A Light Relationship
If we had one piece of advice to give to a married couple or anyone in a relationship, it is to lighten up. These two words encapsulate most of the relationship philosophies that we have laid out in the time that we have been writing this blog. Marriage as a corporation, priorities, and choosing to love all fall under the large category of lighten up.
Paul say: ‘Is it that important?’ When we look at the day to day events of our marriage, I know that I ask myself that question over and over. I know that I do stupid stuff on an hourly basis but do I do important stupid stuff? And Lee has been known to have her moods but is it moodiness on a grand level? I know that some couples will say ‘oh yes, this is important because my spouse is disrespecting me’. And to them I say, ‘lighten up’.
If your self-worth is so integrally linked to whether or not the toilet paper is ‘paper over’ because obviously ‘paper under’ people are defective, then you got a problem. But the funny thing is that the lighten up philosophy doesn’t stop at trivial things. It works with some of the big ticket issues of a relationship also.
Money. Whether spending too much or too little, money is statistically one of the biggest fight starters in a relationship. And it’s really not the money that makes the fight. Rich people fight about money as much as poor. I know that it sounds funny but Bill Gates is not immune to having money meltdowns. Ultimately, if you look at Donald Trump, he has made a reality show around his money battles, where the cornerstone of the show is him winning the fight with the words ‘you’re fired’. Since money is a tangible object that has intangible meaning, we put a lot of emphasis on it and when we feel out of control, we go into fight mode.
During one of my bouts of therapy, I was introduced to a little exercise. I suggest you try it next time you are all torque up about something, especially money. Fill in the blank.
If I don’t …(whatever it is that has you worried. For example, if I don’t have any money)
Then I will…(whatever the outcome is. For example, I will lose my house.)
If I … (whatever you said in the last sentence. For example, if I lose my house.)
Keep doing this until you get to the ultimate, bottom line fear. You’ll know it because you will not be able to get past it. It will just keep repeating. Now here is a spoiler; it almost always ends with ‘I will die’. Yes, that is the basis of all fear. And you know what…you’re right. You are going to die so LIGHTEN UP.
If we could just float away for a moment and look at our life from above, I think that we would all be surprised how much time we spend fighting, worrying, nagging, and ignoring the ones we love all in an attempt to stay with them.
And, of course, I wrote a really heavy post for lighten up. Shit!
Lee says: As CEO, Chef and Head Masseuse of CoupleDumb, I had Paul write this one since he is the King of Stupid Shit to be Worried About! As King of this domain, I felt it appropriate to have him reaffirm all his education and share with you his insights. Don’t believe he’s the king?
When we were getting married 20 years ago, I had a bit of a melt down before the wedding. I was handling all the arrangements while Paul was my rock; my island of sanity, so I thought. A few days before the wedding when I finally had to leave it up to God and the comedy of the universe, Paul shared with me his one worry about the wedding. Was it the hotel, church, attendants, priest with the vows, the food, DJ or anything that could possibly go wrong. No. He was worried that someone might fall and embarrass themselves. Yes, I did a double take too.
I think my sensitive response to this was, ‘What the fuck?’ So please, listen to your sensei.