I adore my husband. I really do. Those of you who have been around Blaine and I know this is true. It is apparent by our constant hand holding, kissing and general grab-assing. My kids like to yell, “ewwwww” while the rest of the family prefers the: “get a room” statement.
While we may annoy folks around us, it makes us happy and so there you go.
Things have not always been this easy. We have had our share of difficult times and there were a few periods of time when we were not sure if we would make it as a couple or not. Those were heart breaking and horrible times. But, as with all dark days, we have learned a lot and those experiences have made us stronger as a couple.
I thought I would pass on some of the lessons we have learned as a couple.
Here’s how we share the love:
Proximity, proximity, proximity! Blaine and I are by each other a lot. We pursue our own interests and do our own things, but at least once a day we hang out. Sometime that means holding hands on the couch, not talking because we are too exhausted and watching 30 Rock. Sometimes that means lighting candles and incense and putting on music and having intimate time together. We also like to drink wine on the back porch and watch the kids run around. Whatever the chosen activity, we find time to be together every day. And, we always have at least an hour together after the kids go to bed, even if I am exhausted and want to die. I still want that time together before going to bed.
Support each other. Blaine and I tend to do things that make no sense to other people. Like quitting jobs that are no fun, deciding to move across the country with no jobs lined up, pulling children out of public school to homeschool and lots of other smaller, less life changing things. We always support each other, even if we don’t fully understand the reasons behind the decision. We take that leap of faith for and with each other. It can be hella scary! I have had Blaine walk in the house and announce he had quit his job and was starting his own agency. Blaine has come home to me announcing that I have scheduled movers and we were moving in 5 weeks back to St. Louis. Blaine has picked the girls up in a car that he bought while we were away. I could make this list go on forever. We just jump. Side by side and we don’t look back
Laugh. We laugh our asses off all of the time. Even if we are in the midst of an intense fight, one of us will make a smart ass comment to make the other one laugh. (That is usually followed by “Just trying to ease the tension baby.” –Tubbs, from Billy Madison). We have inside jokes that have evolved into a language that few people understand. Often something will happen and we will look at each other and then are high fiving because I have just said exactly what he was thinking or vice versa. More likely than not it is a movie quote that explains the situation. Laughter is key!!
We dork out together. We pass on stuff we have heard from NPR daily. We pass on important quotes or contents from books. We read constantly and share what we have thought or learned through the reading. We get intently engaged in a subject and want to tell the other all about it. And, we want to hear all about what the other one is learning. Right now we are having this crazy experience of learning in two different fields and having a lot of the same people referenced. It’s crazy. I am studying about meditation, life changes, and energy healing. Blaine is looking at mythology, archetypes, and following dreams. All I have to say is Joseph Campbell is the man. He’s showing up everywhere. Check him out!
We don’t take anything too seriously. You can’t. Life is just too damn unpredictable. It will make you mad. This life is more or less just an illusion ala The Matrix anyway. So, you might as well enjoy the ride and make sure you have plenty of E Tickets (old Disney reference, look it up). If you can focus on the good, delight in the obscure, and love the quandaries of the day in and day out, you will have a great time with whoever you are with. Luckily for me, it is with my love and he views life the same way.
Now, everything is not always roses and sunshine. When there is an issue, these are the general parameters we follow:
Be honest and open, this does not mean rude and cruel. Often people will be blunt and thoughtless in their statements and mask it as “just being honest.” Honesty has to do with saying what in on your heart and mind while considering the other person. If you follow this step before things start to really bother you all the better. The longer things fester, the more difficult it is to be calm and kind
Keep your defenses down when discussing issues. This is so difficult. When Blaine points out something that I am doing that is upsetting him or not working for the family, my brain immediately goes to: Oh, yea? Well what about …(insert litany of issues that I have with him). This blocks my mind from considering what he is saying to me. If I keep my defenses down, I can hear him and think about the validity of his statements and concerns. It also allows me to make non-defense statements about my actions. Sometimes this turns into him seeing the method behind my madness and sometimes it leads to me choosing to change what I am doing. If I am defensive, it just leads into a nonsense discussion about each other’s perceived faults.
Be clear and concise about what the current issue is, not past issues. One thing at a time! If you have something to discuss, there is no need to bring up every adjacent issue that might have to do with the current one. There is also no need to bring up every other example of the behavior in question, i.e. “You always…”
Hold hands. I read this in a book one time and it is true. You are less likely to raise your voice if you are in close proximity. If you are holding hands, there is even less of a chance of yelling. Blaine and I seldom raise our voice toward one another, I can recall very few instances of cussing, we have never name called. We try to stay close to each other and if voices start to go up, we step away for a moment or two or just stay quiet for a few moments. There is nothing wrong with someone saying, “We are at an impasse and I think we need a break before we continue this discussion.” There’s no blame, just a recognition that a settling down period is needed.
Acknowledge the other person’s feelings. You may not agree with the other person’s premise. You might think you are in the right, or at least the other person is in the wrong. However, feelings are always valid. People don’t make these things up. If a Blaine is mad, then he is mad. It doesn't matter if I think it is for a silly reason. If I am sad, then I am sad. It doesn't matter if Blaine thinks everything is fine and there is no reason for sadness. Allow the other person to feel what they feel and try everything in your power to see how and why they are in that space. It makes a world of difference.
We really do these things. I promise it works. It may feel really weird at first, but it is a powerful way to connect and have fun together.
This has been Blaine and Laura 101. I would love to know if any of these things ring true for your relationship or if you have other ways of staying connected.
I love you Blaine!!