Saturday, February 23, 2013

It isn't hard if it's done right

A week or so ago, I got brave on Facebook and did a status about BJ.
"I never thought it was possible to enjoy being with another person this much. I always thought love was work. This love doesn't feel like work at all."
People who don't know me very well, and don't know Todd at all, and have no idea what I am really talking about said things like, "That's because it is new." or "I give it a month."

Our love and friendship aren't new. Me admitting I love him, and I like being with him, and letting myself be comfortable with the idea that he also loves me - those things are new. Other people defining us as a couple and not trying to convince them otherwise, that is VERY new.

But I've loved him for many years.
My relationship/friendship/whateverthehellyouwanttocallit with BJ doesn't feel like work.
Jeff wrote a blog post about his relationship with his wife, and why he believes marriage isn't work.

He said some things that I have felt, but haven't been able to find the words.

It isn't hard to spend time with BJ. It isn't hard to go fishing. It isn't hard to stay up late working. It isn't hard to listen to him share his thoughts. It isn't hard to hold him when he's crying. It isn't hard to let him hold me when I am sad. It isn't hard to share myself with him. It isn't hard to tell him when I disagree with him. It isn't hard when he disagrees with me.

A few days ago there was an article in the Salt Lake Tribune about what happens when one spouse loses faith (or gains it). There was a quote that really resonated with me.
 "More than likely you divorce because one or both of you couldn’t tell the difference between control and love."
I have been in relationships and friendships that felt like work... and do you know WHY they felt like work? I was trying to control them. I was trying to change them.

I thought it was my job to reform them. Get them to wear a white shirt and tie to church. To go to church. To treat me nice. To get a job. To exercise. To eat different. To go to therapy. To date the "right" person. To stop dating that person. To change their haircut. To stop telling certain jokes.

I had a list of things that I thought other people should do... and when I was trying to change the other person, our relationship FELT like work. It was hard. It was not fun.

In the past few years, I've learned more about me. I've learned about healthy relationships. I know the difference between love and control.

I can say I love BJ, because I have no desire to control or change him. I love who he is. I love the way he treats me. I love spending time with him. I love working, fishing, playing, laughing, crying, talking. I appreciate who he is. I also feel loved by him. He doesn't try to change me. He loves the way I treat him. He loves spending time with me. He appreciates me.

I am in the process of discovering lots of amazing things...
And I just think that when love is done right, it isn't hard, and it doesn't feel like work.
Like Jeff said,
"If you met a painter who truly loves to paint, and you see a magnificent painting they have created.  Do you think they will talk about how hard it was to paint?

Will a car enthusiast talk about how hard it was to restore that classic vehicle?

Will someone who loves photography talk about how hard it was to take that amazing picture?

I don't think so.  If you truly love something, you give it your all.  And you never think it was that hard, because you would have spent the time anyway."


  1. I'm glad I wrote something that resonated with you. That blog post had been forming in my mind for a long time. Every time someone said something about how difficult marriage is, it helped form those thoughts more concretely.

    1. And I like what you said about control. I think too many people try to control their partners (and other people). It's much happier for both parties if you're able to love each other for who they are and not try to change or control each other.