We knew each other for a long time before we married—grew into adulthood in many ways--we were (are) best friends. Our theory of why we chose each other is that we unconsciously saw things in each other that reminded us of our families—things that we liked and things that offered a chance at a “do-over” that our families didn’t offer.
Honestly, our first year of marriage sucked—we brought lots of baggage into the marriage and when we bumped up against those things, both of us felt like we wanted to run. In fact, we separated after the first year and we both thought we were done. We wondered how such close, best friends could let go of things so quickly. We tried to move forward with our separate lives and yet, after a year, we were drawn back together.
Knowing that something needed to take us on a different trajectory, we made the choice—the investment to commit to counseling—therapy—whatever you call it…we dug deep and took very honest stock in our selves, with the help of a really sharp psychotherapist (see my “light, bright spirit” creation).
Enter Fred Klein. Fred spared neither of our egos and we tiptoed down a very scary path—and yet going through the crap was the way to get out of the darkness and into the light. So the best investment I ever made was to work hard to being a more aware and committed partner—first committed to clearing through the baggage that I brought into our relationship and then to look at ways that I wanted to be that wouldn’t repeat some of the negative patterns I grew up with.
Whew! What a boatload of energy that took…yes, it would have been easier to run to the next relationship in some ways and to either live on a more superficial level or to continue the pattern of getting close and then retreating when things got scary. But I am so grateful I didn’t.
So this wonderful 30-year union of mine has grown on sweat equity. I sit hear today pondering what morsels I have learned through it all. So what do I pack on this journey of life that makes my trip really a wonderful one?
A partner who is curious and teaches and stretches me—shows me the sights and wants to learn about what brings me passion.
An open mind willing to listen, willing to check the ego and move forward rather than fight for being right
A willingness to laugh and be playful
The ability to remember those things that make my husband really attractive—that twinkle in his eye or they way his smile curls-- because I need those magic images at the moments when things are not so rosy.
Mostly, I keep my eyes open and look for those things that I can adore in him. They are there—sometimes buried a little deep, but even when he annoys me, I can manage to catch a glimpse of the adorable.
Nonetheless, this relationship stuff isn’t easy—but neither is life. And it makes things so much brighter to have a true friend to take it all in with –weather you are looking at the Seine or watching the heart monitor in a hospital—being able to grab the hand of someone who has lifted you and --reached for you --makes all the difference.
I married my best friend. But a friend is a friend—be it platonic or romantic. Opening yourself to those relationships that feed your soul is the essence of it all. I will celebrate this friendship today—hopefully at moments every day, in some small way. I will breath in the beauty of nature, maybe set off on a bike ride or some other fancy…whatever, there will be a newness to whatever I see and lots of comfort in the deepness of this old friendship.
I wish for you this feeling of newness and oldness today—of rubbing up against the comfort of someone who really knows you or of excitement of opening yourself up to someone new and letting the freshness of them bring light to your life. Namaste