When you spend time on the easy stuff – the difficult stuff becomes

Chris and I had spent the week together at my house before he moved to Arizona last year.  Upon returning home, I wanted to thank him for being such a great man and partner.  He is a wiz at the dishes, which was part of the conversation.  I simply said how I appreciated his help with keeping the kitchen clean and he said he hopes we can continue to use the dishwasher.  Prior to meeting and dating Chris, it was just my son and I at home.  It seemed senseless to run the dishwasher with just 2 of us so I have not used it in the last couple of years unless we had company.

It was the way Chris suggested it that made the difference.  He said, “It would be great if we could continue to use the dishwasher.”  I said, “Yes, of course we could continue to use it.” 

He doesn’t think about the way he approaches such subjects.  He speaks from what he wants or needs.  He speaks to me like I am his best friend and partner.  We could only do this because we worked hard to create a balanced relationship.  

Now we have lived together for a little over a year.  Short for some, long for others.  We took a lot of time in the beginning to create our partnership.  It wasn’t always easy.  I can remember thinking, ‘wow, this is a lot of communication’.  Wants, needs, goals, hurts.  Then one day, it was almost like we got into a rhythm.  Think of a steam engine train as it begins on the tracks.  It pushes and pushes to get going, it rumbles, and it huffs and puffs.  All of a sudden, the engine is moving with efficiency and the train is powering down the line.  That was our relationship.  Just today my adult daughter commented, “Mom, none of my friends who are in relationships talk to each other the way you and Chris do.”  She knows we talk about everything and she knows the love and respect that we have for one another. 

Because we have built our relationship around honest communication, we can tackle anything that comes our way.  Through any difficult discussion, Chris and I look for solutions that we both can agree with.  Sometimes we compromise; however, most times, we both get what we want. 

You really can have everything you want in a relationship.  We call it Partnership.

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