A True Partner

(Some of you have asked to see my wedding dress. I'd love to share it, but I'm keeping it a secret from Carolina Man! Feel free to email me at thenonstudent@gmail.com if you want a picture.) 

In the past, the term "partner" was one I used only because I hated referring to a significant other as "boyfriend." Saying "partner" sounded less sophomoric, more serious and committed. And sometimes it kind of confused people who were used to hearing the word only to describe gay and lesbian couples. I sort of liked that. It felt like I was being ultra-politically correct by using it.

But in reality, I had no freaking idea what I was talking about. I threw around the term "partner" mostly because I wanted to be treated like an adult and I liked the way it sounded, not because it was a true reflection of that relationship.

Partnership is teamwork. It's unity and commonality. It is a locked-arm-in-arm way of moving forward into the unknown of the future. And it's also wrapped up in the mundane tasks of daily life, like unloading the dishwasher even if it isn't your turn. Or picking up the dog's poop again. It's learning to love someone's family as your own.

Carolina Man is my partner in the truest sense of the word. Yesterday after my mom left to go visit my uncle, he held me as I cried, feeling overwhelmed not only by her departure, but by how my life has changed over the past year. Change for the good is still change, and it can sting in the most unexpected ways. As difficult as it is to feel those things, I know I can do so safely in his arms. No matter how I'm feeling, or what triggered my emotions, he is reassuring and affirming. Those moments are what deepen and solidify the trust we are continually building.

The best compliments Carolina Man and I have received as a couple are the ones that reflect our striving to act as a team in all that we do, whether that's in how we have conversations with each other or how we train our dog Lucy. My mom said the other day that she knew we would be great parents because we will raise our children with intentionality. I believe she is absolutely right about that.

Carolina Man and I still have so much to learn about each other. But with each hurdle we encounter, we do so with honesty, respect, and love for one another.


10 comments:

  1. happy to here that; mutual respect and understanding is very key t the success of any partnership.

    I'm interested in the wedding dress o! can't see an email though, so i'l drop mine. dolchic@gmail.com

    cheers

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    1. You are so right, doll. I've enjoyed following along your journey as a newlywed.

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    2. hear that* sorry for my typo. AMazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzing dress! Congrats once again darling and thanks for sharing the picture with me

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    3. Of course, happy to share! :-)

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  2. Considering that I remember how things used to be for you, this makes me so ridiculously happy. I remember when I first started reading your blog and becoming friends with you - and I will tell you now that although I wanted to support whatever decisions you made, I'm happy you're in the place you are now. I know some of those decisions probably hurt at the time but just reading this makes me so happy you have Carolina Man. I'm glad he's so good to you (and you're good to him as well).

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    1. Krysten, you've been with me through thick and thin. You are so right--having the perspective I do now makes everything about the past look different. I was settling for less than what I wanted, never knowing things could ever been this good. I couldn't be more grateful for how it all turned out.

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  3. The partner-bit reminded me of a TED Talk I watched a couple days ago: http://www.ted.com/talks/sheryl_sandberg_why_we_have_too_few_women_leaders.html

    It's important to not only call our partners "partner" but for them to actually share in the work. Which is something that has (historically, and recently) not so much worked out for women working "the third shift."

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    1. I will have to watch this TED Talk soon! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I'm so glad you're so happy! These posts are really wonderful to read.

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    1. Thank you. I fear that they are cheesy, but they are heartfelt!

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