A Great Relationship in Silhouette

 Some things are simply typical and others are even more typical.  My colleague Jay Aaron asked me for a picture of Nathan and me facing each other.  We could use it on the website.  We could use the silhouette as a logo.  We could do a bunch of things for the website.

When Partners Do What They Do                                                                                                       

After all, with “3-step Transform your Relationship” course, I want to create a more purposeful web presence. And I like the idea of having me and my husband as an example of what’s possible between couples and as an example of what the ImperfectSpouse.com Web site is designed to achieve.

Some Things Are Simply Typical….

Nathan (my hubby), who is an artist photographer, wouldn’t take the time or effort to set up a tripod and take our picture together. Instead he set me up sideways against the white background (the kitchen cabinets) to take my photo, and then he had me take a similar picture of him.

This was Nathan’s way of doing things. Instead of arguing, I just went along. After all, it might work. I’ve learned it’s not about getting what you want; it’s about the cost of getting what you want. When the price is too high, I don’t always want it. It’s not about making him happy; it’s about having a very clear sense of what makes ME happy.  Right now, we were in a good mood, having a good time, and didn’t want to ruin that ambiance. Besides, I wasn’t sure we’d use the pix for a logo anyway.

After we shot the pictures, Nathan went into his studio. Alone with his computer, he did his magic, and voila our two pictures became a single picture of us both looking in the direction of each other.

Actually I thought those pictures came out okay.  It was interesting to see that he had my head ever so slightly higher than his, when I’m definitely shorter than he. He said it was his artistic license.  I took it as a compliment.

…And Other Things Are Even More Typical

The silhouetted profiles didn’t seem to match in emotion. I was laughing (surprise, surprise) and he wasn’t. In retrospect that may be representative.

Nathan does laugh. In fact, he is always saying to me, “Don’t make me laugh.”  He doesn’t really mean don’t make him laugh. He really means to say, “I wasn’t planning on laughing at this moment and I’m taken by surprise.”  But he’s not a smiley kind of guy. Even when he’s being silly, he’s not actually laughing, he’s making silly faces.  I’m the one who’s laughing. That’s always been my job. Keep ‘em laughing. I was the official court jester as a child in my family. That was my role.

The Value of Outside Input

When I sent the pictures to Jay, he pointed out that the combined image didn’t seem to work. It wasn’t that my and Nathan’s emotions didn’t match; it was that we weren’t actually looking into each other’s eyes and relating to one another. Jay said we seemed like two people looking out into space, with someone else’s disembodied head in front of us. Yikes!

The purpose of this image is to give people a sense of the RESULTS of the “Imperfect Spouse System.” If what Jay saw was what other people would see, this first attempt didn’t work. But the idea still might be a good one.

Besides, apparently Nate didn’t save the picture, so I can’t even show it to you.

Control and Change What You Can – Yourself!

Okay, let’s try this again.  While my son was over for dinner with his girl, I had him take pictures of us, but Nathan was insistently silly—passive-aggressively resistant.

Well, it’s part of my own Transform you Relationship Course, that you can’t change or control anyone else, least of all your stubborn husband.  My husband will spend many hours in the day, thinking and doing what will make me happy, but he will not do what he doesn’t want to do, so get over it and move on.

That’s why I’ve changed what I CAN change – myself. I no longer expect Nathan to do what he determines he doesn’t want to do. Heck, we paid an agent to sell his artwork and Nathan wouldn’t do the artwork or use the color palette that the agent requested. We let the agent go; it was a waste of money to try to get Nathan to do anything that he didn’t want to do, no matter what a “good idea” it was.  ( Don’t look; he doesn’t have his site on the web yet. That will come some time this year.)

When you Can’t Get What You Want…

I can control myself and my own expectations and my own reactions and responses, and I do. I laughed and had a good time.  Based on, when you can’t get what you want, you might as well have fun with what you get.

All’s Well That Ends Well

But, get this epilogue….

Later that same evening, he was helping me clean up from dinner with the kids. He looked at me and said that there were two times particularly  (at breakfast and when I’m sleeping) that he looks at me and says to himself that he is the luckiest man in the world to have me, to live with me.

That’s a man for you—drive you crazy then melt your heart.

Postscript

The pictures my son took of Nathan and me together weren’t the best pictures of us. But they’re better than the first attempt, because they show us more like we truly are when we interact with one another.100_0261

I don’t know if we’ll use this second set of pictures for the ImperfectSpouse.com logo, but they’ve already served their purpose. “Proof of concept” for my business, and here they are, already being used on the ImperfectSpouse.com Web site as the catalyst for this article post!

What Do You Think?

Do you have any experience with letting go of your expectations of your partner and allowing him to just be who he is and act like he acts, without triggering you? I’d love to hear your success stories!

And I’d love to know what you think about our photo. Does it bring up a feeling inside you about the kind of relationship that you’d like – the kind of relationship that Nathan and I share? Please leave your comments on this blog post!


One Response to “A Great Relationship in Silhouette”

  1. nancy says:

    thanks-i’m married to your hubby’s son wonderful men – “they drive you crazy-then melt your heart” – and the only space you can seek to control is your own-but what about the kid?????-oh, different blog
    love n

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