February 10, 2014

Adoptee Marriage and the Value of Learning to "Press Pause"

Do you feel the freedom to enjoy your relationship with your spouse   while still working through issues?

Last night Larry and I invited a bunch of married couples from the church over to our home. We had dinner together and then moved into the living room where Larry and I opened our hearts to them and shared encouragement about some things that have kept our marriage strong for 26 years and counting.

Larry & Me..."pressing pause"

Larry spoke of the importance of what he calls, “pressing pause.” There are times we feel our problems in life are so overwhelming, we can’t enjoy our partner or our marriage in general. Life feels overwhelming, and we shut down. He says it’s important to “press pause” on the issues once in a while and remember to enjoy our spouse.

Let me break this down for you as to how we can apply this as adoptees.  I have faced all of these and more and had to learn to speak truth to myself. 

First, I'm going to say what I've been tempted to think to myself, or to say to Larry at times. 

Then I'm going to state the truth as I see it.

I hope this helps any of you facing this struggle.


 “I can’t focus on anything but my search right now. It’s all consuming…”     

Truth: It’s healthy to get breaks here and there from my search.  My search will still be there in the morning. It's unhealthy for me to be so consumed with my adoption search that I lose touch with the one I love, and the one who loves me. 

“I’m feeling sad/angry about things and don’t want to talk or be near you. I just want to run away.”

Truth:  I need to run to my partner in my times of sadness, not away from him.  He is a blessing from God. He may be able to help me process the sad or angry feelings, if I just give him a chance. I will choose to receive this blessing in my life.


“I don’t want to go on a date with you tonight. I’m just in a funk about adoption stuff.”

Truth: Maybe a date out with him will help me with this funk.


"How can I have fun when I have faced this latest disappointment?"

Truth: Maybe fun will help me in the process of moving forward from this latest disappointment...

“This secondary-rejection is overwhelming. It’s all I’m thinking about. I don’t want to make love right now.”

Truth: Making love is comforting. And, my husband still desires and needs me even if things aren't perfect right now. I need to go there even if I'm not feeling it at first. Once I do, I may find it will take my mind off the pain I'm experiencing, even if for just a little while.     


“Who can go out and have fun at a time like this? The first family and adoptive family issues I’m facing, combined,  are overwhelming.  And you want me to go to the movies with you tonight and pretend none of this is going on?”

Truth: Going out to have fun with my husband tonight doesn’t mean I am denying issues that need to be addressed. It just means those issues aren't going to control my entire life.

Let this truth bomb rain down on you today, my friends:

While you are working through your problems, as real and serious as they may be -- you can STILL enjoy your life and your marriage!