Marriages that survive decades always have coping techniques. I find that even when they are understood by the two parties that the technique may be unspoken and so natural that neither party realizes that they are using it is in action. These techniques are one of the more effective ways that lessons are put back into use without assigning blame.
For Cherry and I one of the tools in the relationship kit has been to automatically give space, lots of it at times, when one of us is angry, frustrated, or really tired. Some see this as a negative coping technique, one that says “when you’re down on your luck, even your family avoids you – yes, even your beset friends wish you’d get lost.” (Proverbs 19.7) However for us it has proven to be both positive and nurturing.
There is one problem. When everyone leaves you alone it gets very quiet. You have plenty of space to mumble and verbalize but there is nobody to hear your thoughts and insights. You can express things knowing that you will not have to pay a price for the inadvertent thought yet you also know that nobody listened. You have the freedom to wave arms, stomp the feet, or throw things, though you also need to remember that nobody is watching. The result is that you feel totally and utterly alone.
I have grown to learn that I am never alone. It may be a clich?; yet for me there is a very real physical assurance, knowledge, and experience that God is here. I can sense the Presence. I can feel, tangibly, that a powerful force is enveloping whatever it is that constitutes who I am. God loves unconditionally. God accepts one in the place and time where they are. God offers unlimited amounts of compassion.
There have been many lessons over the years. I do not think that I am any different from you and the next person down the street. God loves each in ways that defy your or my understanding; we can be his recreation.