I was visiting a friend of mine who is a nut about putting things away but could care less about a few dust bunnies. On the other hand, his partner of 15 years doesn’t mind things out of place but is a clean freak. (The things you find out when you’re in someone’s home!)
And how did I find out this mole hill of information that could easily become Mt. Everest? Well, I’ll tell you. We had walked into the kitchen and right there on the floor was a stray sock. My friend picked it up, looked at me and said, “I love him enough to take care of this for him.”
That blew me away. In fact, it blew me back to the previous century. Two other friends of mine were in a business together. Businesses are so much like a marriage. Their business happened to be a boat yard which required someone to take charge of the office, handle orders and matters involving paper work, and someone to be outside to govern placement of boats in and out of the water and following through on work orders. One was great inside and one was great outside.
Perfect, you might say. Nope! The one who was outside would complain that his partner was always sitting down and talking on the phone. The inside man would complain that his partner was always walking around “shooting the breeze”.
I’ve seen that in marriages too especially when one is sloppy and the other neat. Like the famous Odd Couple. How do you deal with that?
How do YOU deal with that (or something similar)? Do you pick up after your mate, suffer and complain about it? Or do you pick up as an act of love? To pursue that point a little further, do you expect a favor in return or do you know, deep down inside, that you are taken care of too and loved for what you are?
I’ve listened to couples bickering, each one telling their story. The amazing part is that both are complaining about the same issue. “I do all the work.” “What do you ever do for me?”
Why am I writing about this and posting it on a site that advocates marriage? Marriage includes living together. Living together exposes differences. Differences need to be accepted and dealt with. Key word is accepted.
Marriage is all about Love. Love is accepting a person exactly the way they are. I repeat, exactly the way they are. Right here. Right now. To quote a line from one of my ceremonies, “Marriage is accepting the incompleteness, imperfections and hidden surprises of the other.”
You offer your whole self to your marriage partner. You take your partner in marriage in their entirety. You send out love you’ll get love back. You send out control and you’ll get rebuttal. You send out expectations you’ll get disappointments. You send out acceptance and you ACCEPT YOURSELF the way you are and you’ll be accepted.
I have a friend whom I have never heard say an arbitrary word about her husband. I asked her how she deals with day to day issues in their relationship, like picking up, taking out the garbage, cooking, etc. What arrangements did they make and what process was used to come to an agreement?
I wish you could have seen the look on her face. I was not speaking Russian or Greek. She had to mull over the question to figure out what I was asking. Her answer as to how and why the marriage worked so well was….. (are you ready for this?) “Simple. When either of us sees something that needs doing, we do it.”
They don’t keep score. They don’t make rules. They don’t have expectations. And there you have the best advice for a long, lived, happy marriage. When either of you sees something that needs doing, do it.
“I love him enough to __________ for him.” Fill in the blank.