Sarah and I had a great weekend in Chadron, NE. My former youth pastor and good friend is performing our wedding June 11, and we needed to spend some time counseling. Sarah and I both come from good backgrounds, but just like every other person in the world, we have preconceptions that can add baggage to a relationship. Our goal has been "To do things right" throughout the relationship, and the purpose of this was to be another stone laid in that relationship.
So we flew into Rapid City, SD and then drove down to Chadron, NE. By the way, if you need a car rental in Rapid City, SD, I recommend Dollar Rent-A-Car. They had a price that was about half of what the airport based rentals were charging because they didn't have to pay airport fees, and it only took us 7-10 minutes to get from the airport to the car rental place (yeah, I know, great job timing there Matt). I have family in the area in addition to the friends we visited, so I can say with some certainty that I will use them again.
We got in midday on Friday and received some counsel. Part of our homework for the evening was a test that involved us answering questions about ourselves in several areas related to marriage, and also answering how we felt our to-be would answer. Saturday was grading day for the questions, but I'll jump the gun and let on that having dated for four years, we were both accurate guessing what our to-be would answer.
Saturday, we hopped in the Subaru rental (which I loved, by the way) and went to Mount Rushmore. The goal was to have an enjoyable day and knock out the counseling we went to get. Doing the counseling in the car was a fantastic idea for me at least. The scenery offered me something different to look at constantly, and relaxed my mind. I felt much more "involved" with the conversation at the end of the day than I would have if we had simply stuck ourselves in an office and yelled "Go."
I learned a lot and was reminded of a lot in counseling, but had one truly epiphanic moment when we were talking about conflict resolution and handling emotions. To be honest, this wasn't even only about conflict between Sarah and I, but also helping the other person work through conflict with others.
Anytime Sarah has had any type of problem with me, another person, or a situation, I have tended to want to destroy/fix (same thing) that problem. Whether it meant sitting down right away and talking about it, making a run to Wal-Mart at 3:00 am, or having a come-to-Jesus talk, I have wanted to solve the problem now. That is a personality strength and weakness of mine.
Through this weekend, I came to an understanding that Sarah needs time to process things and that I am not abandoning her or shirking my duty if I simply leave her alone. This is perhaps obvious to many people, but to me it was a revelation of humongous importance.
Also, I haven't worked out since Thursday, so I'm going to hit it hard this afternoon.