard a compelling interview with a comedian who told the story about her tumultuous upbringing and current struggles with anger, depression and social anxiety. Not surprisingly, she cited her husband as the critical support person for her survival. She summarized their standing agreement is as follows:

Every time you think you’re being a burden to me, hand me a dollar. And every time I think I’m being a burden to you, I’ll hand that dollar back to you. And I promise, we will never need another dollar for the rest of our lives. We’ll just keep trading it back and forth. Because that what marriage is. Sharing the burden. 

It’s a sacrifice because it costs you something to love this person. 

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


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