16 June 2010

Let's (Really) Talk

Sometimes we need to stop, clear away other responsibilities, make time, set the time and just talk. Yesterday was such a time for John and me. We can tell it's time when little things become way bigger than they really are. Like when we're arguing about which piece of mail should be left on top of the pile, each of us defending our opinion! It's probably definitely not about the mail pile. When I'm feeling misunderstood and under-appreciated, chances are he is too (he was).

So we finally sat down outside on these yellow chairs with a glass of wine and talked about what's really going on in our heads and our hearts. It started as silly bickering but finally shifted into the deeper sharing that brings us closer. It reminded me of the song by Angela Lansbury in "Beauty and the Beast" that describes the fight to be right and the line: "...then someone bends unexpectedly" which someone must do so real listening, sharing and loving can happen. It did.

Sometimes it's John who bends, steps one small step off the reiteration of the same complaints and instead picks up on what I might mean in what I'm saying. Last evening, it was me who took the step. I heard John say that he had an unexpected reaction to an important email. "You did? What was it, sounds like it might have been hard for you." It changed the whole dynamic and we started really communicating with each other rather than defending our positions.

My beloved husband recognized a new dimension he thinks he's entering that scared him in its implication. I got to hear about it and him and it was so much more interesting and vital than whatever we were doing before that point. It brought me closer to him and more supportive of him in the difficult choices he now gets to make. I love that part of being a life partner, the part when I get to see the world through wholly other eyes and have my world expanded.

In 36 years of marriage we've had this experience many times but it's always thrilling to me. It's built up my trust that we can do it yet again when we need to- once I get over myself and my friggin persistent need to be right! "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?" I ask myself. My higher self knows the best answer.

It works for us. What works best for you?


  1. Oh it's so true...I stop and say that to myself many times a day. What a beautiful post....

  2. Treasure...I treasure this post. From the first email I sent to my husband (on Catholicsingles.com) to our first (6hr) date where we simply talked, I treasured this aspect of him, of us and our relationship has always been about it going on 5yrs now. It is my favorite thing to realize we need a wine sit down and a chat..to undoubtedly walk away in an ah-ha moment and loving this man more than that first email. I feel so blessed to have this in our marriage, for I know not all do have it...thank you for sharing!!

  3. What a wonderful post......yes, I would choose happy anytime....though usually i struggle with being right/ha
    I love how you got to the heart of the matter....love it!
    AND I love your header photo, you must tell us all about it!

  4. It's like a dance, isn't it? knowing when to step forward and when to step back,that's key to a successful dance through marriage. Putting aside my need to lead (can't think how that happened!) is always a challenge for me.

  5. MP Mama- thanks, there's strength in numbers.
    Andrea- Your husband is fortunate and so are you. Thanks for the affirmation and example.
    nanny- the header photo is my current favorite view from our balcony. It fills me with peace.
    Patti- I like the dance analogy. I know what you mean about the lead drive! Needs to be shared.

  6. yep, a question to live by...in marriage and otherwise...i think the world would be a happier place...

  7. What a wonderful, thoughtful post. Dropped in to thank you for signing up for Italian for beginners. You live in the right place for picking up Italian.

  8. Hello Grandmother,
    I came here from the Theme Thursday blog. Although your Camera post is not yet up, I am certainly glad to have stopped by. Your panoramic photo of Italy is breath-taking! And I enjoyed reading some parts of your blog. This is a very nice place. :)

  9. i am needing some good talking and companionship these days and missing my love who is so far away right now....he can and does help over the phone but there is nothing like the warm embrace that follows those talks!! and there is nothing like having true, mutual friends/partners/family to help you go deeper, see fuller and grow more! i love you mom and can't wait to some great wine chats this summer!!

  10. A balance isn't it? A chat outdoors with a glass of wine is a step in the right direction...always!

    Lovely post.

  11. I was wondering how many years you and John had been married before I got to the answer! I am telling you, I sincerely feel that getting to the place we are in our marriages can only come with time, practice and effort.
    Everything you said hits the nail on the head and is what makes being married and enjoying the companionship it brings possible.
    Great post!

  12. Brian- I agree.
    Ms. Gibson- Thanks and welcome! "Camera" blog is up.
    Kelly- Dear One, you're right about the embrace after being crucial and about loved ones taking us deeper. We'll talk LOTS this summer. Love you tons!
    Jill- I so agree. Thanks for stopping by.
    HalfAsstic- Thanks. Yes, lots of time, practice and effort but with such great outcomes!

  13. Kids do this too... EVERYONE does... making a big deal about a small thing, because something is bothering them and they don't even know it. Talking is the only way to figure it out.


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