Posted by: Kate | October 24, 2008

State of the Relationship Address

Do other couples occasionally find themselves in the midst of a four-hour conversation about their relationship, their personalities, their worldviews, their parenting philosophies, and so on, and so forth, when all they really intended was to drop a quick, “Hey, I really didn’t like what you said,” or is that a special gift that Willem and I, two of the world’s great overthinkers, share?

At one point, I compared myself to Marilyn Monroe singing to John F. Kennedy, Jr.  At another point, he compared himself to Dwight D. Eisenhower on D-Day.  Both times, it made perfect sense, in context, but now it makes me snort a little bit.

Given our history, our relationship is always going to be a very conscious and deliberate process; we didn’t get to just fall in love and get married and have babies and glide along on our expectations.  Not to imply that people who do that have it easy, or even easier – just that we’ve always faced the likelihood that eventually our relationship would crumble or perhaps explode, so there have been a lot of these sort of in-depth explorations of the way things are.  A sort of metarelationship process, thinking about how we think about our relationship.

It sounds like a joke, really: What do you get when a mathematician marries a psychologist?

But, hours and millions of words later (the mathematician just cringed, but the psychologist is more concerned about how many words it felt like), we’ve reached an accord, and all is right with the world.

Until next time.


  1. No can’t say we do that…but I married an action man…so I see him trying to be more physical in fixing things. Unfortunately there is more to it in my mind and he has a hard time grasping that. He suggests an actual action and I usually don’t agree we cetainly have our own tug-of-war with conflict resolution but we seem to be figuring out (after 7 1/2 years of being married you would think it would have happened a bit faster and easier.)

  2. Yes, other couples do have those sorts of conversations. Although, in my case, I’m usually the one talking and Shane mostly listens, occasionally interjecting his thoughts. We don’t often argue, so usually the conversations happen as a reaction to problems that other couples we know are having. I think the communication is a good thing, even if it sometimes seems excessive. I have seen what a lack of communication can do to a relationship, and I don’t ever want that to happen to us.

  3. I’m just glad to hear you are talking, which is more than I could get my ex to do. I think it’s healthy that you understand each other’s comparisons. And the fact that you can talk so long without someone walking away fuming or in tears is pretty amazing. I’d say you are doing well.

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