Tag Archives: learning to live together

The love inside.

**I wrote this last night. I haven’t written much about M on my blog since sort of shifting gears away from that and more on exploring me, what shapes me and drives me,  and of course all things running, barre n9ne and fun and fit things…but sometimes, I feel compelled.**

It’s been one of those weeks where M and I feel like ships passing in the night. He’s had a lot of meetings at night all this week and that, combined with it being crunch time for his dissertation, and it’s meant basically waking up and going to bed next to each other (sometimes the going to bed part means I go to bed, he joins several long hours later!).

And the time we do have together this week, the limited time, has felt un-present. His mind is a million miles away thinking about his paper and edits and getting it done (one month and counting!!) and I’ve allowed myself to let random grumpiness out on him. The combination of all of this wrapped together and it’s been…an interesting week. (as I sit here kicking myself for putting on the grumpy pants in the first place. I mean really, grow up.)

So last night [edit: Tuesday], as we both admitted to some grumpiness, I gave him a kiss, told him that I loved him and went to bed. This morning, our eyes met, and it was as though we wanted to connect and do-over the last few days. As we lingered over the morning routine, I tried to show him more the love inside. The love I feel. The love I sometimes don’t show to him as much as I feel inside. I tend to hold back and reciprocate more than initiate. I still don’t know why I do that. When I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that M is the man that was meant for me. In every possible way. The man I love to the depths of my heart. 

We parted ways and I promised him that I would edit his dissertation for him. All 80 pages. And as I sat there reading, and reading, and reading…it struck me just how damn proud of him I am. His writing is impeccable (save for a few minor edits, it really didn’t need much!), his study is coming together and he’s drawing some really good conclusions and I honestly think this research will do so much for nurse practitioners all over the country. To be with someone that cares so much about what they do, how they can help initiate change, and is so passionate and driven…is the sexiest thing in the world. And it’s by far one of my favorite qualities about him. In addition to honor, respect, love and devotion. 

The love inside. Yet I don’t share this nearly as much with him as I should. And I plan to. And to continue to be mindful of him, our love, and making him feel as special as he always – always – makes me feel.

Because truly, he deserves that. More than deserves that. He is a blessing to me. And I couldn’t ask for anything more in a partner, soulmate, friend, and lover.

**And this morning? We woke up, worked out together and had breakfast together. And it was as if we silently read each other’s minds last night. It was indeed a beautiful morning. All feels ‘right’ again in our world…**

Learning to live together: taken for granted or expecting too much?

**The fifth in my little series on learning to live with M together. I will write these as the thoughts cross my mind**

I started reading “The Happiness Project” around the time that M and I were readying for our move in together and one of the biggest things I took away from reading it, was not to allow chores and favors and such become a rift in your relationship or marriage. I knew I wanted to go into this with clear ‘roles’ for each of us, but not to the extent of a list of chores on the fridge or something like that. So, we decided on things we’d both ‘own’ (luckily, he doesn’t mind the stuff I hate, like cleaning the cat litter, taking out the trash and cleaning the bathtub!) and we’d both just do our best to create a happy medium, where he wasn’t feeling as though I was going to eye every time he left his shoes by the door (okay, I am working on this!) and he wasn’t going to just aimlessly throw stuff whereever and just assume I’d clean it up.

And to be honest, it’s been a heck of a lot smoother than I thought it would. Our place is clean and uncluttered for the most part.

However.

Today, I started to feel myself wavering between wondering if what I do around the house is taken for granted, or if M doesn’t say much about what I do because a) he feels bad because I do ‘more’ than he does (again, this is my choice!) or b) he is really getting used to it and it’s not as ‘noticed.’ And then I started to wonder if it matters if it’s noticed each and every time. (it doesn’t, honestly. and it shouldn’t!). Which led to this post.

And then I went back to the Happiness Project and read through this list and realized two things. I am starting to nag. And I am, in a way, doing some of these things in hopes of some sort of praise. But why? I don’t need it. I did all of these things when I lived alone, what’s the difference now? I guess it’s natural for everyone to want to feel appreciated, right?

(and wow, re-reading this post so far, hellloooo overthinker!! in full effect over here!!)

But, to my fault, I was starting to get passive-aggressive with it, and making comments like ‘boy, you’re getting a little too used to this, huh?” when that is SO not me. I LOVE doing these things. I LOVE doing laundry. I LOVE making him oatmeal. (no really…I do!) He is always appreciative, whether it is verbal or not. So then, I started feeling like a jerk. And here we are now, blogging it out ;-)

But I think it’s just one of those things that again, will come in time. We’ve only been at this for about two months. We’re still finding our pace, or balance, our ‘happy medium’ with everything. And if that means doing a little more here and there which frees up some time in the evenings to spend together, then so be it. And I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. These have been two of the best months of my life…and so much more to come :)

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As a related aside, check out this list on tips on avoiding nagging. I particularly like the one about re-framing, settling for a partial victory and – the biggest for me – not expecting it to be done on MY schedule:

1. It’s annoying to hear a hectoring voice, so suggest tasks without words. When the Big Man needs a prescription filled, he puts his empty medicine bottle on the bathroom counter. Then I know to get it re-filled.

2. If you need to voice a reminder, limit yourself to one word. Instead of barking out, “Now remember, I’ve told you a dozen times, stop off at the grocery store, we need milk, if you forget, you’re going right back out!” Instead, call out, “Grocery store!” or “Milk!”

3. Don’t insist that a task be done on your schedule. “You’ve got to trim those hedges today!” Says who? Try, “When are you planning to trim the hedges?” If possible, show why something needs to be done by a certain time. “Will you be able to trim the hedges before our party next week?”

4. Remind your partner that it’s better to decline a task than to break a promise. The Big Man told me that he’d emailed some friends to tell them we had to miss their dinner party to go to a family dinner—but he hadn’t. Then I had to cancel at the last minute. Now I tell him, “You don’t have to do it. But tell me, so I can it.”

5. Have clear assignments. I always call repairmen; the Big Man alwaysempties the Diaper Genie.

6. Every once in a while, do your sweetheart’s task, for a treat. This kind of pitching-in wins enormous goodwill.

7. Assign chores based on personal priorities. I hate a messy bedroom more than the Big Man, but he hates a messy kitchen more than I. So I do more tidying in the bedroom, and he does more in the kitchen.

8. Do it yourself. I used to be annoyed with the Big Man because we never had cash in the house. Then I realized: why did I get to assign that job? Now I do it, and we always have cash, and I’m not annoyed.

9. Settle for a partial victory. Maybe your partner won’t put dishes in the dishwasher, but getting them from the family room into the sink is a big improvement.

10. Re-frame: decide that you don’t mind doing a chore — like putting clothes in the hamper or hanging up wet towels. Suprisingly, this is easier than you’d think.

11. Don’t push for the impossible. The Big Man knows that there’s no way I’ll do anything relating to our car, so he doesn’t even ask.

12. No carping from the sidelines. If your partner got the kids dressed, don’t mock the outfits. If you want something done your way, do it yourself.

13. Think about how money might be able to buy some happiness. Could you find a teenager to mow the lawn? Could you hire a weekly cleaning service? Could you buy prepared foods? Eliminating conflict in a relationship is a high happiness priority, so this is a place to spend money if it can help.

14. Remember that messy areas tend to stay messy, and tidy areas tend to stay tidy. If you want your partner to be neat, be neat yourself!

I admit that these tips are practically useless, however, in a situation where one person is absolutely oblivious for the need for chores to be done. I have it easy, because if anything, the Big Man is more chore-oriented than I am. If a person simply does not care, it’s practically impossible to get him or her to participate.

Learning to live together: presence

**The fourth in my little series on learning to live with M together. I will write these as the thoughts cross my mind**

There’s just something about feeling his presence all around me…no matter if he is home or not.

The faint smell of his cologne on my cheek after he leaves for work in the morning….and smelling a whiff of it later in the day as it somehow circles back to my nose….or opening the closet door and smelling his scent yet again.

A pair of shorts, or piece of paper with his scribbles on it (incidentally, he has really good handwriting and for some reason, I find that sexy), or his sneakers next to the closet, and I smile (even if I want to pick them up and put them away!).

His presence.

Waking up with my arm splayed across his chest and his face nuzzled into my neck. The best way to wake up, there is nothing better, I am convinced.

His first question to me every morning (even though he knows the answer): ‘do you want me to make you some breakfast?’ Always thoughtful, always so sweet (even though he knows I prefer to eat breakfast closer to when my work day starts, he always asks, always willing).

My first question to him…do you want me to make you some oatmeal? He feigns that he’s thinking about toast…or cereal, but he *really* wants that oatmeal I make, with a scoop of chocolate protein powder and a huge scoop of peanut butter. Until I ask him twice, and then he ‘caves’ and says, ‘well…only if you don’t mind?’ *wishful face*

His presence.

The rare day that he gets home from work before I get home from barre n9ne and he walks towards me in the living room and gives me a huge hug and kiss. Falling into his body, hugging him close. Breathing in the scent I’ve felt all around me all day.

Eating dinner together, no matter how late it ends up being, but knowing we are together, we aren’t (as) rushed as we used to be.

Running together almost every day now…and falling into step with each other (even when I get frustrated as he runs like a gazelle, when I am running like a frenzied lunatic sometimes).

Holding him close when he’s had a bad day and listening. And vice versa when I’m having a bad day. Even if words aren’t exchanged, his presence is all that I need.

His presence.

Learning to live together…his presence is the one thing I physically knew to expect, but is the single most powerful and fulfilling part of living together so far…just about above all else.