He Asked Me to Marry Him Again…
I remember years and years ago when we first moved to California I compared our relationship to what I saw with other couples. I remember on a Valentine’s day feeling disappointed I didn’t get flowers. I got caught up in looking at everyone else around me and comparing my relationship to that. Eventually we talked about it.
Bruce said to me that’s a made up day. How many couples give flowers that day and every other day they don’t show love to their partner. And for me that rang true. I want to feel love on any given ordinary day. I’ve learned that it’s about taking an ordinary moment and making it extraordinary by thoughtfulness and caring.
Here is an example of what I’m talking about: Bruce said one afternoon “Rene I want you to listen to this song… it’s my song to you.”
Army of One -Coldplay
Been around the world, wonders to view
Been around the world, looking for someone like you
Pyramids try, Babylon too
But the beautiful-est treasures lie in the deepest blue
So I’ll never say die, I’m never untrue
I’m never so high as when I’m with you
And there isn’t a fire, that I wouldn’t walk through
My army of one is going to fight for you…
Or how about this one. We were picking up Dotty and KC returning from CO, sitting in the van he said when I hear this song I think of you…
A Lifetime – Ziggy Marley
Oh a lifetime isn’t enough to love you
And a lifetime isn’t enough to live
Oh a lifetime isn’t enough to love you
And one lifetime isn’t enough to live…
Tears running down my face when he played both songs. My heart was full of love, it touched me deeply. Flowers on Valentines day because that is what you are “suppose to do” or what Bruce helped me learn it’s about the ordinary days of thoughtfulness, loving and giving.
I’m not saying don’t give flowers or gifts on Valentines day. I’m saying find out what makes your partner feel loved. Talk about what is important to each other. Relationships are based off of exchange of value. Value is relative to each individual. It’s about understanding perception of value. It’s important to know what you value and what makes you feel loved. And it’s important for you to find out what your partner values and how they feel loved. Then you each give that to each other. Men and woman are wired differently. I know what makes me feel loved is not the same as what makes Bruce feel loved.
I want to go a little deeper. I want to talk a little about shame and how that can affect your relationship. Today, let’s think about how as woman we might fall into the trap with our husbands.
Real men provide. Real men are strong at all costs. Work comes first. Real men are stoic and unemotional. Real men are rescuers. The number one shame trigger for men is being perceived as weak. Men walk this tightrope where any sign of weakness elicits shame, and so they’re afraid to make themselves vulnerable for fear of looking weak. But if you can’t be vulnerable, then you can’t truly grow and be your best self. Women can either embrace and help men walk across the tightrope, or we can be the ones who push them off.
I remember telling Bruce I don’t want to be that woman that watches you die on your white horse. I don’t want to be the woman that says show me your strength and none of your weakness and yet be ‘man enough’ to handle all of mine. I want to be the woman that allows you the space to be vulnerable and share how you feel with no thought about being weak.
“You show me a woman who can actually sit with a man in real vulnerability and fear, I’ll show you a woman who’s done incredible work. You show me a man who can sit with a woman who’s just had it, she can’t do it all anymore, and his first response is not, “I unloaded the dishwasher,” but he really listens — because that’s all we need — I’ll show you a guy who’s done a lot of work.” – Brene Brown
So many people ask me what’s the key to being married 22 years. In simplest terms… Growth! Individually and growing together. We each do the work within ourselves and share, love, give, forgive and grow together.
Bruce and I have been on quite a journey so far, many peaks and valleys and there is no other man I’d want to be doing life with than him. So when I got off the plane and found Bruce waiting there for me. When he gave me my $20 silicone Qalo ring and said will you marry me? I looked at him and smiled… YES! I would marry him today and everyday.
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