Saturday Bonus Post – Guest Post by Jubilee

After writing about the depravity that was my last marriage, I thought maybe I would tell a lighter story. It does not have a happy ending because it has not ended. And honestly, I would not have it any other way.

Peter is the man you don’t know you want to date until you get to know him.( I should mention that I had a lot of competition in the beginning).  He is quiet, soft spoken, reserved, not particularly sensitive, really nerdy, unpretentious and just really sweet. He seems like a friend. And he is an awesome friend. He is mild and even tempered. Really witty once he starts talking and a lot of fun.

Otto, my ex-husband, was very attractive. Outgoing, charming,seemed really sensitive, had a lot to say and was really fun. His sense of humor was not mine, but I still got the jokes. I and more than a few others wanted to date him. He was hot headed which meant he was a lousy friend. What I did not see is that he could not maintain anything beyond surface relationships.  (Too bad I missed that, I might have saved a lot of heartache). He was also a bit of a bully. (How I missed that still has me scratching my head).

I can count on one hand the number of times Peter and I have had screaming matches. Peter has never deliberately insulted me. When he is angry with me, he chooses his words carefully.  When we argue, he sticks to the facts and what he wants. Unless it is somehow relevant to the conversation, the past buries its dead. We usually find a solution pretty quickly.

If Otto and I disagreed without it turning into a shouting match, I have forgotten about it. Arguments were more bare knuckle brawls. Insults, past sins and threats were standard fare. And we went the distance in those things, too. We could argue for a week before it was over. It was an exhausting and draining event. Once they were over, I would do anything to keep the peace so that I could avoid another one.

Romance and all of it’s trappings are not something that happen with Peter.  Suggesting he cook dinner for me would leave him scratching his head wondering why he would put in so much effort when he can just call my favorite Indian or Ethiopian place on the way home from work. Nor is he spending money on flowers since they will die in a week. He told his mother he could buy something I can use with money he would spend on flowers.  But here is the thing that Peter gets. Relationships are not fueled by the grand gestures that the media loves. They are fueled by the mundane things that make up life. Those little things really do add up. Not having to go to the store to get coffee or cream because he noticed I was running low matters. Making sure I know how to go somewhere new and being available to play navigator when I am lost tells me I matter to him. Calling on his way home from work to see if I need him to take our daughter somewhere so I can have a break tells me I am important. (It also tells our daughter she matters to him and that is never a bad thing).  That he does not have a picture of me on his desk, but his coworkers know my name and what I do tells me I matter to him.

Life with Peter is not all sunshine and roses.   We still bicker and annoy each other. We are human and at times our humanity shows itself in very ugly ways. Sometimes my baggage from past abuse throws us both for a loop.  But the life we have built together is still beautiful because even in the midst of our imperfections, we have found acceptance and love that does not waver. No matter what happens, we are a soft place to land for the other.

No matter what your religious belief or nonbelief, your partner makes or breaks you. That person has massive power in your life. A good partner is one who recognizes this and respects that power.  A good partner is invested in you. Not in a your success in our success way. This person is invested in you and your relationship because you are important and loved by this person. Your partner wants the best for you because you are that important. Your success is something to celebrate and cheer. Your joy and excitement is something to share. You are someone that is worthy of honor and to be proud of.

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