Thursday, June 3, 2010

You Have To Make The Time

The headline surprised me but the story made me sad.

We all know people separating or divorced. Sometimes it's for the best and I know that it's not my business to pass judgment.

Here is a couple that a lot of people believed had the real deal. Sure they were in the spotlight, but they were together. They endured family drama. They persevered through success and failures. And now, when they should be planning their twilight years, they instead are planning how to divide things up. I am not judging them. It's their lives. But I still feel sad for them. Their relationship died.

This particular quote tugged at me, "The Gores were telling friends they "grew apart" after 40 years of marriage and there was no affair involved..."

The snide comments and jokes about the cause of this break-up are flying about. And while I read constant barrages on him - suggestions of infidelity and the like, there were two people in that relationship and each bear responsibility for "growing apart". It happens all the time. Marriage, and really any type of relationship, requires work! Dual careers, children - they all create a stress on a relationship. They cause separation.

I see it with my friends and family. I've seen it in me. Two young people in love tie the knot. Kids happen. Stress happens. For plenty of varied reasons, husband and wife start pursuing interests without each other. For me, it was lack of an affordable babysitter. I'd go do my thing while hubby was home with the kids, and then he'd go do his, and I'd stay home. And slowly you grow apart. You don't even realize it's happened.

But one day I did. And life was rough for awhile, but that's a story for a different day. I realized the separateness needed to stop. It had to end, or our relationship would.

And so I've made a conscious effort to stay close, stay together. We DO things together - I make sure of it. We have fun together. We have fun together without the kids. We keep our relationship alive.

I never really had any desire to golf. Never grew up with any golfers in the family and had no appreciation for the sport. But, I knew that Mike enjoyed hanging out for hours without the kids, drinking beer with this buddies, enjoying good weather. Man was I jealous. I wanted a piece of that. And so - I learned how to golf. And now we golf together. Me and my best friend. It is so nice to be able to spend time with just the two of us. Having a kid old enough to be your babysitter really helps!

Then, when football suddenly became an interest in his life, sucking Sundays away, I first resisted. It was irritating. He never liked sports before; why now? Finally I wised up. If you can't beat 'em, might as well join 'em. And I did. I would go to a couple of games with him and I joined a fantasy football league to see what it was all about. It gave us something to talk about on Sundays while we watched all the games - together. I suggested to my sister that she do the same - and remarked how much it helped our relationship. She joined my league and by the end of the season, she was chirping about players and the game - and about how it helped her and her hubby get closer too.

To make a relationship work, you have to put yourself out there. You have to work at it You have to make the time. At times you may feel like you are making concessions. I don't look at it like that. I think learning golf and fantasy football has opened up new realms of entertainment and time together with my husband. How could that ever be perceived as a concession?
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