A good marriage …

The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.  It is the greenest where nurtured and cared for.  If your grass is not green, what are you doing – or not doing – to have it that way?‘  –  Wedding Ceremony Sermon

…………….

The Cowboy and I had a wonderful weekend together .. filled with family and friends and more friends and family.

And some drama.

Fortunately, not between us.  But it was .. surrounding us.  And as we were caught between conversations (and this is just in one 48 hour period); 1) of a friend miserable in their marriage, wanting to know about a single friend 2) of a married couple we are close and spent time with but who were at each others throats 3) of a single friend over the phone wondering why the only people who want to date her are married 4) catching up with another couple who plans their week scheduling as much time apart as possible because its easier than being together and 5) of another couple in the midst of an affair and very open about it ..

The Cowboy asks me as we’re trying to navigate phone calls and how to respond to any of it, “Who do you know that really has a good marriage?”

I paused .. and when I went to answer, I paused again for a long time.

…………….

Thinking about the question posed, now almost a day later and as I write, I do know quite a few friends who are in wonderful marriages.  Not that any union is ever without its challenges.  But when challenges come, from what I have ever witnessed, they face them together, with respect, love for each other and a commitment to stick together.  And they have come through it stronger.

Far too many of us know …

… That’s not always possible.

Having been through divorce myself though, I get it.  I know the feeling of hopelessness. Years of it.  Of, no matter what you do, it’s not right.  Of defeat.  Of trying everything you can to save it.  Then being told its never enough.  Of counseling.  Finding hope.  Of a few months of things going well only to have the cycle reverse itself again.  Of knowing there is more to life than the misery it seems two people bring out of each other.  Seeing the pain in a child’s eyes of what the two of you are when you are together.  And imagining the sorrow and confusion in that same child’s eyes, of what it will be should you part.  Of wanting to run your car into a tree versus return home at night because it would be easier than making that decision.  Of knowing that’s not the answer.  And then, of getting to the point you know the pain of staying is worse than anything else you will have to go through to get to the other side.

My ex still says he wishes we had never married in the first place.  That it was the biggest mistake of his life and he should have known better.

While I don’t feel the same .. I get it.

And I’m not going to lie ..

There are so many reasons why one might choose the option of divorce over staying married.  Statistics show over half of our population now does.  While I was devastated to be the one to finally force that step we had both talked about for years, I have not regretted the decision to separate from my ex for one day.

But had there been any chance for us .. any .. to live in harmony and have the life we both wanted, I would have continued to try and make it work.

…………..

Marriage .. even just a committed long term relationship, is hard.  And as the Cowboy and I talk about where we go from this place we are at .. in life .. in location .. in any of this and we look at the challenges being faced by so many around us and the situations they are creating for themselves as well as having been in some of those places in one way or another ourselves, the question posed stumped us both.  At least momentarily.

We have something good.  But at one point, so did we with our -ex’s .. and so did all of these family and friends ..

How do you hold onto that, the good?  Or the great.  We have talked about this before.  Many times.

I asked the one married friend who was calling to ask about my single friend and if I thought they might have any chance to hook up with them .. first, I think I said, ‘Are you kidding?’  Second, I know I asked if they were willing to work on their own marriage.  Tend to the grass.  Work on making it green.  Had they even talked with their spouse about how devastated they were.

“No, not really,” they said.

“Wouldn’t that be an important first step?  Do you want to save your marriage or are you just done?  My ex and I went to counseling on and off for almost 8 years, you know that,” I said.

“I think I’m just done.  There is no love.  There hasn’t been for a long time,” this person replied.

……………

How .. how do you bring it back?

How do you make sure the grass is greener on your side of the fence than what it appears on the other.  And what can any of us do to regrow the lawn/a relationship when it seems so far gone?

Or are we just a throwaway society anymore and it doesn’t matter if there is still some life in the yard .. we just want to rip the whole thing apart, and start over with some fresh sod.  Because sometimes that is all you can do.

The Cowboy and I have been pondering all of this …

And they have been good, ongoing conversations for us, as we work to keep our own relationship strong and green and help others we love and care about through some pretty rough patches.

Something I need more time to think about .. before I write any more.  That will be tomorrow’s post.  Your thoughts in the meantime?

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Picking up good vibrations …

Bet some of you will never hear that tune the same way again..

OK.

So this isn’t a topic the Cowboy and I have discussed much.  I’m not sure we will .. either.  You never know.  But at the very least, we got a good laugh out of what is prompting this post.

(I’ve come to realize in writing about our conversations, that we laugh a lot.  Which is just a really good thing in life.)

*This would be the other half of the text message I got the other night from a girlfriend.. the one I referenced at the top of my last post about Cowboy Church.  You know the second part of the two hilarious things happened this week that I feel I simply must share with you, especially in light of your blog topics this past week’ she wrote.

Three things to keep in mind here:

1.)  I didn’t include this in yesterday’s post because .. well, it just didn’t feel quite right to put this one in the same conversation as church.

2.)  She sent this the same night I shared a girlfriends recap of a conversation she had with her son, after learning he had apparently at one point, walked in on her and her husband having sex.  So this is relevant.

3.)  This whole project.. writing something or at the very least trying, each day for a year as a gift I hope someday to my daughter .. one might think I shouldn’t include this.  But no one ever had this talk with me.  Not until I was like, way old.  About the topic at all.  And it’s probably not good to be totally ignorant.  Like I was about far too many things coming from a small town where you just didn’t talk about anything even remotely risqué.  Or parents that went there either.  I vividly remember the first time a girlfriend started talking about her ‘rabbit’.  I had no clue what she was talking about.  We got the best laugh.  After I came out of shock.  Being blissfully ignorant has its perks, too.  I think.  But, a lot of my girlfriends and even my guy friends are stunned at how non-versed in the following, I am.  Should I admit this?  I don’t know.  But it is what it is.

Oh, and I should probably add this …

4.)  Disclaimer:  going on is not for the faint of heart.  Or anyone that might consider themselves a prude.  And don’t judge me on this.  I’m just relaying the text and trying to do what I always do for my friends.. either be a sounding board, or help them find some answers.  By the way, this is a $15 billion industry and apparently growing.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/43839344/Sex_Toy_Sales_Surge

So someone’s talking (ahem, using) about all of this.  Whether you admit it or not.

5.)  I usually love to add photos.  I think it makes any writing that much more rich and vivid.  But .. there will be none today.

……..

The text stated:

“Secondly, no sex going on here unfortunately for my kids to walk in on.”  She is a couple years out now from her divorce.

“But,” she adds …

“Does anyone want to offer up suggestions on how I should explain the special item that my 11 year old found in my bed that I forgot to put away?!  I said we would discuss the ‘pink thing’ in the near future!  I am still giggling about the confused look on her face!”

She’s wondering what advice I/we might have for her on that one.

Surprisingly, there seems more advice on the world wide web for this topic than the child walking in on sex discussion.

I personally got nothing for ya, my dear friend.  Other than maybe don’t forget to put it away next time.  And find a good bedside table with a drawer that locks.

One resource I love to turn to for insight every now and then .. is Your Tango.  If you’ve never checked out their brutal honesty on all things relationship:

http://www.yourtango.com/200928406/my-son-found-my-vibrator

Here’s another person’s blog on the topic that almost had me on the floor .. laughing, here a few seconds ago.  I’m not sure how good it is, but there is specific language offered to help a parent and child through the situation:

http://notafraidtoask.blogspot.com/2008/02/vibrator-vibrator-whos-found-vibrator.html

Otherwise, I was just with an old classmate last weekend who now essentially works in that whole arena.  She has built a career out of doing direct sales for a company called Pure Romance.  So no holds barred.  When I mentioned your text to her on Saturday, it quickly became a very open conversation with about 8 people standing around us.  SHE is apparently very comfortable having this conversation and has suggestions.  So let me connect you.

In the meantime, I feel like I need to go to church.  Or something along those lines.

I’ve learned since the last post on Cowboy Church, there are apparently plenty of options nearby.  It seems you don’t need a rodeo.  To be on the road.  Or sitting in the stands somewhere.  Cowboy Church can be also found, close to home.  I’ve learned quickly, many feel we have great options nearby.

When a child walks in on….

One of my best girlfriends..

We have known each other for .. pretty much 15 years.

At times we’ve kept in touch daily, other times.. not much at all.  But we always pick right back up where we left off.  And like so many good friends who are busy with family, life and career, I always wish there were more time..

So when I see a text come in from her .. it catches my eye.

One text the other day however, REALLY stopped me in my tracks.

Verbatim:

“Convo between me and child yesterday..Me: just knock and come in.  Child: I did that once and saw something so horrifying.  Something I never imagined I would see and now I can’t un-see it.  I never want to risk seeing that again.”

I’m laughing.  Because I can just hear her child saying this in the very wry – I’m embarrassed by my mother – but I’m cool with it – manner he often speaks.   Probably not a laughing matter.  But I’m laughing.  I text her back.

“Oh no,”  I say.  “Not that.”

Then I start racking my brain to remember if I ever saw my parents in an uncompromising position as a child.  Pretty sure never really saw.  But did ‘hear’ on at least one occasion.  Hard not to, they had a waterbed.  And it did scar me as a child.  For a long time.

I cringe as I send another text, thinking no way is this true, but I’m going to try and make her feel better ..

“I bet in a couple years he forgets when his own hormones kick in,” I say, along with a few other thoughts.

And I wrap it up with, “Oh my God.”

Then I think, oh that’s a good story.  Because there’s NO WAY they’re the only ones this has happened to.  But who talks about that???  So I ask her what she thinks.  If she’d be willing to write something up for the blog.

“Sure use it,” she says.  “I laugh everytime I think of it.  It’s hilarious.”

She’s a writer herself.  A great writer, in fact.  Below is her account.

……

I overslept last week on a school day. My eyes sprung open at the exact minute I needed to get (child) out the door, into the car and to school on time.

Me: “Child! Are you ready to go???!!!”

Child: “Yes mom, I’ve been sitting here waiting for you.”

I’m still wearing pajamas as we get into the car and start the drive.

Once we’re on the road he says, “How could you oversleep? I have safety patrol today and if I’m late no one will be there to patrol the hallway near the janitor’s closet.”

Me: “Sorry bud. You know you can knock on the door and come in if it ever happens again.”

Child: “No. I’m not doing that.”

Me: “Why not?  (Step-brother) does it all the time.”

Child: “Because I did it once and saw something so horrifying. Something I never imagined I would see and now I can’t unsee it. I never want to risk seeing that again.”

There’s a long pause as I digest what he just explained. I’m a newlywed so things can get a bit amorous.

Me: “So we were having sex?”

Child: “Yes. And I don’t want to talk about it.”

Since I have no idea when the incident occurred, I spent the next several moments wondering what, exactly, did he walk in on? Everything I came up with led to the same conclusion: a child should never, never EVER have to see his parents having shall we say, a private moment.

He hasn’t wanted to talk about it since so I haven’t pressed him. I remember that I was that young once, and horrified when I accidentally walked in on my mom and her new husband. Yuck.

I respect and understand his reaction. But maybe because I witnessed something similar when I was a kid and was still somehow able to move on and function in society, I laugh every time I think of it.

*The irony.  His dad came out of the closet seven years ago, and has lived with men ever since.  I can’t help but wonder, is catching me in the act is any more horrific than catching his dad?

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

……
If you have kids.  A house.  And sex.  Chances are, there is a chance at some point this may happen.  Apparently, browsing the web on this topic, there’s even a term for it.  “Primal scene”?  But that whole message seemed a bit much so I left it off the links below.
Anyway, some food for thought, should you ever be caught…. in the meantime, I’m just happy to know my gf and her new hubby are enjoying everything life and marriage have to offer .. especially the sex.  This time around.  Because walking in on anything wasn’t an issue in her marriage to the child’s father.  For reasons, if you caught it above, are self explanatory.