Saturday, November 3, 2007


I've been reading an interesting book lately about a woman who suffers from schizophrenia. It takes you into her thoughts and reactions and the way she tries to cope with her illness. What really struck me was one paragraph where she talked about desperately looking for clarity, something to focus on, something to hang onto. She mentions that medication might help, if your body tolerates it well, but that another way might be to make your life as predictable and orderly as possible- so that you know ahead of time what is expected of you, what is going to happen, and how to prepare for it. You basically try to eliminate surprises. You build a life with structure and predictability. "What you lose in the way of spontaneity, you gain by way of sanity."

That last sentence really struck me hard. I realized that this is very much what I have had to do in my life. I have taken every step possible to make sure that things stay well organized and predictable because I have found that I don't have the capacity to deal well with surprises. There are some days when I miss the excitement and the fun of spontaneity and doing things 'spur of the moment.' But what I have gained in stability and sanity more than makes up for it. I am trying to work on being more "fun" and trying to go with the flow a bit better, but I think that I'm one of those people that will always need a fairly well-ordered world.

This also made me think about my relationship with my husband. There have been times when I've gotten on his case because there is a definite lack of 'romance' in our marriage, but I know that often that's unfair. I may not get flowers or candy or some of the wonderfully romantic gestures that I hear some of my friends talk about, but what I do get is safety and love and acceptance. For too many years dealing with me and my issues has been a time-consuming part of my husband's life. That didn't leave much time or energy for trying to come up with "surprises" that I probably wouldn't have handled well anyways. (It's kinda hard to plan a romantic evening out when your partner won't go out in public!!) I had come into my marriage with a lot of baggage from my past. Part of that was that I had very recently been in an abusive relationship. My first marriage was literally crazy. I was with a guy that I knew wasn't good for me and who had many problems of his own. He knew how to be very romantic and could be quite loving. Unfortunately, for the most part, the marriage was filled with fear, unpleasantness and pain. When I left this man I was truly blessed to find David. I found the one man who was willing to take me with all of my brokenness and insanity and help me to become whole again (a work still in progress.) I would not trade a single minute of my safe and 'unromantic' marriage for any amount of romance and excitement. (Dare I say that romance is over-rated?!!) My husband is the perfect match for me, and I know I need to do better about reminding myself of just how good I have it!

So that's where my thoughts had me today- thankful for a life that is fairly predictable and safe and even sometimes downright boring. And I'm even more thankful that I have a husband who shows his love in ways that go far beyond the surface. I greatly appreciate every moment that I feel loved, accepted and ok.


Mama D said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Expressing love is far more than flowers and chocolate and "romance." Romance is great in its appropriate time and place -- for example, the "yuck!" factor of my kids when we dance in the kitchen. However, romance, in and of itself, does not build strong and eternal relationships. That comes from friendship, love, acceptance, time. Going through the ups and downs of life together strengthens spousal bonds far more than roses!

(However, receiving roses and chocolate is nice on occasion, as well!)

lou said...

Awww--- You and David are the cutest couple ever !!!And whatever makes an Eternal Blissful Marriage, is whatever is good for you. Thank heavens we are not all alike. Bari had the uncommon sense to marry a Divorce, middle aged, overweight, mormon mom with 2 teenagers and 2 pre-schoolers. Aren't our guys Celestial?????
I really don't find you predictable at all.
Love you bunches !!!!

Mama D said...

You commented last month on my post about my father - when my niece died unexpectedly. I couldn't help but think of my own father's life dedicated to my mother while I read about your husband's sacrifices to build a safe and predictable life for you. You are blessed beyond measure to be with him.

I am a romantic by nature, but what you describe is 100 times more important than "worldly" romance. I would contend that it is the best example of true romance possible - true charity and unconditional love.

I have a feeling that you feel for Dave what my other niece feels for her father in the pictures from my latest post. You wondered when it was that you ever felt that way, and I wonder if you feel that way on the inside for Dave more often than you realize.

Papa D said...

Oops, that second comment was Papa.

ANTSYLLI said...

Romance IS over-rated. Flowers fade, dinner at the restaurant adds unwanted weight, weekend getaways have to end. When everything is said and done, you are left with each other and if there is nothing more than romantic interludes the relationship will never last. Security, love and acceptance are the true building blocks of any relationship. I will take a boring evening with my sweetheart over the flowers and candy any day of the week. You and David are very blessed to have each other. Of that I am certain.

Steve and Jamie said...

Thank you, Patty. That was beautiful.

I agree 100% with Sylvia.

carrie said...

you're reading my autobiography?

it's great you can recognize and count your blessings. i had a simular epiphany about my husband some years back. we speak and express our love in many different ways.

chelle said...

What great comments. And I too was thinking about how David is towards you knowing some of what you two have gone through. The fact that he is still with you, still smiling, and obviously more in love with you speaks much louder than "romantic acts". A lot of men would of ran away when their wife was too "needy". And I know, having suffered with a lot of depression and neediness myself, how blessed I am. The way you two are is romantic to me!
I have always thought you two were made for each other and very much in love. Can you get more romantic than that?!? I don't think so!

Mama D said...

I like Chelle's last paragraph! That succinctly says it all! Yay for love and romance of the enduring kind!!

Leslie said...

One of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies says, "You've tricked something out of that brain of yours that you call 'romance'".
You and David definitely have a beautiful romance all your own. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into it!