“With the inability to laugh comes an inability to acknowledge the contradictions inherent in every society and relationship, the multiplicity and clash of desires, the need to accept that one’s partner will never learn how to park a car or wash out a bath or give up a taste for Joni Mitchell—but that one cares for them rather a lot nevertheless.”
Alain de Botton, On Love…A Novel
Lately it’s been a bit of a rough go in the land of love, so I took to the streets (no, not that!) and ended up in Barnes and Noble. As if the books aren’t sweet enough, I also indulged myself in a Cafe Mocha. I’m a believer in sugar as therapist and it’s only $3.
As I read de Botton’s book, I remembered two dear friends of mine who have been married for over four decades and God bless them, are still together despite building a new dwelling in their big old Maine barn. Now, if a couple can survive building a home together, they can do most anything.
I lived in that same small town with them when their kids were young, relatives aged, kicking and screaming, adult kids brought their problems and their grandchildren into their kitchen on a daily basis. And I’ve seen times when I marveled at just how they could treat each other so badly, wondering just why one or both of them didn’t pack it in, and so happy when they didn’t. You see, I didn’t see any of that when I was growing up, nor when I began my own life of relationships and marriage. Somebody always leaves when the going gets rough.
You know how they made their marriage stick? Mutual respect, despite annoyance and wishing the other person didn’t________ (Fill in many many words here). Allowing the good with the not so hot to happen and having tea with a friend or taking the motorboat to the island until the air cleared without leaving the other in a pile of ashes of regret. And, most importantly, they could actually laugh at each other over the sublime and the ridiculousness that are relationships.
Humor can save our lives and our relationships. If you can’t conjure it up on your own, take a walk or a drive to your nearest bookstore and buy On Love…a Novel”. I can see you smiling now.
If this makes you happy, share it with others on your Facebook page. We need more happiness these days!
Donna Bailey, MS
Dating and Relationship Coaching
Donna’s Big Red Chair