Ms Betterhome

Gardens & relationships
October 18, 2009, 10:17 pm
Filed under: gardening, love & relationships, politics | Tags: , ,

Our friends/neighbours visited yesterday, and V, a keen gardener herself, complimented my container garden. I felt strangely proud.

My partner joined in the conversation, explaining how I’d gleaned most of the pots, & built the garden up slowly. I could tell he was proud, too. He was sceptical of the whole garden  thing at first (he was raised on suburban lawns), but has started saying things like “we should get a water tanks as soon as possible when we move”, and “do you like those (indicating pre-fab planters on TV gardening show), or would you rather build up your raised bed with sleepers?”. The most exciting statement this week was “I’d like a lime tree. When we buy a house, I think we should put the fruit trees  [note the plural!] in the front yard”. My heart was going pitter-pat!

One of the joys of this relationship has been way we’ve addressed our differences with patience & respect. When I was (much) younger, I used to believe that disagreement or strong differing views meant incompatibility. After a couple of nasty ‘divorces’, I’ve changed my views. Mr B & I were introduced (by V, as it happens) at a party, and got chatting instantly. He asked me out within minutes of meeting me, I said yes, it proceeded from there. We knew from the start that we were very different – so different that if we were reading each other’s online profiles, we would both say “hmm, cute, but it would never work”. (If you are all familiar with the show Dharma & Greg, that’s the cartoon version of us).

In actual fact, being so different has meant that we have to communicate very clearly, and have built an immense amont of goodwill & empathy towards each other through working out our disagreements. We made this easier by taking things relatively slow, too, in that we ‘dated’ for four years before we shacked up. (I should make it clear that taking it slow did not include the sexual part of our relationship…there was instant chemistry, & sex on the first date – sorry, Rules Girls). We do have many key things in common ie neither of us want kids, both of us are ‘savers’ rather than ‘spenders’, we both have good relationships with our families of origin. I certainly don’t underestimate the importance of agreeing on this stuff.

But we have gained a lot from our differences, in that we  have a real trust in our ability to work things through in all kinds of situations, without feeling that we had to force the other person to see the world through our eyes. Because neither of us demands that from the other, we are free to be curious about why the other partner sees the world the way he/she does, and so we are open to understanding their point of view.

So while I’m overjoyed that Mr B has moved from loving lawns to advocating edible landscaping over the course of 9 months, I’m not surprised. He still thinks I’m a crazy hippy, of course, but that’s fine.


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