Tuesday, April 20, 2010
See that man in the hammock there? He is very wise. And not just because he married me.
For example, the other day as we were chatting while making dinner, he articulated something that, as it turns out, is pretty much the secret to what makes our marriage work. And until he said it, I had never thought of it that way, and once he said it, it was like a lightbulb going off.
A healthy relationship strikes a balance between needing one another, and independence.
Think about it. Think about every relationship you've ever had that didn't work. Chances are, one person was too needy and not independent enough. Or one was fiercely independent and didn't need the other at all. As human beings, we need to be needed. But we also want to be with someone who can stand on their own two feet, from whom we can stand back enough to admire and respect them.
There are times when I need to be able to see him from a distance. I need to see him accomplish something on his own, so that I can appreciate and respect him as an individual. And vice versa. We have to have the mental privacy to follow our own trains of thought, to come up with our own ideas. This is what allows us to continually surprise one another, to keep interest and excitement alive.
What results from finding that sweet spot of balance between need and independence is true collaboration. Bringing your individual gifts, thoughts, accomplishments, wisdom together to create something a thousand times richer and deeper.
I love that my husband goes out into the world each day. I love that, away from me and separate from me, he stands on his own two feet and is a man for whom I am flooded with respect and admiration. And at the end of the day he comes home. Because he needs me, with all of his being, just as he knows I could not draw breath without him.
It's like the picture above. I don't quite know what he's dreaming about with that faraway look. I don't know his every thought. Thank goodness. But I do know that whatever dreams he's having, I'm part of them. Because, while we are certainly each individuals, we're most importantly a team.
This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge, hosted by Jamie at SteadyMom.