While sitting at lunch one day, my husband said, “go ahead, interview me”. It was almost as if he had read my mind as I wrestled to ask him if I could interview him for this blog.
My husband had a very unique experience at the camp. It was one of those experiences that I didn’t think I wanted to write about, or so I thought. However, as my interview with him continued, I found myself hearing things that I never considered would have had such a profound effect on him.
We both believed that by attending the camp, we would have the opportunity to figure out if we were going to keep moving forward in our marriage, or if we would just end everything. We were both pretty discouraged and exhausted. With unmet expectations of each other, and dealing with the pain from that, we were losing hope.
During the first couple of days of the weekend, he stated that his head began to hurt, because of some of the difficult things that were being revealed to him about himself in the exercises. My husband rarely gets headaches. He wanted to leave, but had committed to himself that he would stay.
By day three, the top came off the steaming pot and my husband expressed loudly to Tina Konkin, the founder of Relationship Lifeline, his feelings about something she said. As I slumped into my seat, I recalled something they said at the beginning of the intensive. “This weekend, you focus on YOU, and let us take care of your spouse.” Deep down inside, I wanted to give my husband ‘the look’, that said, “Babe, can you lower your voice, just a little bit?” ‘The look’ never happened. Something inside of me kept me from doing anything. Instead, with much anticipation, I watched the conversation unfold before my eyes along with everyone else in the room.
My husband said that interaction with Tina was a huge turning point for him during the weekend. There was an eye opening realization of his self righteousness and the negative effects of his overzealous choice of delivery.
He finished the weekend and has chosen to apply the camp motto of “living above the line” to all areas of his life.
The weekend was a unique experience for me as well. During one of the exercises, my eyes were opened to things I didn’t realize were causing problems in my relationship. I realized that I was involved in doing so many “good” things for others that I neglected caring for myself and the people in my own home. These revelations were not going to allow me to leave the weekend unchanged.
More importantly, what happened during the weekend helped me to reconnect emotionally to my husband in a way I didn’t think existed anymore. That gave me hope that tomorrow could be different and that I could love freely once again. The effect of the experiences we had in our time with Relationship Lifeline has lived on into tomorrow and it has changed and continues to change what we do everyday. That is the hope for everyone who gets the opportunity to attend.