I’ve seen and been through enough break ups to always sit in amazement listening to the way stories change.
I’ve always known Mark was the man I’d marry, but all three times we broke up I always talked about how he was too old for me , never laughed at my jokes (fyi, I’m hilarious), and loved his cat too much to ever really let me in.
When I broke up with The Guy I Used to Date I played up how our religious differences (which weren’t really that different, I just loved going to church like they were giving money away and he preferred to sleep in on Sunday afternoons mornings) were the nail in our relationship coffin.
I’ve had friends believe they’ve found the best guy ever, only to dump him weeks later because his life wasn’t really going anywhere. Or he wasn’t affectionate enough. Or there just wasn’t a ‘spark’ anymore.
We tell the stories that fit our feelings.
Unless you have masochistic tendencies (or got dumped), after a break up you aren’t replaying the memory of how he spent the whole night trying to French braid your hair. No, you’re thinking about that time you two went to Wendy’s, you tried to order a combo meal, and he asked you to keep it on the Value Menu. Pshh! Excuse me!
We want our feelings and our brains to agree, and if that means erasing every good memory you’ve ever had involving anyone from the opposite sex, so be it!
The success of a relationship depends on the stories.
John Gottman is kind of amazing, and says that the math of a successful marriage requires a ratio of 5 positive interactions for every negative one. Obviously, our interactions include more than just recollections of various stories, but what stories are you dwelling on right now? Can you easily recall 5 positive memories for every negative memory?
Blogging in the name of love.
Mark and I had a decent sized fight this weekend. My feelings got hurt, and I became overwhelmed with memories that served as evidence that Mark did, indeed, suck. If you asked me to tell our story this weekend it would probably go something like, “I accidentally married a loser who loves pretty much everything else in the world more than he loves me.”
Normally, I would stay there. I would keep living the stories that allow me to feel sorry for myself, or that tell me that Mark doesn’t care about me. But I really believe that this regular blogging about our marriage has developed my brain’s positivity muscle when it comes to our relationship. Stories about how awful my life is (Hi, my name is Drama Queen) have a snowman’s chance in Arizona of surviving because I, literally, spend hours each day thinking about how to blog about our relationship. Since I decided from the beginning that I wouldn’t speak ill of us, all of that daily thinking leans towards the positive. Or my weird idea of funny.
Either way, I’ve built up quite the arsenal of stories that make me smile.
Tell me, what are five ways your honey made you smile??