The Relationship Game

July 8, 2012

I had dinner with a friend last week – she is someone with whom I see eye-to-eye on most things, who shares my sense of humor and who I never see often enough. But when we do get together, it is as if no time at all has passed – as if we had seen each other just the previous week.

After a lovely summer dinner and an incredible bottle of rose, our conversation turned to relationships – both of us are eyeballing our 25th wedding anniversaries. What happens, we wondered….to the fire? We know it’s still there – we are both fortunate to be with husbands that we love and adore and who  love and adore us back…but where is the spark part? For instance – last weekend, my husband was doing some long-overdue repairs in our vestibule and I was kind of assisting (well, ok – I was watching !).  At one point I thought I might be a little bit in the way, physically, because our vestibule is incredibly tiny, probably built by elves, I think. And he says to me (very sweetly, I might add) “No, no – it’s fine – you’re not a distraction.” So I happily sat down to continue to watch him work and be ready to lend a hand…..but his words were ringing in my ear…”not a distraction”….to be honest, I felt a bit let down – I used to be nothing but a distraction!

Now, of course I was making too much of this – almost as if I was in high school…but the basic idea of not being a distraction was bugging me. Ironically, my friend began to talk about how her husband gets so focused when he is on a project that he is literally vacant – in every sense of the word. He doesn’t hear her or see her – she could be naked and running around with a bowl of fruit on her head and he wouldn’t notice (and by the way – she is one very beautiful woman!). So we  laughed together about this for a moment…then I said, I understood that you can’t keep a raging bonfire of passion blazing every single day, all day long – like you do in the beginning of a romance but  – and she chimed in at the exact moment and said “…want to be desired, sometimes.” Not as a wife, not as the mother of his children – but as the young thing that first captured his heart. And yet – they DO feel that way about us – we’ve both experienced it from time to time. Both us make a daily effort with clothing, we run a brush through our hair and swipe a quick spot of lipstick on- neither one of us is running around in sweatpants or pyjamas.

Her take on relationships is this: Women view a relationship as though it was a garden. You tend and nurture that garden and watch it grow. Men, on the other hand, view relationships like a board game. Wife on the red square, Kids on the blue square, House on the green square, Parents on the yellow square  and Job in the middle of the board. So – maybe it’s just that – Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars, as the best-selling book says. Women want to tend a garden while Men are trying to stay in the game of life.

Here’s an idea – maybe once  in a while – they could play their board game in our garden?

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