#COUPLEGOALS WHERE ARE ALL MY ROLE MODELS?

IMAGE BY  DANA PUGH

IMAGE BY DANA PUGH

I’VE BEEN THINKING A LOT ABOUT COMMITMENT LATELY

Katherine is the one that makes my heart go pitter patter. She is the peanut butter to my jelly. She is the love of all my lives, always and forever and even after that, as our matching tattoos profess. Here’s the thing though.

MARRIAGE IS A TOUGH MOTHERFUCKER

Or I think it is if you are doing it right. If you’re both keeping your edges, your sense of self, but also deeply connecting.

The balance of safety and desire, wanting and having, life and work, kids and romance, sleep and fun, all of it-- seem to be at odds.

If I’m honest having been married 12 years in a previous relationship I’m very firm on the fact that I’m not interested in just an okay marriage.

I want a fucking fantastic marriage. I want a marriage that keeps me excited to wake up and go to sleep beside her (almost) every day, a marriage that lasts decades and gets deeper and bigger and more beautiful and free, day in and day out.

So we read the books and we do the therapy and we work hard at loving each other really well.

We fail A LOT because that’s what humans do.  We are grouchy at each other.  Our tongues are sharp, (when you know someone this well you know where the openings are) our buffers can wear thin, we are so in love and yet so truly flawed like everyone else. 

But every time we turn back to each other. Every time we learn to love each other better.  We learn to fight better.  Communicate better.  Hold our boundaries better. We learn more about the messiness of being human.   The messiness of loving and being loved.   And isn’t that what we’re all learning? 

It can hurt to love this much, with your whole heart exposed, not so safely tucked behind the walls and masks we put up and on, but I think it’s proving to be worth it. 

Because it’s worth it we put a lot of time into our relationship.  Also because I’m a bit of a self help junkie and a masochist, I request a report card at the end of each day from Katherine so I know if I did a good job at being her partner, and the kids Dad.  She will never give it to me.  I love her anyway.  


ENTER EIGHT DATES BY THE GOTTMANS

Quick overview. The Gottmans are relationship geniuses based out of Seattle. They’ve been studying relationships for basically a kajillion years, and write all the books. I’ve loved them for a while. Then I heard John on Dax Shephard's podcast Experts on Experts and was all LEMME AT THIS NEW BOOK —> Eight Dates, over eight weeks, better relationship, or maybe you realize you should break up actually? Who knows.

Alright, so the first week is Trust and Commitment and I’m all, I’ve got this!! I’m as fucking committed as they come! And a trustworthy dude! I show up when I say I’m going to. On time. I do what I say, for the most part. I rule at week one.

Except then it asked all the wrong questions. AKA all the questions I didn’t know the winning answer to!

Questions like “How did your parents show each other they were committed to each other?”

I didn’t grow up with parents that were committed to each other.

I didn’t grow up seeing healthy adult romantic relationships.

I don’t really know what a healthy adult romantic relationship looks like. Do you? Do we have role models?

IMAGE BY  KRISTA WELCH

IMAGE BY KRISTA WELCH

As a kid I didn’t have healthy role models at home in a lot of areas. So I watched ALL THE TV to figure out who I should be like. I feel like I got all my lessons on how to be a man from Mr Feeny, right along side Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter. I learned about dating and crushes and friendship and all of it right there as Cory went through middle, and then high school and then college and beyond.

So naturally now I turn to Netflix to find my new TV role models and I’m coming up empty.

It seems harder to do now.

Maybe because Dads typically find themselves as the incompetent butt of the joke (anything played by Tim Allen, Crosby on Parenthood, or Zeke on Parenthood), or the absent jerk (Sara Braverman’s kids’ Dad on parenthood).

Or the couple are great parents and super good friends but there’s none of the chemistry and romance that I feel determined to hold on to for decades (Christina and Adam Braverman, The Cohens on The OC, The Fosters on the Fosters).

Best I can think of is Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell? when she kisses him. I feel like YEAH gimme that. Look they like, love, respect each other and yeah they’re still hot to trot too! But we don’t see in the in’s and out’s of their relationship. Just the highlight reels.

So here’s my question.

Is it possible to figure out how to have it all and make it last?

Are there examples I just don’t know of yet?

Cause I’m here for it friends. I want to figure this out. Who’s with me?

Where are all your #couplegoals at?

So far it seems like @Declare Dominion and I are making it up as we go. But then again, isn’t that what we’re all doing?