“It’s really lovely,” said one of my husband’s colleagues, “after all the years you’ve been married, how you still like doing things together.”
He told me the comment last night over a restaurant dinner before going to see Suggs, the Madness lead singer, on a tour of storytelling and songs. https://www.facebook.com/events/1758670877765422/ It was my Christmas present to him. In fact, we’ve developed a habit of buying experiences rather than material gifts for each other – they’re longer lasting, living on in our memories way after the event. And we had a great time.
Part of me wants to respond to his friend’s comment with: “Of course we like doing things together!” But, when I look at the number relationships I’ve seen break up, I think that’s less a matter of automatic compatibility and more to do with making conscious choices.
It’s easy to be lazy and just do things we as individuals prefer. It takes more effort to agree to try something someone else chooses and give it a real chance to see if we enjoy it too.
I’ll admit that there are times, especially after a busy day at work, for example, when I don’t want to spend my evening watching a noisy football match. But by agreeing to join my beloved at concerts or even in front of the TV, my life has been enriched. Through him, I have discovered the comedy of Stewart Lee and the music of Eels and Nick Cave. I’ve learned how much knowledge of musical history my husband has and gained an insight into his emotions from the lyrics he treasures.
And it works both ways: he’s enjoyed classic musicals and the Hampton Court Gardening Show, which has led to more shared interest in our own garden.
The thing is, there is so much to admire in him – he is a man of considered taste – so why not trust his judgement and agree to take a risk of discovering something new to share, to build further strands of strength between us, made up of shared experience and memories?
‘Behold, how good it is when brothers (or spouses!) agree to live together in harmony.’
Find other posts prompted by the word ‘agree’ here: http://fiveminutefriday.com/2018/02/01/fmf-link-agree/