Writing about Our Relationship

by Elouise

Writing about our courtship and engagement has been great fun. Nonetheless, my relationship with D over the years has sometimes been like a roller coaster ride. Fun going up the hills, and downright terrifying coming down. Courtship and engagement were definitely on the fun side.

Our relationship hasn’t always been fun.

My greatest fear: No decent Christian man in his right mind would ever love and respect me, much less want to marry me. So the entire experience of courtship was a definite high for me. My Prince Charming had arrived and was going to turn my life into a fairy tale of true love and ballroom dancing. No more troubles! I was oblivious to what lay ahead.

D’s greatest fear: Our marriage might end in divorce. D was determined not to get into a relationship that might lead to divorce. I scored high with him because I came from a Christian home and my father was an ordained clergyman. It wasn’t quite enough to tip the scales in my favor. That’s where D’s infamous index card was helpful. Even so, it seemed I’d had a fine Christian upbringing.

No, I didn’t tell D anything about how my father treated me. It didn’t seem important. Besides, I was leaving all that behind.

So here we are. I need D’s unconditional respect, love and affection; D needs to know I won’t abandon him. Unlike D, I know nothing about divorce in my family. D does, and he isn’t about to have his marriage end in divorce.

Regularly in our marriage, I’ve struggled to be understood by D and he has struggled to be understood by me. We could talk about many things with scarcely any effort at all. But when it came to emotions, or deeply held beliefs, conversations too often went nowhere except backwards, fast.

Our personalities aren’t the same. In fact, without knowing it, I married a man with the same personality profile as my father’s: ISTJ. I, however, am an INFJ. Read more right here.

D and I bog down really fast when my INFJ needs to communicate with his ISTJ. My intuitive, feelings-laden communications don’t go down well, given D’s logical, data-driven approach to all of life. And vice versa.

It takes me a while to figure out what and how to say things. D wants to hear about it after I finish all that emotional and verbal mucking around. But there’s no way for me to skip the mucking around! It’s part of how I find just the right words to express the depth of my feelings. Trying to find the right words is almost as important as having found them.

Which brings me to the mini-series. I worked hard to express how I felt and processed what happened during our courtship and engagement. Believe it or not, D found my posts, unseen by him until published, to be friendly conversation-starters!

Not just one-way conversation about me, but two-way conversation about us. I never would have predicted this. Yet looking back, it makes perfect sense. We’re both readers, though different kinds of readers.

  • I read books, people, rooms full of people, and atmosphere hanging in the air. I love it! I can’t imagine life without my trusty radar that goes beyond hard data.
  • D, however, reads books, arguments and position papers with a fine-tooth comb.

I’m not a book, an argument or a position paper. I’m a swirling, sometimes erupting mass of emotional rationality, truth, energy and sometimes frustrated tears.

Yet here’s the discovery. Putting my feelings into written words has given us a way of connecting. Not just from my side, but from his. My written words remind him of things he hasn’t expressed or even thought about before. The payoff is in our relationship. Something I never anticipated.

Thanks so much for following along through the 6-part saga. There’s more to come, but at least we made it to our wedding day!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 20 March 2015