I was at my usual Tuesday night haunt, talking with Lab a few nights ago.
Lab lost his wife a few years ago to cancer... and I know the loss is hard for him. She was a major factor in his life for 30 years. They didn't always get along, but they had a deep connection that lasted throughout their entire marriage. She was his other half. And I envy that he has had that...
Then I think about some other friends of mine who are going through very rough times in their marriage... and each side has valid points but I'm not sure they're ever going to be able to meet in the middle.
So I wonder... what makes some marriages work and some fail so miserably?
I think BooBoo (my sis) said it best: you either grow together or you grow apart. A bit simplified, perhaps, but in my opinion right on the money. Ex-hub and I, when we were first together, did lots of things together... we played soccer, went out with friends and fam, did date night and were generally having a good time together. As years went by, this all went by the wayside. He just never wanted to go out and do anything together... he was far more interested in sitting in front of the TV than spending any type of quality time with me... and we grew apart.
BooBoo and her Hbf did the exact opposite... while on their 6 month tour of SE Asia they grew together. It's only a matter of time before they pull the trigger and tie the knot... and they will do well together. They compliment each other very nicely. I think that is a precious thing and hard to find... that person that compliments you.
Farmer was my exact opposite... we just couldn't find that common ground to meet in the middle. If I'm looking at something one way guaranteed Farmer is looking at it exactly the opposite way.
Wulfe and I, on the other hand, were way too much alike... which led to it's own set of problems. We would react the same and sometimes that would cause a very minor problem to escalate into something it didn't need to be. We were both prone to overreaction. As friends, however, this is not the case... so again, perhaps it comes down to how I handle things when in a relation-ship vs. a friend-ship. Still a work in progress...
As I study those relation-ships around me that seem to be successful (and I say seem to be because you never really know what goes on between 2 people) I notice that there is a common thread between them all...
1. A mutual respect for each others individuality... a willingness to say I know this about you and I love the fact that this is a part of your personality. (I am guilty of trying to force people to be what I would like them to be rather than accepting who they are... which is very selfish and something that I'm working on.)
2. A willingness to make the relationship a priority above all else. This, of course, will ebb and flow depending on what's going on at the time... and some people will read this and think I mean that I feel I need to be top priority at all times. That isn't what I'm saying here. I'm talking about the relationship, not me... 2 very different things. You can be far apart and still have your relationship be your priority.
3. A willingness to look for the positive, not the negative. Farmer and Wulfe have both accused me of a lack in this area.... i.e. if there are 10 different ways to take something that someone has said I will automatically take the worst view of it. Um... guilty as charged. Although I am trying with all my heart to not be that way anymore. I think you have to be willing to give the person who means the most to you a benefit of the doubt. They shouldn't have to prove themselves to you again and again.
Of course, these are just my observations. And I'm sure there is much more that I'm leaving out, but I'm just covering the basics here.
The bottom line is still just what my sister said it was: you either grow together or you grow apart. I'm hoping to find someone, some day, to grow together with...