Thursday, July 29, 2010

Once upon a time there was a princess...and her healthy relationship

Shelle Edit: I love when I get a post from a Guest Contributor and it surprises me.  I loved this post.  I don't know Sandra, but I read some of her blogs and I know that she is such an industrious person.  She just finished up school, been there and done that!  Anyway, I hope you like her post as much as I did about how she recognized why her relationship is healthy.  Go read her personal blog right after your done with this one!

Once upon a time there was a princess. This princess was constantly being rescued by a knight in shining armour. Also known as her Daddy.

Fast-forward several years later when the princess marries a prince. But instead of appreciating the prince and the fact that he’s a nice, funny, normal guy who pretty much lets the princess follow all of her dreams, she’s still looking for the knight in shining armour.

Basically, this is a nice (very cleverly composed, might I add) metaphor about me. I had a father who did everything for me. When I couldn’t finish a project for school, either he finished it for me or wrote the teacher a note. When I needed money, he was standing there with his wallet open. When I broke up with the first guy I lived with, my Dad was at my door within moments carrying boxes and suitcases.

He helped me so often, it’s actually hard to decipher what was deemed normal and what was too much.

I’ve been married to my husband for eight years now. I’d love to say that it’s been eight years of complete joy and contentment. But truth is, the first few were bumpy. I was reeling from the fallout of my divorce. I was involved in a messy custody battle with my ex-husband. My new husband, Wayne, had grown children who didn’t approve of our relationship. Wayne was carrying emotional baggage from his first marriage. And his ex-wife was still sniffing around, waiting to see if she’d let go too soon.

There were arguments. There were long periods of silence. There were even longer periods of accusations. How come he didn’t know what to say when I was upset? How come he changed the subject when I wanted to talk? How come he got angry when I cried? Why wasn’t he riding up and carrying me off into the sunset? Where was his white horse dammit!

It took a lot of soul searching for me to understand that the problems in the relationship had more to do with me than with Wayne. I was the one who didn’t know how to cope. I was the one waiting for Wayne to pull a rabbit out of his butt. Make me laugh. Find me a better lawyer. Fix my problems. Buy me some sparkly new jewelery...actually, I still ask for that.

Thank goodness, with age comes wisdom. And the money for therapy.

With the realization that I was expecting Wayne to rescue me, like my father always had, I also realized that by the very act of not rescuing me, Wayne was instilling within me the ability and confidence to rescue myself.

Now I can honestly say that my relationship is healthy. Now I see what a great man I’ve married. I understand that it’s not up to him to hand me life on a silver platter... although I wouldn’t say no to a pair of Manolo Blahniks.

I know with great certainty that no matter what we go through, my husband will not rescue me. Not because he doesn’t want to or doesn’t know how to. But because he trusts that I’m smart enough and self-sufficient enough to find my way through anything.

A healthy relationship requires constant work, attention, and most of all, the understanding of who you are as an individual, and who you are in the couple.
Being married to this man has given me the self-confidence to achieve anything I set my mind to. And trust me, the reset button in my mind gets pressed a lot.

Me: I want to start a cake-making business.

Wayne: Go for it!

Me: I want to go back to university and become a nurse

Wayne: Go for it!

Me: I want to become a fitness model.

Wayne: Go for it!

Me: I want to buy a new convertible and you can drive the minivan.

Wayne:...ummm....no.

Ok. So I never said he was perfect.

16 comments:

Becky said...

Beautiful - well said!

T said...

I have a very supportive Man... my problem comes in deciding what I want him to support me in... but that's a WAY long story...

Love the post!

Alex said...

lol Sandra I love your post. It amde me giggle. Great writting!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

My guy has always been supportive. Sometimes I wish he hadn't been because it didn't turn out like I had imagined.

But he doesn't always rescue me and it did give me that independence I needed to develop, because I married him when I was 20.

He's definitely just right for me. I'm not sure there are many men out there strong enough to deal with all the things I get myself into.

Big Fat Gini said...

I have a similar relationship with my daddy. I am most definitely a daddy's girl through and through and even though he pushed me and showed me how to follow through, he also was the first one to pick me up when I fell down.

It's hard to be married to someone who lets me go my own way. Someone who doesn't tell me which way to go and won't stick a pillow under my butt so it doesn't hurt when I come crashing down. But, it's what I needed.

Thanks for the giggle this morning Sandra!

Anonymous said...

Damn, there are some freakin good writers out there.

Thanks for the different perspective... I'm the Dad in this case.

Owl

Danielle said...

I really love this post! It is refreshing to see someone take responsibilty for their actions and see the good in someone eles. Heading over to to her blog!

Annie D said...

wonderful post!! Sincerity and humor go so well together :)

nitebyrd said...

Great post! It's nice to see that you did grow up and are able to take responsibility. Wayne's a lucky guy!

Sandra said...

That's well said: I did finally grow up.

Sandra said...

That's well said: I did finally grow up.

DCHY said...

That's a very good lesson for us dads...I do try my best to be an ideal father and I know that I can't rush in and try to fix everything. Glad that you have a healthy relationship now.

Nolens Volens said...

I'm a wordsmith and how you said this - "his ex-wife was still sniffing around, waiting to see if she’d let go too soon" - was PERFECT. I really liked that along with the rest of the post. Very insightful. :)

The Hubby Diaries said...

I just loved this post and I couldn't agree more with the importance of being self sufficient & independent to be better in your marriage!

I alway say... too many people think that when you get married "two becomes one" when what they should really be focused on is "two becoming too".

As INDIVIDUALS working TOGETHER in marriage, you can both accomplish more and improve yourself!

Anonymous said...

I have to be self-sufficient due to external circumstances. My spouse is supportive rather than the rescuing type, unless I specifically ask for more help. He does treat me like a princess by taking care of 99% of the laundry though. LOL.

Growing up, my dad always gave great advice (I didn't always recognize it as such when I was a teen), but rarely rescued me. In hindsight, I was still a bit spoiled though. It can be a rude awakening when you have to start earning your own way 100%.

~JT

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Great comments everyone! My Dad is awesome because he didn't mind my talking all the time. So I'd sit with him or take a drive and chat about everything.

But we never had a lot of money, so he didn't ever "spoil" me with things. But looking back, that was the best thing for me because as much as I enjoy "things"- I don't need them and am certainly happy without them.

WE BELONG