I’m on a roadtrip with my friends Barb and Paul. We’re winding around the mid-west with their new RV as our focus. We’re proving to be persistent hunters. It’s proving to be a bit elusive! There have been problems to solve, but we’re going to the source.
This has been a wonderful journey for a newly wed and a wedding priestess. Here they are with all these very real obstacles: you can’t ride in a motor home in your wheel chair if you can’t lock in; it’s hot; handicapped accessible rooms that aren’t; they’re both tired from a lot of traveling, barb’s pain-level hovers constantly near intolerable, and obtw, this camping thing is something they’re excited about, but will have lots of challenges. All of their skills are being tested. And you know what? They’re thriving.
They get nervous, they find a solution. So far, I haven’t seen those solutions include flare-ups between them. They have different skill sets, different levels of curiousity about different things. And they’re coping. They’re holding on to the dream of how exciting it is and making it all work. And when we get back into the car to go to the next place they’re laughing and affectionate.
Now I know them, I know they’re human. I’m sure there are gripes and snipes that they’re not sharing with me (another learning point!) But this project has been by starts and turns exciting, disappointing, worrying, overwhelming. And they’re having an adventure. And they’re doing it all with me there.
It’s a privilege. and it’s funner than lots of things I’ve done recently!
Tip: there’s no reason to take your stress out on one another. Solving problems can make you happy and better connected. And going off on adventures is a great way to build and polish your skill set — and have a great time! This is marriage building! Try it, you’ll like it!
OK, we didn’t cruise, we weren’t there on Sunday and most of you probably don’t know that old familiar tune anyway. But SweetPea and I dashed off for some decompression this weekend. We stayed at the Bridgeton House in Upper Black Eddy, PA. It was fabulous. Looking to relax? Here’s your spot. It’s easy to rent kayaks and tubes and simply float on the river. It’s also easy to sit on your back porch and simply gaze at the life that floats by. (It’s a fabulous place for breakfast and they offer a tea in the late afternoon as well. yum. Gets you ready for dinner at the Oyster House across the river in New Jersey!)
Tip: There literature says that this was the perfect place to become engaged. I can imagine. It was also a fairly lovely place to remember how much we love one another in a slow and lazy way. Bridgeton House may not be your style or your geographic region… but there’s a special place near you where two days feels like a whole holiday! Go find it. You’ll be glad you did!
Ah, Soul Mates. The world loves to talk about soul mates. We love to feel as if there is another person out there who, when at last we meet, will complete us.
- Problem: We only complete ourselves. We need to be whole human beings. Our partners can be wonderful complements to who we are and incredible companions, but it’s unfair to burden them with the job of fulfilling our destiny.
- Another Problem: I often think we look for soul mates when we’re floundering about in our problems. Anything and anyone outside our lives looks to have great answers. Hello, Governor Sanford, I’m talking to you.
- And one last problem: If we determine that a particular person is our soul mate, the minute something goes wrong, we have to demonize them. And infatuation causes us to see only the grand things. Living day-by-day causes us to see the whole person, who however wonderful, is always going to squeeze the toothpaste from the middle, or something equally annoying.
I’ll ponder for a while about whether I think we become soul mates, or whether we might just as well find a new term to describe a beloved partner with whom we’ve grown into accord. Wow, I know, how about beloved partner?
Tip: Am I crazy? what do you think? write and let me know!
There’s one last area that will build community support for your marriage:
Your Post Wedding Behavior!
Offer your community opportunities to participate in your life. Plan parties and picnics and work projects. Make them a piece of who you are and what you do.
And then, let people understand how you’re living into your vows by the way you deal with one another. People are seduced by couples who treat one another with respect and affection. Do things you enjoy doing together and revel in one another’s company. Keep finding new things you like doing. Or perfect the old things!
Tip: Your community really wants you to succeed at your marriage. Why not let them help? Help them help you by showing them what a great relationship you are growing and nurturing.
The image you chose as a metaphor
8. should support the wedding vows you are making.
You don’t need to have it in the vows, but the picture the image offers helps everyone to understand why you are offering those specific promises.
Your vows should be written from your strengths, values and talents. They should shore up those areas of your relationship that are not perhaps inately your best talents. Your metaphor should help everyone envision the work you are undertaking. It should be a talisman throughout the years to remind you of the work you are doing… and the joy you have in making these commitments.
Tip: The stronger the identification you can make with a metaphor, and the more frequently the image appears in your life, the more support it will offer your marriage. It will also remind your community to support you whenever they see the image show up and they make the connection to your promises to one another.