I have to start this entry by disclaiming that any advice I try to give on this site is only produced by me failing in some respect and trying to come up with a logical solution to avoid the same mistake in the future. Sharing this solution, however helpful it actually is to others, gives me peace of mind. That being said, here are the details of my most recent personal, well, let’s call it a stumble.
While stumbling through my own life this morning I realized that in order to have a successful relationship with your spouse... Spouse.
Wow, the word looked even weirder written than it sounded, I thought as I etched it down quickly in my small pocket notebook. I was married now and as much as things stayed the same, life did seem different. Scott and I had been dating for 6 and a half years before we got married last month. We knew each other’s moods, attitudes, thoughts, beliefs ... you name it. Getting it all right was another story. I wasn’t always in the right mood, sometimes my attitude, well, just plain sucked. Now that we were married I felt extra pressure to be the best partner I could be.
Now where was I... Oh yeah I created some of my own marital advice for myself this morning:
In order to have a successful relationship with your spouse you don’t have to be on the same page all the time. Meaning, you don’t always have to be in the same mood, experiencing the same success or enjoying the same activities to achieve a happy marriage. You just have to remember to demonstrate the love you share for one another.
I wasn’t on the same page as Scott today. I had a long day disappointing myself yesterday only to wake up having a surf session that mimicked the same sentiment. Scott exhibited his natural blissfulness this morning, yesterday and everyday in between, and also enjoyed ripping some of the best 8ft set waves from this abnormally large Summer South swell that was hitting our coast. I was floundering around halfway down the beach catching and duck-diving big closeouts.
We had been traveling for 3/4 of the month of August and the past week had been especially full of over-stimulating activities while we moved our sisters into college on the East coast. The kind of activities that led the brains of introverts like myself to overheat and shutdown. For instance, yesterday during a family function someone questioned me repeatedly in front of our group about “being so shy and quiet”. Instead of coming up with something witty, or at least explanatory, my eyes welled up with tears! Talk about a moment where I needed to get a hold of myself! I wasn’t even that sad about the comment, I was just so tired of being in a new place and on a different schedule that I lost it. I was so embarrassed! At this particular moment I swore that if I didn’t get some alone time soon I was going to self destruct like a robot soaked in salt water.
After our surf this morning I hid myself inside the warm waters of my parent’s outdoor shower, thinking about my recent stumbles. Outside the pouring water I could pick out parts of Scott’s story about his epic wave in to the beach.
“It was just so fun to go fast on a big wave” he explained enthusiastically.
The envy I began to feel made the shower seem hotter. I extinguished it by opening my eyes. I tried to focus on the excitement in his. I loved listening to him talk about things he had passion for.
In this moment I realized that I didn’t have to have the best surf session or be in the best mood to be a good wife. I guess Marriage isn't always about experiencing the exact same emotions at the same time. I think it is more about sharing love for one another in every situation you encounter together. It’s not really that profound, but it’s hard! I didn’t need to be in the same place I just needed to demonstrate the love I felt for Scott by listening to him tell his story and by letting him listen to me tell mine.