Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Marriage 101: We Understand Each Other

I guess my thoughts are still on marriage as evidenced by posts earlier this week.  Marriage is such a highlight of life.  I don't mean THE wedding but rather the potential for a marriage to become hugely meaningful in our lives.  I remember early in marraige with my wife.  We were students in college and despite all the work that is required in school and the jobs we had, we seemed to have lots of time to talk about things that were important: experiences from our life that made us who we are, opinions and family history, and our dreams for the future. 

Those were good times.  Times before the careers.  Times before elevated responsibilities in work and life.  Times before all the questions and learning and trusting of parenthood.  Those were days that I highly prize because it is through those many talks and gentle and sometimes tense conversations that I learned the beginnings of understanding my wife.  If truth be told, I also learned a lot about understanding myself.  There is something about putting things in words that can help us recognize, realize and understand things (including ourselves) in new ways. 
We do manage to have those conversations from time to time now, but not as compacted and as revelatory as in times past.  Now 27 years later we have learned a lot about each other.  Much of our experience is common between us.  We have raised years of children together.  Even though we of course were not together every minute or even most minutes we saw how each other think, react, and how we have each grown over the years.  We understand each other way better than ever before.
Oh, don't ge me wrong there is still the surprise when we learn something new that we never knew about the other, or when we react in a way unexpected.  Mostly though things are very comfortable.  Few egg shells to walk on, no bombs to maneuver around, just comfortable understanding. 

Those early times of self revelation and questions answered were like Christmas morning, opening presents and not sure what to expect.  Now, they are like opening presents of shared experience and expected appreciation for each other.  Very comfortable and valued times.

I guess I should admit that life is not bliss, entirely.  There is still much to learn, and hopefully lots of experiences to share.  We still have our weaknesses and foibles.  Even some new ones we didn't know about back then.  But we also have compensitory new strengths that have been developed through struggle and practical application.  We have gained appreciation for each other and are confident that we are valued by each other.  Our trust has greatly deapened.  And the fact that we are trusted and have confidence in each other has helped each one of us have increased confidence and trust in our own selves, individually and as a couple. 

We feel loved and that enables us to love others all the more.  Of course to love our children but also to love beyond our family, friends, even sometimes strangers and some people we have adopted into our family and they feel like parts of our family. 
This post was brought forward in my thinking as a result of a song I ran across by Lou Rawls.  When I thought back to my youth I forgot his music and just recently ran across it and this song (which by the way I do not remember from years gone by) reminded me of how this closeness and peace has come to our lives over the years. 

I look at that early time in our marriage as a time of revealing ourselves to each other and building the foundation of our marriage and our family.  We still add to that foundation from time to time, but the heaviest work was done in those early months and has allowed us to rest on that foundation frequently and as needed.  Sometimes we laid heavily on that foundation and other times lightly but always we have depended on it as it gave us the beginnings of understanding each other.  Listen to the song and see what it reminds you of.

Lou Rawls -- We Understand Each Other


  1. Wow, all I keep thinking is that I only know one Lou Rawls song ("You'll Never Find"?)! I like the message of this song, though.

  2. the song does have a cool theme and i like how he says "the way you start your relationship can ensure your happiness". it's good to know what will help you be happy and have a strong relationship and build a firm foundation from the beginning so that you can ensure that happiness and go forward working to keep that a consistent theme even through the hard times! it was cool to hear a bit about the start of your marriage! i think having an open heart and mind and loving no matter what help ensure that things get started out well and that things will continue strong over time :)


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