Monday, September 13, 2010

Simplicity

Saturday afternoon, he stood on the front of the boat, rod and reel in hand, muttering to himself about which bait might land the biggest fish. I sat comfortably on the back deck of his fishing boat in a beach chair that he'd lovingly rigged the evening before with a giant golf umbrella to shield my pale skin from the harsh stinging of the mid-day sun.

Perhaps I appeared to others in this tournament as his "princess". No matter to him. He suggested they all were more than likely jealous that they, too, didn't have a "beautiful and good woman" on the back of their boats.

"Baby, I need to know that you're OK back there," he said while casting a line into the brownish waters of this Louisiana river. "If you can take care of yourself, I can focus on what I need to do up here."

I smiled from my "throne" and reassured him that I was absolutely fine and perfectly happy.

As I watched him, focused and assured, from my happy place, I realized the perfection of this metaphor. This, after all, is all that he asks of me.

Take care of yourself so that I can focus on all that I need to do.

***

Sunday morning, I attended church with this man of mine.

It was a topic that was discussed a few weeks ago. He hasn't attended service in ages though his family is well known at this church. I don't recall exactly how we began talking about this. I do remember his hesitation, however.

"I've not asked you because... I didn't know if you'd be interested. You teach that Course in Miracles stuff and this is just regular church. Would you...? Do you think you'd mind joining me because I really want to share it with you? I really want to be there, with you by my side, holding my hand..."

A man who wants to share his love of God with me.

How could I resist?

That morning, I stood in my Sunday best, in between this man who called me his princess the day before, and his son who wrapped his arm in mine and laid his head on my shoulder.

I listened as the deep voice, a voice I had yet to hear, came loudly from my love. He sang hymns proudly and with conviction. He lowered his head to pray, eyes closed tightly as he squeezed my tiny hand in his. After the service, we walked around the congregation, through elderly couples who had known him since childhood and he confidently introduced me as the woman in his life.

***

What I'm learning in this relationship is simple, really.

I must take care of me. I must not depend on him to "make me happy"... a pattern I've noticed in past relationships and even relationships of others in my life. Interestingly, I've rarely heard a man demand that a woman "make him happy."

Men do what they can to make themselves happy. We call them selfish. But when a woman is happy, a man feels like he is doing something right.

A believe my man wants to feel respected and admired. I think we both want the attention that comes from that admiration, of course. As I watched my love on the deck of his boat and in the pew at church, I'm not sure I've seen a more contented man.

Perhaps that is all that a man needs - or at least MY man. A woman who is happy, respectful and loving. A woman who wants to share her happiness with him. An appreciative woman to pamper and adore. A woman with whom he can hold hands, sing loudly and love God. So that he can focus on what he needs to do... to feel like a man.

Ironically, what he ultimately wants to do is make his woman happy.

My heart swells with love for this man.


The over thinking and over complicating is something I do to myself. I hope, as time goes on, I learn to trust in the simplicity of our being together. It is such a beautiful thing.

19 comments:

  1. VERY powerful and well spoken observation. I would concur that my man has said those exact words. I just want you to be happy. And when I am, he is the king of his world.

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  2. A beautiful post, T. My ex hubby wanted me to make him happy. And i did for many years. Then I became unhappy and the ship started sinking. Since we have split up, I have realized that only I can make me happy and it has made a world of difference in all my relationships. I no longer blame others for my problems or discomfort because I know that it is my road to walk.

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  3. I agree about making yourself happy. I am also notorious for counting on men to make me happy.
    My ex husband was the first man who really had ever made me feel special and said things to me like you say your man said here. It felt magical for me. I soaked myself in it.
    But, all that said, when he left me, it killed me. I had relied so hard on him being my happiness, there was nothing left of me when I was on my own.
    Now days... I am trying my best to do things that will enhance my life and will keep me happy with myself (with or without a man).

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  4. Beautiful post, T.

    I think that many of us are led to believe that relationships are supposed to be complicated, when really, they boil down to the simplest of things.

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  5. loved this...so true..so simple...so much of a process that we learn every single day..again and again!! I have learned so much through you!

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  6. Loved the descriptive writing, T. Church together, Yay!

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  7. What a great post! This was very powerful to me. We call men selfish, but they actually do what we as women should do. Make ourselves happy. How simple and true!

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  8. I agree with Danielle - that line stuck out to me as well. Very well said, T. Great post.

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  9. A man that has this...

    "A woman who is happy, respectful and loving. A woman who wants to share her happiness with him. An appreciative woman to pamper and adore. A woman with whom he can hold hands, sing loudly and love God. So that he can focus on what he needs to do... to feel like a man"

    ..is indeed king of his world. Everything else falls into place - and he can do what he needs to keep providing, pampering and being appreciated and respected. Not too much to want, not too much at all. Lucky Rascal!

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  10. Wow. Did we really all key in on the same line?

    Perfect. Love this.

    PS. Just know that you really made a difference yesterday. And it made all the difference in my life. Many thanks, T!

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  11. That is AWESOME. And from a guy's perspective, I think you've nailed it. Absolutely nailed it.

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  12. It is great to read how happy and content you are in your life. It sounds like a healthy, loving relationship.

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  13. I concur with your thoughts.

    At its basic I want to make a woman happy, and that woman to want to do the same to me.

    Plus bewbs, we likes bewbs

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  14. T - I had to comment again. You have captured and exemplified the secret to happiness for men and women in this wonderful, succint, illustrative post - your best ever! This should be mandatory study material for all humankind.

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  15. T, this is such a wonderful post. It's exactly how I picture a perfect relationship for myself. You're such a lucky lady.

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  16. I think you're absolutely correct. When we do things to make ourselves happy, when we lead a full and productive life then we're better wives, mothers, friends, and lovers.

    I disagree however that men don't look for someone to make them happy. X ended up trying to kill me because he couldn't see a world existing if I wasn't there to MAKE him happy. He was totally incapable of doing that for himself, and once he lost control of me he had nothing else to live for (in his sick, twisted opinion at least)

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  17. Yep, you got me, too. It's amazing: when I'm happy and satisfied, it really does seem to lift my guy and make him feel joy. You always open my eyes.

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  18. Once again, an excellent reminder.

    Too many of us have struggled to make others happy, losing ourselves in the process. I know that I will be okay whether attached or not. At first, that made me feel like I was loving less or giving less of myself to my bf. I have come to understand it as a positive for us both. Thanks for sharing.

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