Saturday, February 1, 2014


It was 2002, Pete and I were in the thick of loving on our children, working, and life in general. We were apart a lot. Like a lot, a lot. My days were full with loving, teaching, cooking, cleaning, diaper changing, consoling, playing, cleaning some more, and transporting four children all under the age of 10. Pete's days were full of consulting with a high profile musician and providing for our family. Pressure, pressure and more pressure. Then to add to the "adventure" the musician went on tour and Pete found himself traveling a ton. We were in the thick of separation overdrive.  Somewhere along the way my mind and eyes started to wander...

There has never, ever been a doubt in my heart that Pete is the love of my life. Never. But something rather disconcerting happened that balmy Spring of 2002.  I learned a lot of valuable information about myself that Spring. It all began poolside. Our middle monkeys were taking infant water survival lessons. You know, the kind where the instructor teaches your child how to flip onto their back in the water to avoid drowning while you sit in the side of the pool alternating between wanting to go all  "water ninja" on the instructor and being forever grateful to them and wanting to adopt them into your family for their contribution to your child's survival? Yep, those classes.

The instructor was gifted. He had a gentleness with our babies that assured me that they were safe and secure in his hands. His pool side manner with parents was reassuring and inclusive. We developed a repoire. The monkeys admired him and so did I. As the weeks went on, I looked forward to the lessons more and more. I enjoyed our chats there on the side of the pool as the kids splashed and played safely. 

My first clue that something was amiss, was when Pete came to a lesson about 4 weeks into the course. The monkeys did so well, the instructor filled Pete in on all their progress, we all chatted for a bit, and then on the way home Pete looked at me and said, "He is a really nice, good looking guy and I think you like him." I suddenly felt a twinge of guilt as I agreed with him. Then, this alarm went off in my head and I realized that I had been thinking about that instructor a lot, I mean a lot, a lot. I looked back on our interactions and thankfully they were appropriate.  He had no idea that I was enjoying our pool side chats a little too much, but I did and Pete was aware too.  

So, I learned something about myself that Spring.  Looking back on my life I saw a pattern.  I am wired to need a lot of quality time with those that I love.  I mean a lot, a lot.  Quality time is my number one love language.  When life gets out of control busy and there is no time to connect or communicate that love language is hard to "hear".  And what I learned is that I need to be careful not to "listen" for it in other places.  

Pete and I are both aware that our marriage is a sacred relationship and that there is no one here on this earth that either of us would rather be with.  We are also aware that marriage takes a lot of work.  I mean a lot, a lot.  We have some safeguards in place to protect our marriage.  One of them is that we always, always tell each other if we are struggling emotionally.  We communicate our fears, our hopes, our dreams and our frustrations. We make sure that we do not spend time alone with a member of the opposite sex.  This may sound old fashioned, but I know what I know about myself.  We both are very open to sharing our social media communications with each other.  Texts, FaceBook messages, emails, etc. .  Some may think that this is prying or a demonstration of a lack of trust, but we think that it is transparency.  Transparency equals trust.  

Pete and I are not naive enough to think that our marriage is invincible.  We take our vows seriously and have committed to fight hard to keep our relationship healthy, vibrant and exclusive.  We are working everyday to build a bulletproof marriage.  It takes prayer, time, sacrifice, perseverance, and commitment.   Some days are better than others, but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

How about you my friends?  What are you doing to bulletproof your special relationships?  Let's encourage each other to fight the good fight.  Our relationships are worth it. 



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