Saturday, June 11, 2011

Love is not for wusses

“A loving relationship is one in which the loved one is free to be himself -- to laugh with me, but never at me; to cry with me, but never because of me; to love life, to love himself, to love being loved. Such a relationship is based upon freedom and can never grow in a jealous heart.”
~ Leo F. Buscaglia

Today I was sitting close to two teenagers on the bus and they were discussing love, and boys. One girl was telling the other what made a guy a "good boyfriend" and what makes a guy a "bad boyfriend". I don't remember the details, but I just kept shaking my head and wondering "Was I ever that naive?"

Of course I was... I remember thinking that the man I was going to marry would be handsome, always in a good mood, he would be rich, and spend most of his time either doing something for me, or admiring me. Being around him would always be joyful and romantic HA! Over 20 years later, and with my feathers ruffled (or torn off) a few times, I have another vision of love and what it is supposed to be. Do I still believe in love? More than ever! I just have a more realistic view of the whole concept I think.

I can see a few eye rolls, and hear a few "Oh come on, you HAVE a fairy tale". See, I AM lucky, and I AM spoiled. My husband is fantastic, he's supportive and loving, he's on my side in anything that I chose to do, or not to do. I have a fabulous husband and I appreciate him. He's not perfect though, neither am I!

My husband is moody, he likes his space, and he can happily sit there, not saying anything for 3 hours. He's also the world's worst communicator. He once told me that putting make up on my face was a waste of time, "it won't change your face anyway". He later explained that he meant to say I was beautiful without the make up... huh huh.. whatever. He's also the most stubborn person I have ever EVER met. I do not back up easily, but I will back up eventually. He once told me that he had not said something wrong, it was me who had not heard it correctly…

I, on the other hand am the queen of mood swings. I can be laughing hysterically one minute, and totally discouraged the next. I get bored on average every 3-4 minutes. I love to talk a lot, I cannot stand to be on my own, and I feel a deep seated need to talk things out ad nauseum. I know it drives my husband crazy, but I just can’t help myself. I do not feel the need to be right at all cost, but I do need for things to make sense to me, and if they don’t I will keep at it until they do… Did I mention that I have an enormous amount of energy? I can keep going for days! Poor husband!

Here’s where I’m going with this: We are deeply in love with each others. I adore my husband, I know he’s the man of my life, and still some days he exasperate me to the point of insanity. I know it’s the same thing the other way around. There is no such thing as a perfect mate, and there is no such things as a perfect relationship.

I had to learn that sometimes he doesn’t feel like listening to my stories, and that’s ok. It’s not an insult, it’s not that he doesn’t care about me, it’s just that if he never puts his foot down, I will never run out of stories. Sometimes he just wants time for himself, to recharge his batteries, and to just do nothing. I had to swallow my boredom and accept the fact that his needs are at least as important as mine. I also had to learn to accept that he’s not the world’s best communicator, and to not take everything that doesn’t come out quite the right way as an insult. I had to remember that it’s not always about me. *blush*

On the other hand, he has learned to voice his needs, actually tells me what he wants, instead of just getting annoyed at me for not somehow getting it by osmosis. He has learned that if what he says doesn’t go through quite right, maybe it’s not that I’m looking for troubles, but rather that his communication skills might have failed him again. He has learned that 1 word is not a sentence, that I need the whole thing to know what he means.

Little by little, one thing at a time, we’ve worked out ways to deal with our differences, and each other’s quirks so that we can coexist in a peaceful loving relationship. It took 9 years! And we’re still learning! There are still quite a few face off, we are both dramatic and strong willed, but we have learned to talk things out, to take a step back, to put aside our pride and work together to make things work. There have been many times in the last 9 years at which it would have been easy to call it quits. Financial issues, personal differences, professional stress getting between the two of us. We didn’t though, we love and trust each others enough to know that it’s worth fighting for.

There has to be selflessness, an ability to see beyond your own self and put yourself in the other’s shoes trusting that the other person is doing the same thing. That means opening yourself to being very vulnerable, and that can be frightening. It is a lot of work to make a relationship successful, you have to put your ego aside and risk being hurt, at the same time you have to remember to take care of yourself and stand on your own two feet. It’s a tough balance to maintain.

Are there days where I wish I had a more expressive husband? Of course! A smooth talker might not have his quiet loving way of looking at me though. Are there days I wish he wasn’t so stubborn? Yeah, but then maybe he wouldn’t have this strength of character that I admire so much. I’m sure there are days he wishes he had a more laid back wife. With two quiet people in the house though, life would be so dull!!

I once heard somebody explain that love isn’t about finding someone with no faults, but rather finding someone who’s faults you can live with. I agree!

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