Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Clams and Pearls

Well Coach is definitely moving to DC for three months. He leaves in mid-February and will hopefully be back by the end of May at the latest. Thankfully he will be home just about every other weekend to see his kids (and me) and he’s already said he’s going to fly me up there most other weekends. (Incidentally he’s also talking about taking me on a cruise, to a Caribbean island, and back to Hawaii in August – yeah I scored big time with this one!)

Despite his promised continued contact, I have to admit I’m pretty bummed about it. We have been spending an increasing amount of time together and he’s just freaking awesome. Knowing that our face time is limited, I think I’ve seen him just about every day this month so far, outside of Hawaii time. He’s been killer with the kids and they are always so excited to see him. He’s taken me and the kids out for multiple dinners and last night he even bought them both a little present. If he wasn’t already golden with the kids that surely did it! Coach has met the whole family except for my brother now and they all seem to adore him too.

Obviously from reading this blog you know we all spend what seems to be an inordinate amount of time examining our lives and our choices and trying to figure out why things happen the way they do. For the last couple months, Gwyn and I have been following the blog/website http://www.havetherelationshipyouwant.com/ by relationship expert Rori Raye. I have to tell you, the advice/techniques on it have paid off big time with Coach and I know they have worked in Gwyn’s favor as well.

One of the big things we have started doing has to do with the whole “feeling” statements that we’ve mentioned before. Basically instead of telling guys what you need exactly or how to make you feel better, you simply say how you are feeling. For example:

Miranda – I feel frustrated my mp3 player doesn’t hold enough songs for my trip to Hawaii.
Coach – I’m going to give you my IPod which holds 10,000 songs.

That’s almost word for word what happened my friends. It’s pretty incredibly. In the past I would have complained about my mp3 player and just went out and bought one for myself or else hinted around that I wanted him to buy me one. Inevitably he being a man would have missed my hints and I’d be left feeling under-appreciated. Instead, I used my “feeling” statements and gave him the opportunity to rush in and be the knight in shining armor to save the princess in distress.

It sounds silly but this “feeling” stuff really works. And it’s really not manipulation or being sneaky. It’s simply being honest and open about how you are feeling without telling the guy how to fix/save/change you. The guy actually hears what you are saying and 9 times out of 10, he knows just what to do to fix/save/change you. It seems way too simple but I’m telling you it works. There’s a ton more details on these “feeling” statements on her blog which you must read!

Some of the advice we were already doing based on things we theorized and experimented with on our own over the last six or so. Things like not initiating contact, letting the man lead, not making men the focus of our lives, etc. But Rori’s advice has really opened up some new insights into relationships for me.

One of the big things is the whole concept of thinking as relationships as being between clams and pearls. What’s a Clam? A protector with a hard crusty outer shell but contains a nurturing center. What’s a Pearl? A precious, beautiful, glowing, expensive, absolutely unique gift that is built up slowly over time.

I made a joking reference to Coach that he was a clam one night and he picked up on it right away. His “job” in the relationship is to protect his “pearl” – that may mean physical protection (opening doors or pummeling jerks), provisional protection (a manly arm to keep your warm at night or an IPod re the example above), or even emotional protection (communicating with your regularly so you know you are treasured or being a shoulder for you to cry on).

In essence women need to chill out and let men be men. We need to stop trying to run the show and bring our balls to the wall business personas home. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking the backseat in the relationship for a change, let me say that loud can clear as a reformed pants wearer in the relationship.

My whole relationship with Duckie was me pushing for what I wanted and making things happen because I felt like I had to be in control all the time to have the relationship I wanted (to be fair Duckie was a huge puss too who liked to let someone else be in control). And where did that attitude get me – divorced at 34. Over the last year as I’ve dated and dated and dated and dated I’ve seen this enough times to know it’s not a phenomenon.

For a change, I feel like I’m trusting my boundaries and instincts. I’m following my feelings and actually letting them be heard and not trying to be anyone other than myself. I’m working hard on choosing my words carefully to talk about how I feel without trying to influence Coach (that was a huge issue with me and Duckie) and to acknowledge all the little things he does for me. And I’m giving up control – in total. I don’t have to know every outcome, make every plan, manage every situation, or be the one pushing the relationship wherever it’s headed. All this stuff has been hard to incorporate but I have to say it’s really been a blessing in disguise.

And this is really bigger then just my relationship with Coach. I’m trying to do this in all areas of my life that I can and it’s making a huge impact. I am far more content right now then I can ever remember being in my whole entire life. And that my friends, it a pretty great feeling!


1 comment:

  1. Are you high? Men need to be men and we need to chill...wtf are you smoking and why didn't we do it here??!