There’s a new reality program on air at the moment called Making Couples Happy, where four couples are in crisis. The saddest marriage seems to be the one where she has resented him for over a decade for no valid reason. He is a soft soul, caring and loving, and crying out for love. She is coming to terms with where these feelings are coming from. It’s compulsive viewing.
My own partner and I have been together for over twenty-two years and we watch this program with a new respect for our own relationship.
Many years ago while we were having a ‘loud’ discussion, my mother said ‘You guys argue too much’. In unison we replied ‘We’re not arguing’. Years later she said that we communicate very well. I guess that’s a slight difference when you’re a same sex couple. Men love to be heard, and both of us make sure we get our point across.
In our early days we wouldn’t talk to each other for days when we fought. Now our disagreements are more like debates that are over in five minutes (or less). We’re both male so we both ‘know we’re right’, so what’s the point of trying to prove anything.
To put this into perspective, think about the way the Irish discuss things. You can listen to talk-back radio in that country and hear heated debates, but at the end of the discussions the announcer and the caller will thank each other for the conversation as if they were best friends sharing a drink at the local pub.
Communication is so important, and if you both truly care about your relationship, you will listen. But the other most important factor to a successful relationship is sharing your dreams. Whether it’s planning a holiday together; renovating a kitchen or having a hobby that you both share, it’s a way of sharing and working as a team that builds closeness and positive memories.
We’ve done all of the above, including a hobby that puts us in front of microphones for the last nine years once a week. The Rhythm Divine is our baby, where be share our love of music with our audience, while at the same time expanding our knowledge of artists both old and new. I believe that this project has helped keep us together. It’s not that we were in crisis nine years ago, but this and other shared tasks have continued strengthening our relationship year after year.
So if you’re new to this coupling thing, remember what I’ve said. Don’t let time go by with just your own interests being met. Look at your partner and ask ‘What is it we both want to do?’ Dreaming together is an important key.