My promise

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Diana M. Cossaboom
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
He knows there is something bothering me and I won't tell him what it is so he can help. I see the disappointment and completely shut-down. I feel absolutely terrible that I cannot communicate with him for reasons I still am not sure. I trust him, I love him and I want him to help, but I can't find the words.

When I'm one-on-one with Michael, I lock up. Even though I really want to say what is on my mind, nothing comes out of my mouth and everything starts to shut-down.

This is one of the reasons we sought help and how we came across the Marriage Mentorship Program which was started and designed by Chaplain (Maj.) Richard Holmes, 20th Fighter Wing deputy wing chaplain.

Last December I made a promise to Michael that I intend to keep.

"Michael, this is my promise to you," I vowed. "I will be your best friend, your wife and your partner. I promise to love you the way you have loved me. To cherish you the way you have cherished me. To protect you the way you have protected me, and to be there for you in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, and to be the best friend and wife that I can possibly be to you. Michael, that is my promise."

This means doing everything I can to overcome barriers and keep our relationship as healthy as possible.

Like all living organisms, a relationship has to be nourished in order for it to flourish and be healthy.

In order to nurture our relationship, Michael and I have been trying to get ahead of potential difficulties by participating in the mentorship program.

We just finished the third week of the six week program. Depending on our schedules, once a week we meet up with the mentor couple we were assigned and go over the packet for that session. So far the packets consisted of understanding each other's love language, removing barriers to communication, and highlighting the need for positive communication in a relationship.

Our mentor couple helped us identify each other's needs and habits, both positive and negative, which assisted us in understanding each other's reactions and know how to avoid pitfalls.

As someone who grew up very independent, it was hard for me to let anyone into my life. I was used to my own schedule and my way of doing things. Having Michael around complicated that schedule and my lack of communication skills made it down-right frustrating.

We were terrible at figuring out time management, and when you work in the same office in the same career field, it can be a sudden change.

However, after the first session with our mentors, I could see progress.

We each learned what is important to the other. We learned our love languages, mine being quality time and words of affirmation, while Michael's are physical touch and words of affirmation.

Because our love languages don't completely coincide, we both have to make sure we are sensitive to the other's love language, and providing them with what they need in the relationship.

We had begun to discover this on our own, however we didn't realize how important it is to not only recognize each other's needs, but make sure the needs are fulfilled.

As we continued our lessons, it started to become clear this program is important.

'Barriers to communication' was something I struggled with throughout my life, but our mentor couple asked the perfect questions to get me to finally open up.

In our mentoring sessions, I know it's my chance to get everything out. I seize the opportunity to talk about my issues with communication and finally air what I had held in.

Maybe it's the questions they ask, or their open and understanding personalities, or a combination of both, but I found it easier to talk.

He is finally able to understand my inability to communicate effectively and, since then, we have been working on ways to overcome that barrier.

With every session there are fewer arguments and fewer misunderstandings. These mentoring sessions have prevented issues, and helped resolve current issues.

We made a promise and we will do everything we can to keep that promise. Even though there are some struggles, nothing, not even death, can separate us.