Posted: February 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

I am a partner. After almost twelve years of living as a single mother of two, I gambled on another mate and bit the bullet. We have been together now for over thirty years. We have grown up, and fallen down. We aged, matured and gained wisdom. We have grown close and fallen apart. We danced with divorce, battled demons, celebrated accomplishments and sent kids into the world. We took on another set of kids when they needed a stable home. We have had money and we have been poor. We have eaten steak and Ramen soup. We have endured job loss, third shifts, illness, filing taxes and lived both apart and together. We have hated each other and loved each other like nobody else could. Today we stand together. A luck of the draw? Karma, hard work? I think it was a combination of all.

When my health took a dive he shouldered the financial burden, helped around the house, shielding my emotional state. He pays the bills, gasses up the car, repairs the house, drives the kids, helps around the house, does yard work and cares for our pets. He also doubles as a massage therapist for my pain riddled body.

I get the kids up for school at six a.m., plan the meals, shop, carry, put it all away and cook, no easy feat for three hungry teens! I monitor homework, grades and friends. I maintain the wireless internet connection and talk to teachers to keep the kids on track.  I do all the work to receive state assistance for food and medical care for the kids. I monitor their emotional and social life and hand out chores. (Which they rarely do if not badgered.) I keep tabs on social issues, schedule dinners, send cards, purchase and wrap gifts. I clean, organize, decorate and take care of the families pets. Geeze, this sounds like a movie out of the 1950’s, when women were expected to stay home and care for the house. However, it is the hand I was dealt, my body won’t allow me the joy of a career so I do the best I can with what I have.

I have turned to my talent in the arts as personal expression. I have paintings and drawings in collections all over the world. My oil paintings, colored pencil pieces, wood carvings, pastel paintings and textile pieces are all over the map. My spouse has funded, and supported every single piece. I have tried to support his wants, endured his mood swings, tolerated his temper, forgave cruelty, and lauded his personal growth. I worked hard to make him see he is not the person his father told him he was. I wanted him to see he was smart, talented, hard-working and moral.

With that said, I write as I look at the snow blanketing my yard. I am able to observe the beauty and not deal with the inconvenience because my spouse has made it so. We are partners. Sometimes one will give more than the other, but life is not a scorecard, it is a partnership, with a mate or with fellow humans. For some of us, connecting with fellow humans can be hard, a leap of faith we are not trained for. I am happy to say we danced over this minefield and came out on the other side.

We are attracted to certain people and we need to learn to recognize our weakness and pull on their strengths, be it a friend, or mate.

  1. Silent Kim says:

    Your world sounds wonderful. I was in a relationship 23 years and I know the hard work it takes to make it work. Communication is the key. There has to be a balance in relationships a give and take. That’s what my 23 year relationship lacked.

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