Say Yes or No?
I often hear from clients that your partner doesn’t want to do things with you that they’re not interested in. You get to say yes or no. How does that work with the idea of being in each other’s care, and doing the best thing for the relationship?
My husband is a singer, which I love about him. The group that he sings with tends to sing sacred Renaissance music, which isn’t really my thing (although I do love classical music, especially Mozart). I make dinner early enough on his rehearsal nights so that he has time to digest before singing. I work at the box office on concert night, both to support the choir and my husband, and to hear what he’s been working on all quarter.
He’s an extrovert and I’m an introvert. So that means he loves to go to parties, and parties are somewhat of a nightmare for me. Over the years I’ve learned how to be a temporary extrovert, although I always want to go home sooner than he does. So that’s how we do it. He also stays near to hand at parties, or goes off and circles back often, so I feel his love and presence supporting me. He knows I need to regenerate after a party by being quiet, or reading a book, or even being alone for a bit.
We go for walks after dinner; both for exercise and to be together. Also, it gives us a specific time to talk about whatever is on our minds. My husband likes to go camping, and while it’s not my top choice, I go camping with a good heart. He makes it as easy and enjoyable as possible for me (including bringing me a cup of coffee while I’m still in the sleeping bag). I like to go to water fitness classes, and he comes along sometimes.
I’m in the beginning of exploring something brand new to me, and he is participating alongside me.
What if you Did it Anyway?
I hear clients tell me that they’re not interested in doing the things the other person wants to do. What if you did anyway? How would it be to support each other in this way? Would you possibly have fun? Or learn something? Might it be a good thing to do just to be together in different situations?
I’m not suggesting that you do things that you feel are wrong or against who you are inherently as a person. Nor am I suggesting you do everything together. I am asking you to experiment and be open-minded. Life just might be more fun and interesting, and your relationship may even thrive.
I am asking you to stretch yourself for love.
paloaltoonline.com Couple’s Net Chandrama Anderson, MFT
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