A Different Approach

It’s always easy to focus on yourself. I know, I know—your situation is important and you don’t have time to think of anyone but yourself, or to ask about how I’m doing.

I’m re-evaluating most of my relationships. I remember a friend of mine from years ago mentioning that the “masses are asses.” My recent experience would validate his assessment. However, I’m trying to give people the benefit of the doubt and maintain a positive view of my fellow humans.

I was thinking about some of these things over the weekend while I was meditating mowing my lawn.

The most important relationship I have is with my wife, Mary. I’ve mentioned before that she’s my best friend.

In July, we’ll celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. I actually began dating her four years before that.

We’ve developed many positive qualities in our relationship. These three things are working well in our marriage and I think they work well in all relationships, not just for couples.

  • Practice being positive

Healthy relationships exude positivity. I’m not talking about being a Pollyanna. However, always complaining about your situation gets old really fast.

  • Find another default besides anger

As someone who used anger for years to “self-medicate,” I am amazed how often I manage to get past my initial irritation and even anger in situations that always found me going from 0 to 10 in the past. Learn to recognize the signs that you are ratcheting up and develop a work-around to blowing your top. When all else fails, just walk away.

  • Find Common Ground

Mary and I have found things we like doing together. We’re both focused on our fitness. When we’re not out running, biking, or swimming, there’s work, and plenty of chores around the house. When we have time to spend with one another, I’m learning that I don’t want to ruin it by being pissy, or being focused on things that don’t matter—like politics, religion, and all manner of other controversial topics.

I’m still working on these things, getting better at all three. And of course, there are still things that are non-negotiable for me—I’m not talking head in the same denial. Some things still need to be fixed in my life and nearby.

Making certain points are important and I hope I have the opportunity to frame some of my ideas and reach out to others with some of them, focusing on building a better place, one local corner at a time.

Knowing when you can’t bridge the divide and learning to to agree to disagree is a very good skill to be cultivating, also.

2 thoughts on “A Different Approach

  1. Congratulations to you and Miss Mary! The subtle nuances of relationships are complex; it’s been heartwarming to see both of you grow and mature. As Pollyanna might say “keep up the good work.”

  2. Thanks, JAB. I am amazed that we’ve managed to make it this far, especially given my own propensity towards histrionics in my earlier days.

    I still have my moments—they just tend to be better spaced and I even catch myself now, before pulling a “nutter.”

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