Tuesday, May 25, 2010
“Don’t say that you love me…”
Sang legendary 70’s nut cases Fleetwood Mac.
“Just tell me that you want me.”
I haven’t done any way near enough drugs to be able to dissect the rest of that song for you as paracetamol is simply not strong enough to work out why they suddenly shout TUSK or why some marching band turns up.
But I do understand those two lines.
I’m not really experienced enough yet to be able to conclusively say what makes a marriage successful. I’ve only done a shade under 12 years, which theoretically isn’t even half way towards being able to claim any expertise. My parents and Jo’s parents are certainly in a position to give advice, each pairing lasting for more than 40 years. So I am not about to even try and dish out marital guidance, however I will tell you what I think and hope will work for me.
Share a sense of humour – This is vital and probably the most important of all aspects of a relationship to get right. Make sure you are with someone you can laugh with. We face many challenges over the years, many hardships, whether or not you have kids (sometimes especially if you don’t). When the chips are down and you are at your lowest ebbs, you need someone there who can make you smile again. Help you to see the path ahead is not so dark.
Feeling wanted – As the Mac said “wanting” your partner is somewhat important. I think it gets a little missed as folk think that as long as they say “I love you” every day then everything is fine. However all of us need to feel wanted now and again, to have someone need you is not the same. You can need someone to clean the house or cook your tea or mend the fence and cut the grass. We need to do the grocery shopping every week, but who gets excited about that? However going out shopping for something you want is whole different ball game. It doesn’t just have to be about sex, though that is probably the easiest way of showing it, sometimes you can be wanted simply for company – not just watching TV together but having a game of scrabble. I’m talking about you personally being wanted for a chat, for comfort and support, for someone to cry on, for someone to laugh with. Knowing that it is you that is wanted for something, rather than just ‘a person’ needed to help with the house or to babysit, makes you feel special. I think it is easy to forget this, to think that needing someone to do things and telling them ‘thanks’ and ‘I love you’ is the same, it isn’t. Let them know that you want them – not just somebody, but that one specific person.
Doing the things that are needed – Bearing in mind what I have just said, the fact is that we do have to do things that are needed too. Spot the things your partner needs, the every day dross of life that they are dealing with. It might not have to be you that will help with these problems, but if not who will? No one is perfect at this, no one can be, I for one am pretty terrible at it, but I try. Don’t sit back and wait for your partner to find someone else to help relieve the monotony of life.
Love – So with all that I’ve said, where does love fit in? In itself I don’t believe that it does, I see no important value in a long term relationship in simply saying “I love you” now and again (however, my wife does so you’d better believe I do it!), words can be said easily enough, meaning them is the key. What I do believe though, is that the love is found in the three points I’ve already covered. When you truly love someone, you want them, you need them and er you make them laugh. Ok not quite that last one, but loving someone so much that they still make you laugh after X years is kind of part of it. The respect that you show somebody when you are there for them, in any, and every way that you can manage, not because you need to, not because you ought to, but because you truly want to – is love.
So that’s my current theory, this theory will probably be different to my wife’s. This time next year I could be divorced and putting a link back to this post as a reference to all the things you should never do. For sure I’m talking about how I would like to behave; I’m not saying I’m great at it.
Hopefully, one day I’ll have been married long enough to call myself a success, but right now all I can say is that I’m happy and working at helping Jo be happy too. I only have another 32 years until I catch my parents up – crikey that is a long time, we are going to need a bigger TV.
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