Monday, September 08, 2008


When you’re just minutes away from a deadline and you realize that you’ve completely botched the details of your storyline, it’s not pretty. In fact, it’s downright ugly, you get uglier and ugly starts raining down like a hurricane in severe weather mode. That’s where I’ve been for the past week. But ugly didn’t prevail and the fix came in the guise of a man whose calm, rational approach forced me to be calm and rational as well. Once that mess was cleaned up nice and pretty and the sun was shining and life was good again I found myself back in relationship mode.

I’m navigating this couple thing. I was operating under the assumption that I knew how to be one half of a couple. I mean, really, after 28 years with the same man you figure you’ve made enough mistakes to have learned some valuable lessons and with that experience you know what needs to be done. Right? How wrong I was!

Somewhere along the way someone changed the rules and I’m quickly discovering I don’t know how to play this dating game as well as I thought I could. I find myself seriously challenged. There’s timing to consider: how much time together is too much time? Not enough time? Then that prickly independence thing: How dependent should one be? Or not? And let’s not forget the compromising and sharing that needs to happen. My space or his?

Then of course there are the emotional bombs that are suddenly exploding when you least expect them. Jealousy has devastated some serious quality time. Frustration knocked us both on our collective butts a time or two. Toss in family and children and I’ll be damned if being a couple is suddenly a whole lot of hard work!

What I am discovering about my new relationship is that I want to work at it. I can’t fathom tossing in the towel and giving up. My very special friend inspires me to be better and do more and I like how that feels. He doesn’t give me any slack either. I’ve had to give up some bad relationship habits, forced to drop them cold turkey or else. I’m learning about myself and him and just how this couple’s thing should work versus how I might want it to work.

And, I am understanding much more about relationships as a whole. So in a nutshell, here’s my short list to navigate being the better half of any partnership:

You are each responsible for your own happiness.
You must respect the other’s differences.
Communication is KEY!
Every minute of the experience will be a learning experience.
The unarguable truth will never fail you.
Do nothing if it comes with an expectation of reciprocation.
Know how to forgive.
Know your own expectations.
Admit your mistakes and don’t hesitate to apologize.

I'm an expert at some of it. I'm working on the rest of it. I'm sure something else will need to be learned before all is said and done. Love is making it well worth the effort.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! It will be well worth the ride. Enjoy!! spring is sooner than you think.

Anonymous said...

I agree! Keep working on it. It can only get better.

Deborah Mello said...

Thank you! The man is truly a gem and well worth the effort!

Thanks for stopping by!