sillygoosegirl: (Default)
What happens to romantic relationships as they grow and mature. I often feel like precious little attention is paid to relationships (in the general sense, not the specific), after around the 1 year wedding anniversary or the 3-4 year dating anniversary. It's as if most people suddenly just stop talking about their relationships. Why is this, I wonder? I know that I myself find that lately I have precious little to say about my relationship... though I have not really understood why. I belong to a few relationship communities and I go to write an entry updating people on my relationship... I mean, how could I not want to update, I am overall so happy with it, have so much to brag about... yet I go to put pen to paper and find I have nothing to say. Huh? How did that happen? I have stuff to say, but as I go to say it, I notice it has really little to do with our relationship, and mostly to do with our life, the life we share... and only to do with our relationship in the sense that it is the life of two people in a relationship.

Today, an idea stuck me. I don't know if it has any merit really, but I think it is worth considering. When a relationship is new, it is a big part of a person's life... the joys, struggles, and milestones of the relationship naturally become the milestones, memorable instances, and even defining moments of the person's life. But then perhaps, after time has passed and patterns of relating have been established, the relationship becomes more of an integrated component of the person's life, rather than a new and unpredictable defining feature.

When it comes to more mature relationships, there is often talk about keeping things interesting, keeping things exciting. Yet I wonder, are these missing the point. Early in a relationship, patterns are being established, two people are learning to get along with one another, an incredible bond is being created essentially out of nothing. This is exciting, hopefully joyous, sometimes a struggle, and probably marked with many meaningful milestones along the way. Falling in love becomes a person's whole world, or near enough to it. Navigating all this is a popular topic for discussion, because it's difficult and there are always people out there trying to figure out how to do it right.

In contrast, a more mature relationship is very different--the patterns have been established, understanding increases intimacy but comes at the cost of the excitement created by the unknown and unpredictable. Hopefully there is still plenty of joy and love, and from time to time there will still be struggles--but the character is fundamentally changed because while the relationship may be altered an enhanced, it is no longer being created for the first time. I think that perhaps having a partner becomes more of the internal identity and less a thing of external interest... the relationship becomes yet another of many layers of life, it should be an important and enhancing aspect of how we each experience life, but I think perhaps something which simply cannot remain the sole focal point.

I think this is perhaps why so much of the advice for more mature relationships focuses so much suggesting to try new things, take time for hobbies, and so forth... because if a relationship is a way to experience life, it's only going to be fulfilling if the life itself is worth while. And I think perhaps also why so little is said about more mature relationships, because while a relationship may remain a very important and gratifying part of a person's life, it ceases to be the focal point once it is established. I think perhaps it is natural for the maturation of a romantic relationship to leave a void in a person's life that needs to be filled in a new way (as so many people eventually experience), but that maybe this void should not be interpreted as a sign that the relationship has ceased to serve it's function, or that love has departed. The caterpillar may be gone, and in going it may have created a void... but perhaps it would be best to enjoy and cherish the butterfly for what it is, rather than asking it to fulfill the exact same role as the caterpillar. Perhaps it's time for something other than a romantic relationship to fill that role most of the time, to be the primary source of excitement, change, growth, and challenge in life.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
You know, it's odd that I first decided to get married almost 4 years and and I've now been married for almost 2 years, yet I still find myself struggling to understand what a marriage is, even just what it is to me personally.

Logic and my 5 senses tell me that marriage is a piece of paper on file at the court house in Hillsboro, Oregon, granting Josh and I certain fun legal privileges. Yet I have never, not for one moment since being married, believed that that is what a marriage is. But that has left me with a puzzle... if marriage is not the thing I can hold and my hand and order a certified copy of, what exactly is it? What is it made of? Where do you find it? How did it come into being?

I do know that marriage has had a profound impact on my very being, on my relationship to Josh, and on my relationship to the world. It has changed the way I see the world, and my place in it. It has fundamentally altered most of the other relationships I have ever had... some in small ways and some in large ways. It has changed what movies I cry at. It has changed how I think about life and especially about death. It has changed what I believe is possible, not only in a relationship between two lovers, but also in my relationships with other people. It has changed what I think about love. It has changed how and why I think about family. It has filled a hole in my life that I did not know existed. It is scary, yet at the same time wonderful, to have something I don't understand influencing and shaping my life so much. I feel like there are whole new places in my brain, new pathways and ways of thinking. It's like being out in the thunderstorm was yesterday... it's terrifying and it makes me grumble at the inconvenience of it all, yet my heart wants to sing with the power and the wonder of it, because it is just so incredible that I am inexplicably filled with joy just by being involved in it.

But I cannot help but wonder. How did this happen? And why? Is this a repeatable experiment? Or are we managing to repeat the successful results of others even though we are half-blind? And repeatability aside, I really want to know what the basis for the change is... and fundamentally, I want it to be something I can hold in my hand and say, "Look there, see that? That's what's behind this." But the thing is, I can't. Alternatively, I'd like to say that it is because I see myself as married now. The thing is, I saw myself as "practically married", "the same thing as married", "completely committed", "almost married", etc before we were married... and yet somehow "actually married" has been worlds different for me.

Something very profound happened that day, the last Saturday of Spring in the year two thousand and five at the Kinton Grange, before so many people who are important to me. And it bothers me that I have not been able to figure out exactly what. The LDS believe that when two people are married (in the temple as part of a special ceremony in a special room), their souls merge together giving them a common destiny in the eternal after life. I don't believe in their God, nor in an after life, nor do I have a firm idea of what I believe a soul is or if I even believe in one. But you know what? That's kind of what it felt like... or at least as good a description of what it felt like as any I have heard.

Yet at the same time I cannot say it all happened in a day. My life changed forever that day, but I don't think it could have had I not spent months leading up to it learning how to open myself... my heart, my soul, my mind, my emotionally being, my whatever-it-is... to whatever it was that happened. And then I spent months struggling to remain open and not to pull away again from... whatever this is we have created. Truth be told, I still struggle not to pull away some days, even as I grow in confidence that I would never want to, and doubt that I ever could pull free from something so powerful anyway.

Yet, as powerful as it seems to be, again the mystery, as there appears to be nothing there at all. The only thing I can think it is made of is faith, the belief we choose to hold in something which cannot be proven to exist. And that scares me too. If marriage is made of faith, then it exists only in our hearts and minds. In some ways that makes it stronger than anything, because it has no physical form to harm. Yet in other ways, it makes it fragile, like a fairy... that will pop suddenly out of existence, as if it had never been, if there are an insufficiency of people who believe in it. The physicist in me is used to believing in things because I know they are real. Yet my marriage, having a profound impact on my life, is undeniably real... and it forces me to accept that there are things which are very real, and exist because people believe in them. I've always had some idea that things like this exist: government is like this, and in some ways religion is like this too (though I don't imagine religious people tend to think of it in these terms), but I've never had an intimate connection to either of those institutions the way I do to my own marriage.

And all this eventually leads me to a conclusion I never thought I'd make. That our marriage is fundamentally not just something that exists between Josh and I, but something which is somehow connected to other marriages, particularly the marriages of couples we admire, and perhaps all other marriages (though I think probably less or not connected to those many "marriages" in my generation "for health insurance", "for immigration", etc). I don't think it could have sprung into being without examples from older couples. I think the faith required to make something like this exist may require more than 2 people, and more than one marriage... certainly it helps, certainly I doubt we would ever have thought to believe if we had been first required to dream up the concept of marriage ourselves. And certainly a marriage's strength cannot be measured at it's strongest point, but based on what happens when faith wavers, and the faith of the greater community may be needed.

For all I've thought about this, what I have figured out seems to me that it must be only the tip of the iceberg, and I am left with my questions than answers. Sometimes I fear I will spend a lifetime contemplating these questions, and never get to the bottom of this mystery.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I want to take the class: "Economics and Game Theory in Marital Relationships".

We just had a very silly discussion about couples maximizing jollies... which I would summarize, except I think it would lose too much in the retelling. Suffice it to say that this stems from recent discussions of couples (not us this time) having difficulty agreeing on where to live, and Clare being willing to do dishes when it is not her turn to get oral sex ("The Time Traveler's Wife", which I incidentally highly recommend... especially the audio version--it is a great performance).

PS: Josh, you are supposed to be working on your thesis. No need to give me flash backs to your senior year.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Yesterday I loved you
like never before
but now I must confess
Today I love you less
than I will tomorrow morning
My heart cannot be trusted
I give you fair warning
I tremble at your touch
not nearly half so much
as I will tomorrow morning...

Marriage is a commitment to life, to the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other human relationship can equal; a joining that is promised for a lifetime. Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life's most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each other's best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic. There may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child. Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller; memories are fresher; commitment is stronger; even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly. Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing love through the seasons of life. When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique to themselves, which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential, made in the hearts of two people who love, which takes a lifetime to fulfill.

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Please take a moment to respond to this statement: "Where there's a will there's a way."

[Poll #811883]
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
A question on a message board I read was posed, asking about what unique ceremony ideas we had included in our wedding. Normally I might have responded by offering a link to the Illustrated Transcript of Our Wedding Ceremony, but I felt moved to write my thoughts about many aspects of our ceremony instead (unique and otherwise). I tried to respond and got carried away with an almost 3000 word description of our wedding ceremony and what the various aspects meant to me, written in small pieces over the course of the past week or so. I'm not sure I did a very good job of answering her question, but I'm pleased to have put these words to paper 'puter for my own sake. And hence the decision to post what I have written here in my own journal, for my own reference, and only leave a link on the message board... and apologies for not using those filters I've made. [This entry subject to editing as I think of more I wish to write on the included topics... particularly I know I have more to say about the rose ceremony at some point.]



sillygoosegirl: (Photo - Ring)
I forgot to put my wedding ring back on after tennis last night. It is at home. I am at work. My finger feels naked. :-(
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Thought of the day:

Dating is about loving someone just the way he is today; marriage is about loving someone the way he will be tomorrow, next year, and forever.

The more I think about that the more I think, "Wow, that's a pretty tall order, isn't it?"
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
What marriage is about...

He ordered one hamburger, one order of french fries and one drink. The old man
unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half. He placed one
half in front of his wife. He then carefully counted out the french fries,
dividing them into two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of himself
and one in front of her. He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and
then set the cup down between them.

As he began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them kept
looking over and whispering.
You could tell they were thinking, "That poor old couple - all they can
afford is one meal for the two of them."

As the man began to eat his fries a young man came to the table. He
politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said
they were just fine - They were used to sharing everything.
The surrounding people noticed the little old lady hadn't eaten a bite. She sat there
watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.

Again the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them.
This time the old woman said "No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything."

As the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin,
the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of
food and said
"May I ask what is it you are waiting for?"

And
she answered.....Read more... )
sillygoosegirl: (Photo - Koalas and Rose)
Does everyone find the relationship between the mortal and immortal this fascinating? Is that why I keep running across it? It must be the most bitter-sweet thing ever. It's like a tragedy waiting to happen. One of them is going to die, and then the other will just go on living, and living, and living forever. And all the more sad because in real life it happens too, except for the forever part, and we don't think about it so much because we don't know who will be doing the surviving. God, what a dreadful line of thought. I should stop thinking about this before I make myself upset. What wonderful thoughts for the day before Valentine's Day. Ugh.

Does this line of thinking ever become less frightening? Maybe after a person isn't a newlywed anymore? Or is it just one of those things that gets more and more frightening as time goes by and your spouse gets older and older?
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
"What our parents somehow neglect to tell us when they talk about marriage is that it isn't about kids or souls communing. It's about having the same old argument. You know what I'm talking about here. In every marriage there's an argument you two have so often you could tape it, play it next time the issue comes up, and save yourself the energy and aggravation of loud voices and long sulks."
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
So, since getting my name changed on my drivers license, name change stuff has pretty much come to a hault for me. Why? Because I lost my new Social Security card. I had it with me at the DMV, and then filed the whole wad of Josh's and my important papers we had at the DMV in the same folder. Every time I've looked back through that folder (and I'm sure I've done so several times), I've been unable to find the new social security card. Well, I have finally decided that damn it, I want to get that stuff changed. So I looked again for my social security card. I started with that same folder because I haven't the faintest idea where else it might have gotten to. Turns out, it's been there all along... must have been caught between some of the other papers or something. I feel kind of silly for not having found it before, but also relieved to have found it at last. Will be stopping by pay roll to get my name and deductions (exemptions? whatever) changed today. Between Josh and I, we should be paying almost $200 less in federal income taxes per month now. I'm not complaining, but honestly I find it a bit silly since I think as a married couple we have fewer expenses than your average two single people. Sure, that'll change when we get around to having children... but to my mind that should be a "having dependents" tax issue, not a marriage tax issue. But really, I'm not complaining.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Well, I went out for a walk an hour and a half ago. I didn't get very far before I ran into an Estate Sale. 90 minutes and $112 later we have a lovely ceder chest and a cut crystal pitcher and 6 matching tumblers. (If I hadn't left my wallet at home, and if I hadn't had to call up Josh and have him come look at the ceder chest, the pitcher and glasses probably would have been a Christmas gift... oh well)

*ETA (May 22, 2008): Incidently, I actually went on this walk because we got into a bit of a fight and I wanted to be alone. The chest and crystal are a nice reminder to this day that fights aren't always a bad thing, and pass away quickly in the grand scheme of things.
sillygoosegirl: (Photo - Expose)
Sometimes I feel like we have conservation of "in the middle of something" in our marriage. Probably by the time Josh is done with his game, I will be in the middle of an LJ post. And probably by the time I am done with the LJ post, Josh will be in the middle of a new game.

Perhaps I should try to be in the middle of brushing my teeth when he finishes his game instead of in the middle of writing an LJ post.

That might be a smart thing to do. See, I did learn something in all my physics classes...

Wait, that's not right. I didn't learn how to do anything in my physics classes that made me feel smart. Less dumb sometimes, but not smart.

Then again, maybe the above idea simply qualifies as "less dumb"... I could believe that. Anyhow, I'm brushing my teeth now, so why the Hell are you still here reading?

I think maybe I'm in a silly mood, but I'm too tired the difference. The difference between what? You ask. I don't know. Go to bed.

Ring

Oct. 28th, 2005 07:33 pm
sillygoosegirl: (Photo - Koalas and Rose)
I think a solitaire ring kind of like this one would make a nice anniversary gift some year instead of a diamond solitaire ring.

Yep, subtle is my middle name...

*ETA (May 22, 2008): The link was to a three-color gold ring with a rose-gold rose and a white-gold lief on a yellow-gold band.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
When am I going to wake up and discover that it is all just a happy dream?

The suspense is killing me.

Happy sigh... :-)
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Lyrics to remember, from Once Upon a Mattress.

"Yesterday I loved you / like never before / but now I must confess / Today I love you less / than I will tomorrow morning / My heart cannot be trusted / I give you fair warning / I tremble at your touch / not nearly half so much / as I will tomorrow morning..."

Rarely do I run across a song which rings so true.

Wonderings

Jul. 9th, 2005 11:34 am
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I wonder if the same people who will tell you, "Don't keep a joint savings account with your husband because he might steal your life savings" also would recommend using a condom all the time with your husband just in case he is cheating on you and bringing home STDs. Certainly there is something to be said for both recommendations, but I've never ever heard of a married couple using condoms to protect against STDs, unless they already knew that one of them had an STD...

Thoughts?

Oh, yeah, and according to the statistics I've heard, more people actually cheat on their spouses than divorce them... Of course, I don't know what definition of "cheating" was used or if most people who cheat are responsible enough to use a condom at the time.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
When it comes to all the photos from the wedding... there's really a lot of them! I think by tomorrow I'll be posting pictures of Josh and I from the morning of the wedding and an illustrated transcript of the ceremony. Someday I might also start working on the reception photos, but certainly not before the holiday, and possibly not for a lot time... I was pretty disappointed in the reception to tell the truth.

No idea when I'm going to find time to write about the wedding... I already have written some, but it's in my paper journal, and not for sharing really. There's just too much to say, it makes it really difficult to say anything at all. But I'm sure enjoying poring over the ceremony pictures with every spare moment... it was so perfect, everything I'd hoped for and more. And the pictures are beautiful.

But if you want to know a secret, the best part of all (aside from marrying Josh) was realizing how confident I was. I always second guess myself about everything, and the engagement was no different. I was afraid I'd get up there and find I was unable to go through with it. I was afraid to get up in front of everyone and stutter and cry my way through it (and I'm not a person who cries for joy). I had not expected to get up there and find myself filled with even more confidence and conviction than I'd felt before... yet that's exactly what happened. It was a very strong sense of knowing I was doing the right thing... it is a liberating and relaxing feeling. I think I am finally done second guessing myself, about this at least.

Relatedly, two nights ago was, I think, the first time we've ever yelled at each other about money. Funny how simple disagreements can so easily turn to yelling when you are exhausted...

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