Trent and I have been been married for 4.5 years now – together for over 8 – and in the past couple months it’s become increasingly apparent (to me, at least?) how in sync as a couple we really are.
I don’t mean our relationship is pure bliss. I mean, it’s pretty blissful as marriage goes, but nobody’s marriage is PURE bliss — they’re just full of it if they claim that. Taking on a life partner means taking on work as much as it means foot rubs and breakfast in bed; it means knowing how to compromise and being willing to sacrifice certain of your own wants while fighting for others. There’s inevitable friction in all that.
But there are rewards, too. When you get it right, you end up with a super strong collaboration. And that’s how I’m feeling these days about Trent and I; our partnership is HELLA strong. We’re contoured against each other in the best way; we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we fill in for each other when we’re needed, or we step aside when we’re not. Our communication is really, really good, and it gets better and better all the time.
We’re getting better and better not because we’re amazing people and we’re naturally awesome at marriage. We’ve improved so much because at this point in our relationship we’ve taken on quite a lot, and we’ve actually broken a few things – but we’ve also successfully fixed them. Instead of retreating and getting bitter or frustrated with each other, we keep digging down into “fix/improve mode” (and a lot of credit for that attitude goes to Trent; he’s the most self-motivated self-improver I’ve ever met). Just like we do with our house(s).
Like our old San Francisco landlord, Mark, said: “you gotta break it in order to understand how it really goes back together.” He was actually talking about old houses – trying to inspire us when we announced we’d bought 3675 and were moving to Oakland – but it makes great marriage advice, too.
We’re no longer newbies at this marriage stuff. We aren’t quite Bob Vila’s, either, but after looking at what we’ve built over nearly a decade, we think we might be destined for Bobdom.
So, as I both look back on a successful jam-packed weekend of readying 3675 for the impending arrivals of El Niño and La Munga (mom gets here Thursday; El Niño, who knows…), and look forward to the start of Trent’s 36th birthday month (which we’ll celebrate with a superawesome weekend of getting the band back together at the cabin), I’m feeling so grateful for my amazing partner and all the things we’ve figured out in this giant jigsaw puzzle of marriage. The cardinal rules of Team Temple; keys to our ever-improving communication, like…
- Computers are not impartial; recognize their partial preferences to certain users over others and be patient with the scorned.
- The cycle of laundry is the cycle of life; do not disturb it.
- Never assume you have been heard unless eye contact was involved.
- Pay attention to tone of voice; especially your own.
- Sleeping giants are dangerous, even if they are small and look sooo cute.
- Money makes us rich, but knowing how to talk to each other about it makes us richer.
- Certain chores belong to certain parties. No questions asked. That is all.
- The last beer in the fridge is a communal beer. Share, or be shunned.
- Always, always use sweet words.
- When in doubt, do what Sammy would do.