Marriage Dynamics

A post over at livenowandzen this morning reminded me of the lecture given to my mom and dad when they drove across a state border, picked a name out of the minister section of the yellow pages and got hitched without needing pesky parental signatures:

“You must understand that you are not just two people getting married.   There is who Dallas thinks he is, who you think he is and who he really is and the same goes for you.   You will spend a lifetime learning to integrate these six personalities into one union.”

Of course, the pre-marriage counseling was longer and probably not exactly as paraphrased above, but you get the idea.

Add to this wonderful six-some,  the scientific belief that within seven years, every cell in our body has died and been replaced by a new one.   Hence, there is not a single thing about me that is the same as 7 years ago…

We now have, just by basic thought processes and biology, 42 different variables –

Hey!  I like to do math my own way, -k-?

Add to this the notion that we grow into new passions and out of old ones – we change our life priorities due to epiphanies and traumas.

Count the number of life-changing moments you’ve experienced, multiply by 3 (your half of the marriage personality equation), and then take that times 3 (to account for the perspectives of the other three personalities in your marriage).

Take this number and multiply it by 10 every time you answer yes to the following questions:

  • Has your household been under financial strain?
  • Is a member of your household terminally or chronically ill?
  • Do extended family support or hate your union?

After doing my own version of math, I’m no longer surprised that after 17 years, we ended up divorced.

Because that number represents the odds-to-1 that a marriage faces.

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Shortly after the death of my son, we found ourselves in counseling.   I learned that 87% of couples who lose a child end up divorced.   I really wanted to be in the 13% who made it –

It was not to be, because aforementioned odds were already a long shot even before the child was lost.

But it has clarified my thinking on the matter – – And what I’ve learned has helped me in relationships other than marriage.

There is only so well I can know someone – and often, I must admit, I really don’t know them at all –

I may have known them well years ago, but if I haven’t kept in touch with them – haven’t kept up with their growth – I may find myself having tea one day and conversing as if I’m talking to someone that existed 15 years ago, but is no longer here.

And they may do the same.

I sometimes think the hardest thing in relationships is learning to really see who shows up, today.  To be open to hearing and observing the unique person that stands in front of us, rather than just airbrushing our picture of who we think they are over the canvas of Now.

And I think that’s probably the true secret of those who stay married till death do us part – they’ve learned how to negotiate being married to a brand new person, everyday.

Happy Birthday, Universe

This morning I awoke to a timely and much needed reminder from the Universe –

No matter how great the desire is to please another, Tamrah Jo, let it be no greater than the desire to be yourself.

Otherwise ain’t no one happy.

So pleased with you,
The Universe

P.S. Please, Tamrah Jo, it’s why you’re there.

I needed to hear that – especially today.    And over the past 7 years or so, I’ve received similar hints, nudges and love from the Universe.   I’m no longer astounded at just how the Universe knows just what to say, how to say it and when to say – I just gratefully accept and move on with a lighter step.

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I had to write this morning, because the Universe is turning 52 – Yup, I’m not kidding.

Well, okay, Mike Dooley, author of Notes from the Universe, is turning 52.   And I had to do something more than just send an email, because you see, Mike and his mom, Sheelagh Mawe, have done ever so much for me over the years.

Mike’s daily notes kept me company and gave me strength while I took care of my dad and watched him slowly surrender to the cancer.

In the wake of my son’s death from bacterial meningitis, I sent out thank you notes to all the wonderful authors and lecturers who had given me the emotional tools to deal with my own version of hell on earth.

Mike Dooley not only personally responded but also sent me a sympathy card so full of love, hope and comfort that I shall not ever forget that man or his kindness, not even in the face of senility, dementia or amnesia –

Sheelagh’s “How Mom Got a Life” was my constant companion while I contemplated the demise of my marriage and asked, “What shall I do now?”

“Dandelion” helped me to remember who I was before service to others and the desire to please turned me into a schizophrenic actress, gracing the stage of others’ lives as whatever role they needed, without ever thinking about what I wanted…or needed…

And I’ve spent many days listening to Mike’s lectures while wading through yet another database or website – he’s humorous, uplifting and above all, he keeps it real – he always manages to meet me where ever I’m at, not where other gurus think I should be…

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So, Mike and Sheelagh – Here’s to you on this joyous occasion –

Thank you Sheelagh, for bringing this great gift into the world and sharing your unique talents as well.  You’ve comforted and supported me through many of life’s storms and I’m very glad you’re around.

Mike, you’ve saved my bacon so many times these past few years, don’t know what I would have done without you…

Mr. Universe – You Rock!

*Disclaimer – Yes, I have a TUT affiliate account, but signed up so long ago, don’t remember my sign in or anything else – so the above links Do Not benefit me in anyway other than as a “referral good deed”.   Also, according to the fine print at the bottom of note this morning, Mike is holding one heck of a sale on TUT’s products to celebrate his birthday – products that are already reasonably priced, so what kind of gift would it be for me to also ask for my cut?

I do, however, highly encourage you to take advantage of the Free Notes from the Universe and read the story of how they got started – In 7 years, I’ve never once regretted signing up for them and the payoff of having them in my life has been 10,000 fold….