I love my husband deeply. There are also times when he drives me crazy. That is a part of every marriage. Pete (my husband) always says that, "you choose your crazy" when you decide to get married. I agree. We are ALL a little crazy. Through life experience I have learned that each one of us has our quirks and that is actually a good thing. Just think of how boring life would be if we were always nice, never rocking the boat, never making mistakes, and never pissing each other off. We would have NO progress, NO new ideas or inspirations, NO art and NO passion & love. We NEED our "craziness"; it is part of our journey.
Pete and I met when we were 18 years young. He saw me and knew that there was something special about me. I had a boyfriend at the time and even though I thought Pete was hot and exciting I was dating a high school boyfriend who was also a great guy. After about a month it became clear that maybe my feelings went a little deeper. I knew I was in trouble when I couldn't stop thinking about him while I was in math class. Over the next 10 years we had ups and downs, break ups and re-connections, laughs and tears....and that was while we were dating. After 10 years of getting to know one another on August 4, 2006 Pete finally made it official and popped the question on Martha's Vineyard, where he had arranged to have his entire family and my mother there for the big moment.
We planned an August 2007 wedding in Cape May, NJ. We booked Congress Hall and confirmed the date with my family. The universe had other plans. I learned my grandmother had incurable cancer and that she was not going to be alive to attend the beautiful wedding that I was planning. If she couldn't watch me get married to Pete (who she loved because he rescued her during a hurricane) then my most special day would end up with a cloud over it. I had a choice. I could continue on with the beautiful wedding I was planning OR I could cancel the whole thing and get married 1 month after learning my Gram was sick so that she could enjoy my special day with me. It really was a no brainer. The day was perfect and it was exactly the wedding that I had dreamed of...even though I planned it in less than a month!
So what is my point? I think it is mainly that EVERY relationship in our lives has a story and a purpose. It could be to teach us about patience, love, courage, how to have fun or stay in the moment. Sometimes those lessons can be painful to live through, that doesn’t mean that we should give up trying and doing our best. If a relationship is really important than it is important to work at it and by the way that includes the relationship with ourselves.
There is a great book that I read a few years ago titled, How to Be An Adult in Relationships, in which psychologist David Richo defines mature love as an interactive set of mindful behaviors that he calls The Five A's:
Attention to the present moment: noticing, listening, and responding respectfully to all the feelings at play in our relationships
Acceptance of ourselves and others just as we are
Appreciation of all our gifts, our limits, our longings, and our poignant human predicament: nothing is permanent or painless
Affection shown through speaking, holding, and touching in respectful ways
Allowing life and love to be just as they are, with all their ecstasy and ache, without trying to take control or manage them
Consider for a moment what could shift for you in your relationship with your loved ones if you followed these mindsets. Don't believe me. Experiment with new concepts and see what shifts in your life.
We are all a work in progress.
Jennifer Bronsnick, MSW, LCSW is passionate about supporting moms to be resilient. As a mother of three daughters under 8 and a survivor of postpartum depression and anxiety Jennifer knows exactly how challenging motherhood can be. She also knows that there is hope for all of us and with accurate information, support and inspiration that mothers and families can thrive.
Jennifer’s years of clinical experience as a social worker and her own personal journey gives her the unique ability to guide other moms on their path to health and wellness. You can also learn more about Jennifer, the services she offers and purchase her books on maternal self-care at www.themindfulfamily.com/jennifer.