Thoughts On One Year of Marriage
I’ve shared the back story on Michelle and I, summarized here Falling In Love With Love
I imagine most of the opportunities couples face when reuniting after a break present themselves as problems or issues they’ve had in the past. It is fair to say that emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn’t mean they forget, a (subconscious) trigger to protect them from future pain.
Forgiveness does require letting go so that you can move on.
Below are a few observations on our first year of marriage and how I believed we were able to move forward. Take note of the two most important things that aided in my development; my time (three years alone, no romantic relationships) and pre-marital counseling with Reverend Forehand. He applied a real world (read: modern) approach to our unique situation; my second marriage, we were living together, and had a child together. A year long journey that covered sources of guilt, inner demons, emotional conflicts, money and effective communication.
Staying Positive When Negativity Approaches
When Michelle is angry or upset with me, which is rare because she is so lucky to have me, I try not to take it personally. This is easier said than done, of course. But two important facts help me stay calm and centered.
First, it never really is about me and it most certainly is not about leaving the toilet seat up. Something else happened along the way to dampen her mood (perhaps getting her bottom wet from falling in) but keep up, because she loves me and wants to share everything, she automatically (or instinctively) draws me into her dampness. Second, I recognize that I will be tempted to react negatively, but I have my own stuff and I don't want double stuff (unless they're Oreos) so I avoid absorbing hers. When negativity approaches stay connected to a sense of goodness and value like you'd find in Oreo Double Stuffed Cookies.
Don’t Dwell on Problems
♬ I ain't scared of the fall, I've felt the ground before. Listen, the first rule of love is to listen, hear me? Dear God, make me a bird so I can fly far, far away from here. That's a good prayer but try this one... Dear God, grant me a quiet heart not distraught with internal regrets or frenzied by external circumstances so that I can fly. Fixating on any problem, big or small, only hinders you from focusing on the solution. Don't dwell on your problem, focus on an outcome to better your circumstance.
Don’t Say Yes Unless You Really Want To
Loving you has taken time, taken time. But I always knew you could be mine. I recognize the butterflies inside me, sense is gonna be made tonight, tonight all you gotta do is say yes.
The more we do the more we can do. I've developed a habit of getting up super early to get my stuff done. This allows me to serve others and by others I mean family. Outside of fulfilling my families needs, I am often asked to have fun with others and by fun I mean; someone needs help moving, to be picked up or dropped off at the airport or help with a project. At times I just say yes because it feels so damn good.
Saying no is a BIG challenge for most however there is power in the N and the O, don't be afraid to use it. This whole paragraph is coded, if you read it backwards it says I love saying yes and being helpful and shit but you cannot say yes to everything. Saying no allows time for what’s most important; the people and the things that you love.
Without a doubt the best advice comes from the barbershop. A few weeks after the honeymoon Cole, one of the barbers in the shop, asked me the secret to a long and successful marriage. Although I was asked, everyone in the shop shared their tips and secrets, Cole nodding his head to each, confirming no wrong answer. We flipped it back to him to which he responded
Simultaneously everyone in the shop responds “What?” Cole, “yes ma’am” the secret is yes ma’am, if she ask you for anything just respond yes ma’am and do it.
The shop erupts into laughter.
I get my haircut very early in the morning. Jay, my barber, works from 5:30 in the AM to 2:00 in the PM. One morning I returned home to Michelle (still in bed) asking for a bottle of water, not an unusual request however, she hears me come through the door, walk through the kitchen, through the hallway and into the bedroom and then asks --- so I apply the teachings from the barbershop.
Me: “Yes ma’am.”
Michelle: “Are you fucking sassing me?”
I erupt into laughter.
We celebrated in Savannah, GA and by celebrate I mean we ate.
We ate more
& even more
I might have gained 4 pounds looking at the pictures.
Also, we stayed in a pretty dope spot.