What I learned being married for 10 years

What I learned being married for 10 years

Tammy and Rod WeddingToday is my husband, Rod, and my 10th wedding anniversary. So, I thought I would have a look back over our life together and see what has changed.

A whole lot.

First of all, I have learned to appreciate airplanes, trains, Canada’s wild beauty, and Gordon Lightfoot.  Considering Rod’s choice in music was almost a nonstarter for us making it to a second date, it’s an awfully good thing I have learned not only to live with but to love Gord’s poetic lyrics. And, I’m well aware of Rod’s sacrifices to attending my choices of rock concerts with his ear plugs in place. I do get a secret joy every time he whistles the refrain to my music choices though.

I have learned the true meaning of Respect.

I have never enjoyed this depth of respect from any other person—ever. While I am quite versed in establishing healthy boundaries in all parts of life, Rod and our marriage has not been where I needed them. He is masterful at knowing how much to hold me tight to feel safe, secure and loved, yet loosely enough that I can spread my wings and grow.

I also greatly admire Rod’s masculinity, his strength of character, his firmness of conviction and wholesome values, Rod’s depth of empathy, and his unforced generosity, his quietness that balances my chatter.

Looking back over the last ten years, being a stay-at-home mom was bitter sweet and to deny it would be a lie. I chose to have more kids for Rod who had none of his own. Having been a single working mom, I knew I didn’t want to have more children just to put them in daycare this time. So I stayed home. Despite all of my baggage and issues around loss of income and loss of my career-woman identity that I had to work through—and eventually did—I completely appreciate the sacrifice Rod made by working his ass off in the military at a job that took more away from him than any man should have to give. All of the abundance our family currently enjoys, all of the financial security Rod has arranged for our old-age, are Rod’s doing. He has been the consummate provider and I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

It may not always be apparent to those who don’t know us that my two oldest girls are Rod’s step-daughters, because they are his daughters in his heart. Over the last 10 years they became the closest thing to biological as humanly possible. He has wanted the best for Sarah and to shelter her from pain as much as I do, and Vicky’s future weighs as heavily on him as it does on me. I can’t tell you how much it means to a mom for her husband to love her children.

What can I say that will help someone starting out in their marriage? Essentially, the old adage about communication is true. The only time we fight is when I don’t tell Rod the full story and he fills in the blanks with an active imagination and the wrong stuff. Or, when I am insecure and expect Rod to read my mind and reassure me.

I have learned the only way to stay connected is to be completely open, vulnerable, honest, and to be willing to accept the warts and farts, because he is as human as I am, he is as fallible as I am, and as utterly gifted with potential as I am.

I am so happy to be going through this journey with Rod by my side, and I look forward to celebrating many more decades together.




Marriage woes, anyone?

Marriage woes, anyone?

Who is driving

Who is driving the car in your relationship?

Not, who is wearing the pants, not who is the decision maker, but which one of you is looking out the windshield at the horizon and which one of you is looking at the instrument panel checking the speed and gas gage? Which one is holding the steering wheel and which one has their foot on the pedal?

You’ve heard it before, the importance of communication in a relationship. How are you doing in that department? I’m not only a speaker, I’m also a talker. I thought I had this communication thing DOWN for my marriage to work. But it turns out that it’s not just me nattering on about all my hopes and dreams that matters, I have to communicate in a way that my husband understands what I am saying. (if you read last week’s blog… this was the message the Universe was sending.)

This past week, while out for a walk to the park, I asked my husband to have a look at my company’s financials with me later because I had a big bold and beautiful a long term plan I want to invest some money into. I was describing the gorgeous long range view that I saw through the windshield.  My husband panicked! He was looking at the instrument gauge and saw that the gas tank was a little low and the oil needed to be changed and so he replied with an emphatic NO!

Have you ever let your imagination run wild and fill in the blanks with worst case scenarios from what hasn’t been said?

Long story short, my husband filled in the blanks to hear that I wanted to purchase a million dollar building downtown (which is slightly relevant if you heard the previous conversation that day about a friend of mine’s business plans). But what I was actually talking about was looking to invest in a thousand dollar training program that would increase revenue. So when I heard the NO, I filled in the blanks to hear that my husband didn’t think I was worthy. Do you ever take someone’s no to mean you are not worthy? Could that be a reason you don’t like to say no to others?

And the lesson I wish to share with you, in hopes that you can navigate the road of your relationships better, is this:

If you are the dreamer in the relationship, be a little more specific than “big bold and beautiful” when describing the horizon. Mention that there are some gas stations and restaurants and motels on this road too. If you are the pragmatic instrumentalist, look up at the long range view once in a while and take in the beauty. Either way, talk to each other, in a language that the other person can understand, about what is going on for you in your point of view. And either way, listen. Ask open ended questions to get to the root of the dreams and anxieties. After all we are only Being Human.

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