Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Plain Brown Wrapper

Mr. Burns and I are embarking in a tough time in our relationship.

Collectively, we don't know if there is a future. At the beginning, I was sure I'd finally found my man. But after a year of his uncertainty - now I too am unsure. From where I stand, it seems to come down to his inability to determine whether or not he is in love. He says he's never been there before - and I think that is the root of his problem.

I read a relationship book that I borrowed from a friend. Like most relationship books, it wasn't a whole lot of anything you hadn't figured out on your own if your eyes were open - but still good to remind you, "Ah yes, this is what works and what doesn't and why." So it is helpful from that standpoint.

Upon finishing, I asked Mr. Burns to read it. I thought it would open up some discussions.
At first he asked when he possibly had time to read it.
I apologized for the purple, cursive, flowery cover.
Then I offered to make a plain book cover for it. He laughed.
I actually did cut down a brown paper grocery bag - fashioned a cover like the ones we made in school - then wrote on the front "Plain Brown Wrapper".

I teased him that I would write, "Porn" on the cover so that he could carry it confidently in the airport. Ha! *

Well, when he landed the first day of his trip he told me he was three chapters in. He even pointed out the biggest concern that I shared from those first chapters.
This is progress! I thought. I was so pleased that he was willing to read the book. It seemed like a good step considering the let-down surrounding my visit home (see post below)

I picked Mr. Burns up from the airport last night. He started a conversation about the issues in the book! Wow!
He also said he wanted to finish the last few chapters.

Dear Lord, I was right. I knew if we could land on a common language to speak - we might get somewhere. He's better able to see things from my perspective. And in all fairness... I need to learn to see his perspective, but I need his help to show me. That too is where the book is helping.

Now I'm not saying this is some sort of magic book. All I'm saying is... beginning with our great ability and desire to communicate openly - and then adding a common language and topics to discuss - there is progress.
Most of all, I am touched by his willingness to both read the book, (how many guys would groan about THAT?!) and to discuss it. Yay.

* please do not infer in any way that I condone porn. Mr. Burns also, would never read or engage in porn. That is part of the joke.


Anonymous said...

Good for you. Progress, even away from each other is at least a step IN a direction.

I must have read every relationship book there was when I was single. I still didn't get it until I was married. Maybe too late????

The books I would suggest are

How to know if someone is worth dating in two dates or less - Warren

The Five Love Languages - Chapman

His Needs, her Needs - Harley

Basically, the more you have in common the better you will do. Marriage is not that tough, it's commitment that's tough. Look at past relationships, yours and his. That will tell you how both of you deal with everything.

I think single people sometimes over-think things. We put to much pressure on ourselves. Old people just committed. The thing I noticed most about marriage was that I didn't change, but my priorities did.


TRS said...

Thanks Jef!

In fact... the book in question is
The Five Love Languages - Chapman.

And thinking of your first comment - I would imagine that relationship advice isn't quite as valuable outside a relationship. Just as I have all the answers for raising kids, considering I have none!

And yes... progress even away from each other is at least getting us somewhere.
Must remember my own adage - often flung at my mother when she pestered me to get married... "Tis better to be alone than to wish that you were."

Anonymous said...

Wise words from your mother. I think the Bible puts it, "Better to live on the corner of a roof than to live with a nagging wife." Or husband.

Loved your comments on my site. Scooping, twisting, the one that hurts! LOL. You'll have to shoot me an email.

k said...

i agree that it is good to be moving in some direction whether it is towards each other and away. by being able to openly discuss this, even if it doesn't work out, you'll know that you tried, and he tried. and it wasn't meant to be. (although it will still hurt like hell and i hope it doesn't end up that way).

that is my problem... i feel like there is something more there that we just can't get at. i feel like i am going to spend the rest of my life wondering "what if."

TRS said...

Oh K... I feel so badly for you. I wish I could take the pain away.

It may help to know that my friend prays every day for 'couples that are dating' and for 'single people'. When I'm organized enough to pray I include them too.

Edge... just to be clear... those words were from me TO my mom!!!

Glad you like my booby humor!