Monday, February 3, 2014

Unsolicited Marriage Advice

Starbucks has been my safe haven since I could drive. It's the place I go to think, to write, to dream, to study, to detox, to calm down, to get to know friends better, to draw close to Jesus, to observe, and more. 

Why? No clue. I'm not a big coffee drinker and don't relish spending $4-5 for a drink that doesn't wow me (except for the peppermint white chocolate mocha frappucino). Maybe it's the people watching opportunities, the way all sorts of people from all walks of life intersect over expensive coffee. Regardless, it is my happy place.

What does this have to do with marriage? Plenty. Andy is an extrovert. He recharges around large crowds, stores, concerts, etc. The more lively the situation the more cozy he feels...crowds = a bear hug for Andy most days. I am an introvert. Christmas parties, Sunday school get togethers, even having middle schoolers to our house all send me into mini anxiety attacks. And after a week like I've had of nonstop people both in my house and all around, I'm done. I need to get away from everyone I know including my awesome hubby and cuddly toddler. I recharge by myself. I think I'd thrive in solitary confinement some days (only kidding...I think). Starbucks is that place.

In other, more concise, words, Andy and I are polar opposites. In our 5+ years of marriage the biggest asset of our marriage (aside from Jesus) is our understanding that we are opposites. We like to say to each other "I get you even when I don't get you". We may not relate or identify with the emotions the other is feeling, but we choose to get each other. To accept it and embrace it as part of what drew us to each other in the first place. 

So all this preamble leads me to this...Andy has now learned to look ahead. To see when I'm about to explode from over-peoplization, and release me of my duties and instead send me on my way to Starbucks. And I know when Andy needs to go to walmart or the mall 
and simply meander (best case scenario is with me and the munchkin). We get each other even though we don't get each other. 

It's easy in a marriage, especially one with kids, to fall into a routine. That's not bad unless you start overlooking you & your spouses individual needs. My advice: be observant and encourage your spouse (before the breaking point) to take a timeout and recharge. Choose to get each other even when you simply don't get each other.

(Written at Starbucks)  :)