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Monday, 9 February 2015

The grass is always greener....



We went to the Pop Art exhibition on the weekend, and while I love Warhol and Lichtenstein, when I saw their works on display, I felt a little 'meh' and moved on quickly. I was more taken with the works unknown to me in the European room and the Australian room. I said to my partner later, I thought it was because I'd seen the famous pieces so much previously, they'd lost their impact. They no longer caused a reaction or even engagement. The less famous works made me look and think, and caused immediate reactions.

This is a little like marriage and relationships. After years, there is a danger of neglecting our partner. We see them day in and day out. We put all our energy into the work day when they aren't around, come home to collapse on the couch, and cease to really talk. We want to write or read or watch tv, to unwind. This, however, is not good long term, as we risk becoming invisible to each other and that can lead to dangerous territory. For some reason, over time, we become very careless with those we love.

A friend complained that they were driving to a party and her husband was grumpy and didn't want to talk. He then spent all night chatting animatedly to strangers he would never see again, jovial and aiming to please. In the car on the way home he announced he was too tired to talk. She was angry that he seemed to be interested in everyone on the planet except her. "What does that leave me with?"

Like the art, the constant company doesn't make the person less interesting or less valuable, but we need to be aware of our treatment and reaction to it. Make time to ask about their day, take interest in the projects and activities that are coming up. Part of sharing a life together is not necessarily doing everything together, but sharing the experiences none the less. Celebrate the wins, lament the losses, no matter how small and mundane. No one likes to feel invisible. If you know more about what your colleagues are doing, or the events in the lives of your facebook friends than what your partner has on this week, then you are skirting dangerous territory*.

The grass is always greener where you water it.

Linking up with #IMUSTCONFESS with my favourite post for 2015 - I like this one because I like how it evolved from the moment in the art gallery to word. I tossed up between Conversations with Teenagers (which is heartfelt) and Sway (which made me feel so good after writing it)

*I think this also applies to children, especially teenagers. Make time to really connect with their lives. It's tough work, and they aren't always keen to share but the same rules apply.
This post was inspired in part by a story Tegan wrote here for #SunshineSundays

27 comments:

  1. Love that!
    I'm off to water the grass ...
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

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  2. Great post, Lydia, and so true. I'm often wondering if I'm spending enough time with my husband. Am I taking an avid interest in him, is he taking one in me? Am I spending more time with people online that I will never meet rather than spending time with him? I agree we need to continually work on those relationships closest to us. We can't afford to take them for granted. #teamIBOT

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  3. LOVE this and it is something I have been working on very recently. Our marriage is twelve years old, but our relationship is twenty years - a very long time to slip into comfortable invisible. It needs work, always needs work and maybe as the relationship matures it needs more work. Great post xx

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  4. This is so very true and I have seen much evidence of the damage that can be done when people don't 'water' the important relationships. Both with partners and kids, especially as they hit teenage years and we think they don't want our interest. We need to remember that their desire for independence and identity is not a signal for us to stop taking the time be involved and interested. Great post

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  5. Just love this. It's so very true. We are approaching 20 years of marriage this year and it is something I believe is a constant work in progress. I'm also needing to reconnect with the eldest of my three teens and try and appreciate where she & her moods are coming from.

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  6. That is so true. After nearly 30yrs together, it does take work to stay connected.
    Have a wonderful day xox

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  7. Really good 'reminder' post Lydia. It's very easy to slip into that thoughtless mode towards those we love the most. My relationship is only a decade old, we married last week, but my husband works away, so we have to make a huge effort to stay connected and not drift too far emotionally from each other.

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  8. Thanks Lydia - I know I'm guilty of paying scant attention sometimes and being more connected elsewhere. Coming up for our 20th anniversary this year so we must be doing something right, but I think I (and we) need to work on it.

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  9. Thanks Lydia, it's good to get a reminder every now and then, not to take our loves for granted. After quite a few years, it's too easy to just be comfortable, but not a great habit to form.
    And just quietly, it always blows my mind to see Warhol's work and put into perspective what it really consists of. Good marketing maybe?

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  10. Yep, it is so easy to get complacent with people who we see every day. I have to remind Paul that when he gets here in the afternoon, that he is often seeing me at the end of my tether after a full on day, so I am not always in the best mood. So we give each other half an hour to settle in and then we find we are in a better mood.

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  11. oh, I laughed out loud when you compared famous artwork to complacency in marriage! It was so unexpected.

    Thanks for linking this up to #thankfulthursday

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  12. I really needed to read this post! Why are we so careless with the ones we love? Thank you and I will start watering our grass.

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  13. So very true. We should never take the ones we love for granted.

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  14. My husband is a like an Andy Warhol ;-)

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  15. The greatest gift you can give is your time and attention.
    I'm hoping to make it to the Pop Art exhibition before it closes.

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  16. Very wise words and every night at dinner we all talk about our day - I also ask hubby when he gets home. He doesn't ask me because I tell him the second he walks in the door!

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  17. Great post. It's funny because I felt the same way about the Pop art exhibition and I think you've nailed the reason why. Thank you

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  18. So true! I know bring an extrovert, my social side has a tendency to go into overdrive with strangers and I have very left in the tank for those closest to me. I'm trying to fix that

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  19. Wow - you're on the mark! As I read your post I found myself nodding my head. Hubby comes home tired from work, grabs a beer and heads straight to the TV. When I'm tired I like alone time. I write or I read. As an introvert I thrive on quiet time. I think as a couple we do tend to take each other for granted. We've been married 30 years!!

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  20. Mmmhmmm! Now I am feeling somewhat paranoid! I do this a lot and I am so tired lately that we are both slumping like this. Must pull our socks up... Another great thoughtful post.

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  21. This is so true. I sometimes find it really excruciating to sit and listen to my husband talk about work, especially if he is getting all technical about what he has been doing, but I do it because I know it's important to him and so it should be important to me. My favourite thing each evening is to put the girls to bed and then sit on the lounge together and eat dinner, watch TV and just chat. It's great.

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  22. Great reminder. I have been one of those wives that collapse on the couch lately and just don't want to talk. You are right it is important to connect with our partners and not take them for granted. I will ensure I am animated and very enthusiastic to see him tonight when he walks in the door - thank you!

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  23. I love this post. It has made me realise my relationships need some work x

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  24. So true. I can tell when we haven't been communicating enough or putting enough effort in. Although we spend a far bit of time with just us, getting away from home and spending quality time chatting and laughing together is always refreshing. It is a good theory with teens as well.

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  25. This is so very true. Anything worthwhile take effort - thanks for the reminder. Thanks for linking up with Mummy Mondays #TeamMM

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  26. Spot on, Lydia. My husband and I always take the time to chat about eachothers days, what's on our mind, what we're working on. But yes, it's so easy to become passing ships in the night.

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