Wednesday, 26 January 2011

On Blokes and men..

I just finished reading a book titled 'William Walkers First Year of Marriage' made me lol all through. It got me thinking about blokes and men. There is a difference and it has nothing to do with age. It was interesting to see things through a man's eye for once and try and attempt to understand why he reasons the way he does. 

The difference between blokes and men is that the latter have grown up while the former haven't. A bloke is 'me, me, me' and not 'us, us, us'. I tell darling SO that it will only work when 'us' becomes bigger and more important that 'you' or 'me'. 

Funny book though...recommended read. Some interesting quotes from the book.

'Marriage is like life in this-that it is a field of battle, and not a bed of roses.' Robert Louis Stevenson

'My advice for any newlyweds is stick at it, you will always have the snags but use a bit of sense!' Gladys Mott

'Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished' Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

That was so totally!

Growing up

'When I was a child, I talked like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put  the ways of childhood behind me'  

1st Corinthians 13:11

Hmm...this passage popped into my head this morning as I was thinking. Yes, I think a lot. One of my best friends likes making this statement that 'love is abstract until it is required.' I always wondered what she meant. Yes, love is this abstract thing..that you cannot define. Sometimes its an emotion, most times its a decision but you can't say anything about it until you really need to love someone. Love may mean keeping quiet, it may also mean saying something. Love may mean walking away, it may also mean staying put. It depends on what is required at that given time.

Over the weekend, I noticed that SO was a bit low. Its amazing that even via text messages someone can not 'sound' right. I asked him about it and he didn't want to talk about it. For some reason I was hurt. I just felt shut out. Hmm (I hmm a lot), all of a sudden my focus was on poor me and my feelings. He does get like that once in a while and if I'm honest I do too. I did tell him that I would prefer if he spoke to me but I understood if he didn't want to. I'm sorry but I was lying because I didn't really understand. Since then I've just felt this distance between us but it's more on my end if I'm being honest so when that message popped up this morning I kinda knew it was for me.

This week I learnt about time...its not so much that time heals the wound it just gives it the opportunity to heal. Like I said no matter how much we love someone sometimes we just need open the windows and clear the room. Sometimes we need space. Not for ages but just to assert ourselves as an individual in a relationship because no matter how close you are even if you share a toothbrush you are an individual with wants and needs that sometimes differ from your partner.

Just realised that growing up comes with pain...when a baby gets his/her first teeth its uncomfortable, they are irritable but they need to persevere through it to the other side. Maturity is an essential requirement of any relationship. My reasoning and talking is childish because children are concerned about themselves, adults have to be responsible for someone else. A pain of growing up...but grow up we must if we are to have healthy relationships. 

I'm happy that the verse quoted above separated reasoning from talking...I can be so childish in my reasoning sometimes and though I may not say anything to show how silly I am....our minds are powerful things. I had so many bad thoughts this week and totally unfounded ones at that. Well by the grace of God I'm getting there.

'I love you darling and these past few days I have missed you more than you can imagine. Its  easier to write that I understand than it is to really understand but I trust you and I'm here if you need me. That's the growing up I was referring to earlier...'

Guess this is where the 'deeply, unconditionally, forever and beyond' kicks in...

Picture Perfect?

I've just been musing about how things can be so different from what they look like on the surface. One of the big lessons I've learnt is that wisdom requires looking beyond the surface to know things as they really are, not what we think they are, not we want them to be. But as they really are.

Reading some blogs, reading some of the stuff I've written one could be forgiven for assuming that there are some perfect relationships. There aren't. I'm a perfectionist, I like things being perfect but I'm learning that no matter how hard I try, I'm not perfect. I can only do my best and on some days even that doesn't cut it. I used to be a fan of wedding websites and it's fun oohing and aahing at the pictures and I have no doubt that the couple I'm looking at is very happy but that's life. It's difficult to cram the last few years you've shared with someone into a website. Sometimes the stories sound like fairy tales but underneath the pictures I'm sure there are many stories.

So no we don't have a perfect relationship. Because neither of us is perfect. Two imperfect people cannot have a perfect relationship. However, it shouldn't just be the two of should be him, me and God ( a threefold cord not easily broken). Even as I'm typing this we're having a moment. In many cases, opposites attract. In our case, our similarities more than anything attracted us to each other and when we have issues its those same similarities that bring the cracks. We both retreat into our shells when we are upset so it can be frustrating sometimes and all my communication tips just seem to fly out of my head and I want to do the silent treatment thing. When I was younger and I got mad...umm let's just say I would say ugly things. Now I'm older and to combat that I started keeping my mouth shut but doing that just puts my mind in overdrive and I withdraw and become cold and distant. We've never had a big fight....the promise is to never sleep on an argument and we haven't broken that so far but then we've never had a problem at 11pm at!

Well, the commitment is to still love you even when I'm upset and frustrated. So no we don't always get it right but when you make the decision to spend the rest of your life with someone I guess that's inevitable. The main reason why I wrote this was because so many times people want to compare their relationships with someone else's based on what they think they know about the relationship. Usually it isn't as perfect as it looks, we all look good with makeup on! Learn from other people, what they did that worked for them and the mistakes they've made also. I pray never to compare SO to anyone else and say I wished he was more like so and so. I'll write a post on what my weaknesses are. Only advice I would to never stop talking to each other. Once the lines of communication are open things usually have a way of working out.

Keep living, loving and learning..

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

I love you but what's in the bag?

One day I hope to sit somewhere and just read all the posts on this blog and go through the different emotions that come with them. In my last post I was talking about baggage. We come into relationships 'as is', as we are with our strengths and our weaknesses. Our hopes and our fears. The problem usually is that we have this facade, this person we want to be and that really impedes us in our relationships because the other person doesn't really have an idea of who they are dealing with.

SO has what most women would consider the ultimate baggage, an ex-wife and kids. The other obstacle we had was the quite significant age difference between us. Over a decade. There was a time when both situations, the age difference and children would have been a big NO from me and yet here I am. On the age difference side, I had always expected that my husband would be quite older than I was as I've never had any friends male or female that wasn't at least 5 years older and people usually mistake me for someone older. They try and be nice and say its not how I look but how I act and I smile and choose to believe them! Lol! 'Tis true, I do come across as someone much older and in a lot of ways my age is just catching up. The first person I dated was 7 years older than me and for me that wasn't an issue. I just never thought I'd go over the 10 year gap.

I'm not one of those people who subscribe to the 'just love, everything else will take care of itself' idea. I did think long and hard about both issues. Maybe not too long and not too! I'd always known about his boys from the word go. The first day we met he showed me their pictures in his wallet and the truth is that if they were girls and not boys I'm not sure I would be writing this post. I'm proud of SO, proud of his ex as well for the way they made the best out of a bad situation. The boys stayed with him after the split, it was their decision and their mother respected it. I met them a number of times before our awkward phase, they call me Aunty, they still do. Am I scared? A little bit...I'm not a mother talk less of being a step mother but they are teenagers and I'm not their mother. They have a mother. With boys its much easier than it would have been with girls. After all the horror stories I've heard about stepmums and all, actually realising that I'm going to become one is well....interesting. Maybe I should be more anxious about it but I'm not. We've had so many discussions about this, my fears and concerns and well I'm still here.

The thing is that no matter how a relationship goes, once there are children involved you maintain a permanent relationship with that person whether you like them or not, whether you want to or not. You have a shared responsibility till death do you part. I really like the boys. I think they did a good job. One of the things I respect about SO is that he never slags their mum. We don't talk much about that past but for whatever happened I believe that he learnt a lot from it. There are things that he does, things he is so perceptive about that only come when you've been there, not made it and are really ready to put in everything to make sure it works. I can't judge him totally on his past, he can't turn back the clock. I can only judge the present, the man he is, the man he wants to be. I'm not sure I could have done it for anyone else but he comes with 2 boys and loving him is accepting that fact.

Its not always going to be as easy as 1,2,3. If we have a child, he/she would be last instead of first. One of the boys has already requested it be a boy (no!) because 'girls are trouble'! I try to look into the future. There will be graduation ceremonies, weddings and other special occasions where I will be the 'wife' but that is who I will be, their dad's wife. I pray to always have a good relationship with them but so far I've been amazed by how simple it was for them to open their arms and accept me as a part of their lives. I keep hoping SO isn't bribing them or something.

One day SO said he was thinking and wondering if I would still find him attractive when he was all 'wrinkly and old' and I pray for our love to be something that stands through changing scenes and seasons. Dating someone older does have its pros and cons. On the advantage side, he knows what he wants. No beating around the bush, no playing games. This is for keeps, unconditionally, forever and beyond. Not Tracy on Tuesday, Wendy on Wednesday, Thelma on Thursday. On the downside, the older we get the more set in our ways we become. Usually 'our' way becomes the 'right' way and darling can be like that sometimes. There is this tone of voice he has, I call it 'The Boss' but we're working through it one situation at a time.

We are happy together, conventional or unconventional as it may be. Even with the age difference, our similarities are outstanding almost like we are the same person sometimes. Anyway enough babbling. Some people have external baggage, some internal. Sometimes I think my internal baggage matches his and more but I'm blessed to have him. I love him very, very much.

Going back to go forward...II

I have quite a number of metaphors for love.  Love is like a garden, a tree, a force...but it is also like a seed. One day its this little thing that has been thrown in your heart, you hardly recognise that it is there but under the right conditions it germinates and then you have this beautiful plant that is neither you nor the other person but still you and the other person.

About 4 years into our friendship I just realised that something had changed. All of a sudden we were making plans to meet up more frequently, talking about different things, going from surface to deep conversations. I used to joke with him that it was time for him to get married and he would say the same to me. One day we met up for a drink/movie and he confided in me that he had met 'someone' but there were some obstacles and he was really worried about messing a good friendship up. I was surprised that my first feeling was one of disappointment. I was happy but disappointed. I told him that he would never know if he didn't try and what might seem like obstacles may be things that could be worked out. Sometime during the show, he reached out and held my hand. It wasn't a big deal and suddenly I realised that the friend was me. I should have been happy and a part of me was but then I panicked. I'll write a whole post about my pet peeves soon, fear and anxiety topping that list. The 'What ifs' of this world just came rumbling through my mind and I just tensed. Strange enough as we kissed each other goodbye that day I knew something had changed in our relationship.

Looking back now, sometimes we wonder what would have happened if we had just taken the plunge then. SO thinks we would have made it, as for me I'm not so sure. I'm surely a different woman than I was then in a lot of ways. There are some things I may not have been able to handle then that I feel more qualified to handle now. Like I said, something changed that day and we both decided (without a to look for love somewhere else. We didn't talk as much any more and went on to different relationships. This is beginning to read like something from Danielle Steele but sometimes I guess truth is stranger than fiction. As I progress in my writing I will try and fill in some gaps but I don't know if this will always be anonymous and therefore there are some things I would rather not share yet.

We didn't know each other's significant others and I just felt that we both should have some space to focus on working on our relationships. I didn't speak to him for over a year. He did try to call and I would send the occasional text but one day I realised that he wasn't one of those people I could 'just be friends' with and it was better I took a break, a complete break. Until one day I got a text asking whether he'd done anything to offend me and that we should meet up soon to catch up.

So we somehow got talking. The previous year had actually been quite difficult for us both. Strangely enough we were both single again. And we kept talking and today we're still talking. I found out that I really was the friend from a few years ago. He just thought his baggage would be too much for me. I thought then that it would be too much for me too. But like I said I think right now I'm more equipped to handle things. I'll talk about it more in my next post.

Writing feels good.

Writing out loud..

Will continue my story in a bit. I was actually thinking of deleting this blog and starting over. So many thoughts come into my head these days and I can't believe that its actually easier to write on the blog than anywhere else now. Maybe I should continue with my story now and find some therapy in that. Hmm, going back to go forward.