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Thursday, August 30, 2012

On The Other Hand...

I don't make a regular habit of re-reading my posts but after someone sent me a comment via e-mail about "Finding What You Have" (my last post), I did. In it, I mentioned many things my wife and I have in common; the e-mail prompted me to look at the other side. And of course there are plenty of things we don't have in common. Do you know partnerships that would claim otherwise?

One of my wife's greatest passions is gardening. Try as she may, she hasn't made me a convert. I love eating our fresh vegetables but have never planted a single seed - don't plan on starting. She also enjoys opera. I've given that a better shot than gardening; it is music after all. No dice. On the other hand, she doesn't enjoy King Crimson. She likes antiquing and garage sales - count me out. We often have trouble agreeing what makes a movie funny. And so on.

So what is an optimum balance for a partnership between having enough things in common vs. having unique interests? I have no clear answer to this; please tell me if you do. But I do feel it's important each partner has pieces that belong to just them. What do you think? The intention of my last post was not to paint a  picture of two people who share everything. From my perspective, that would be just as unsettling as partners who have little or nothing in common.  

       

2 comments:

  1. I told Karen about your previous post and this one. We both agreed that there many differences between our talents and interests but our commonalities keep us together. We both love music across a broad spectrum. You'll find CD's and DVD's on our shelves that range from Celine Dion to Mahler. We both love movies of all genres. We're both avid readers but Karen reads more and I tend to be next in line for the book she loved. Karen is however much more adept at keeping connections to family and friends alive whereas I, with 4 sisters and 2 brothers, sputter and fizzle over staying caught up with their lives. She also is better at "reading" the emotional content of our lives together and the immediate consequences for the present and future. I think the main attribute we share is our curiosity about life in general, where have we been, what has life taught us, and of course where are we going. This summer, Karen had total shoulder replacement surgery and helping her get through her hospital stay and the at-home recovery period really brought us closer. She was in an arm sling, on pain medication and needing icing around the clock. Bathroom, bathing and yes, even putting her hair in a passable braid or pony tail, all very care intensive! Glad it's over but it taught me a lot about being a care giver, about reaching deeper to be there for her. Karen's take is that we have much more in common than different as couple and I agree completely with her. Although I would also add that there is the "X" factor at work. I think mutual attraction can be "itemized", i.e. common likes and dislikes. However there is always something intangible about how a we relate. I like to think there is something important about honoring that mystery. Ultimately we are the guardians of each other's privacy. It also helps like hell to keep that physical attraction alive!

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    1. Steve; Responses like this are the main reason I started this blog. It's so wonderful to know other people's stories and I particularly love your ending words about "...honoring that mystery..." and being the "...guardians of each other's privacy...". Thanks for such a from-the-heart comment.

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