What kind of wisdom pushes you in your choice of love partners? Often it’s a wisdom that doesn’t always meet the eye. In fact on the surface, it may seem like the two of you are so different that you’ll not even be able to make it. But, with a full commitment to the totality of love — it’s those very same differences that will not only fertilize your love, keeping your lives vital and always changing, but will also spur you to greater personal growth.
Yesterday, Jim went into town for his morning newspaper and donut pick-up. On his way out, Judith handed him a form to take to the Library, so we could formally apply to use the Civic Center for a presentation we’ll be making in September.
When he got back, Judith asked how it went at the Library. Jim looked surprised. He’d forgotten all about it and didn’t even know where the form was! Well! In the early part of our marriage (we’ve been together 18 years, married 17) when this ditzy side of Jim would show itself, Judith would usually flip out. She’d get angry and scared and start crying in total frustration! Sometimes it would deteriorate into long, drawn out fights as we struggled to find our equilibrium — because Jim never saw anything tragic going on and Judith always did.
You see, Judith was raised in a family that took getting things done “right” very seriously. So she developed a perfectionistic bent, coupled with a need to avoid “trouble” or getting into “trouble.” (Can you identify with that?) That followed her into marriage and obviously caused a great deal of pain for both of us.
The wisdom in marrying Jim is that today Jim is still prone to being ditzy, but Judith has learned from him that his “relaxed attitude” has never caused a catastrophe and so she has relaxed enormously and seldom gets upset anymore.
That’s not to say that Jim is so relaxed he’s dangerous. We’re only talking about non-consequential issues. But it’s often the little things that drive people into divorce court when they cannot tolerate each other’s personal styles.
Please remember – the other person is not you. Your partner is not you. That may sound obvious, even simplistic, but the next time you go off on your partner because she or she hasn’t done something “right” – in other words, the way you would do it or the way it should be done – you are insisting there’s only one person in the world and that is YOU! Intimacy takes two and it’s most delicious when the two aren’t the same. Then the adventure of love can be wondrous and your relationship can stay fresh and vital.
Jim found the Library form in his office. He’d been distracted and left it behind. He turned it in the next day. Judith didn’t even lose a beat on this one and got to celebrate her cool attitude and tease Jim, in a loving way, about his “absent minded Professor,” which he didn’t defend.
We both had a good time on our walk today talking about how much we’ve learned from one another and how grateful we are for it. That’s what can happen through the wisdom in your choice of one another!
Take a look at all the ways your relationship, even if it didn’t work out, was a very wise choice in terms of all you’ve learned from it! And be grateful.