A few weeks ago, a buddy of Seth's called in the late hours of the evening, hoping to let off some steam, as well as to ask for some relationship council. This seems to be a common occurrence in the Boyack Household (have I told you that that's my new last name? ;). I cannot tell you how many of Seth's friends think of him as a very wise, and trusted friend. I think this is because Seth knows how to listen, and soundly react to the words being said, making him a wonderful resource for people who are in need of that type of support. I keep telling him he would have made a excellent therapist :)
Anyway, so there Seth was sitting on the couch, discussing with his friend all things love, women, marriage, relationships, etc.
As I was tidying up the house and working on other projects, I heard him say:
"Much of the success Jacy and I have found together has come in our support for one another" followed by, "Well, we've just found it to be crucial to support each other's hopes and dreams and hobbies. And we recognize the importance in the healthy space away from one another that we all need."
After he said this, I began to ponder more about what this meant, and how we have applied these principles in our relationship thus far.
You see, in my former years, I think "support one another" and "space" was something I missed. It seemed that every ounce of my whole life revolved around my husband and my family, and as a result, I lost the desire to do things that I loved, and I also felt threatened if my boyfriend/spouse wanted to participate in activities outside of being with me, or outside the walls of our home.
I remember many times feeling like a business trip was the end of the world. What would I do without him? Or if there was some work or church or service responsibility that would take time away from me for a chunk of time, those hours would drag and drag because I just couldn't wait to have him back so our day/night could begin. Hurry back already! I'm bored!
I felt completely dependent on someone else to provide my fulfillment and happiness.
Well, that all changed when I went through a divorce. For many, many, many nights it was me, myself, and I. Actually, if I do the math, it was about 990 days that I spent alone. Yes, I dated. Yes I spent time with my family. Yes, I had friends and girlfriends to keep me company. But for almost 1,000 days I lived alone; a type of experience will change your life in substantial ways. Time, reflection and solace changes your perspective on things.You better believe that I spent many of those nights in that time, in the sickening quietness of my home, and felt the absolute lowest a person could have felt. There were times when I felt useless and boring and like a total failure. It was in those very lonely hours that something clicked.
I am responsible for me. I can be happy whether or not I have a husband/man in my life. And so, I rediscovered the things I loved to do.
I began spending more time with my son, doing things we loved.
I began playing guitar again.
I began singing again.
I began crafting again.
I began writing more frequently.
I began laughing again and let go of the guilty feelings I felt for having fun, even though my life was blown to smithereens.
And I also began doing new things. New hobbies were being born.
This is when I like to think that the new me, the changed me, the better me blossomed. Because once I was forced to live my life without anyone else in it, I was no longer looking for (or expecting) a man to rescue me and provide a happy life for me. I was finding happiness within me. And then, I was open and ready to find a man who was a "healthy addition" to my life; not a man who was my life. My therapist kept telling me that I'd know when the right kind of man walked into my path; he would be just that "a healthy addition". He wouldn't try to change things. He wouldn't try to take over things. He wouldn't demand that it was his way or the highway. He wouldn't try to control me.
He would love and support me for who and what I am, and he would want to build and create something together WITH me (and, of course, the same mentality would be reciprocated on my end towards him).
I am so very happy to say that thus far, Seth has been a "healthy addition" to my life- and from hearing bits and pieces of the conversation Seth had with his buddy, I think he feels the same (yes, we've talked about it, too, but it's good to hear it from the outside ;)
Seth loves to exercise as it's part of his daily routine. He goes 5-6 days per week and it's usually after work. I enjoy when he goes because I know that the feels better about himself when he does.
Seth is also is a band and plays once per week in a studio for a few hours. When that night of the week rolls around, I am excited for him and plan to do something that I like to do while he's away.
Seth is starting business ventures with his buddies. This takes time and, like any business is, is risky. But it is important to him and so, we figure out the how's and why's of it, and I support his desire to do something like this.
On the flip side, he respects me equally as much.
I have spent hundreds of hours leading The Togetherness Project and Seth has been a silent partner in that, every step of the way.
When I have spoken at things, or been at conventions, Seth is always helping me prepare.
I love to write on this blog and other places. Seth knows that writing takes time (sometimes time away from him) but he has always been supportive of my passion to write.
I enjoy doing things outside of the home with my girlfriends, and Seth realizes that he is responsible for dinner and to entertain he and the Little Dude.
There is no begrudging attitude.
There is no resentment.
We are healthy additions.
And when two healthy additions come together, we believe that this is where the most love, understanding, and fulfillment can flourish. Because then, the mundane, everyday, stuff becomes more manageable. And it actually becomes more enjoyable. Because not only are you continually progressing in your passions, but you are building a happy family with, a stable and safe home with, and relationships that are genuine and sincere with someone who supports and loves you for everything you are and is equally as fulfilled on a personal level. And between the two of us, we have found that when we are both fulfilled (and when we have the space that every single one of us needs), our relationship soars.
We will both be the first to say that we do not dread business trips. In fact, we both enjoy the time apart. We are excited for and support the nights when one of us has something going on without the other.
I am not basing my life on him; he is not basing his life on me.
We're a team. We play on the same field. We both have the same end goals. We absolutely cherish our time together, we recognize the need for, and enjoy!, our time apart, but, most importantly, we're both working on building happiness on an individual level, so that we can mesh that happiness into one big giant ball where we can be better spouses, parents, friends, neighbors and human beings.
*THOUGHTS? I'd love to hear if you agree or not. Do you base your happiness on others?