How Guys Talk About Love

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How Guys Talk About Love

Michael and I conducted the second session of our workshop for couples last night and it was fantastic. I think we’re learning as much as the participants. It is so inspiring and humbling to witness the love, courage and openness that everyone brings to the group. And sharing this experience with my life partner, Michael, is awesome. Conducting groups and coaching people has been a lifelong dream of his and he is definitely up to the challenge. So, I asked him to write a piece for the blog this week. I’m sure you’ll love it as I do. Makes me think we may have a book in our future together!  

Recently, Nancy and I had a couple over for dinner. Not people we know terribly well, unnamedparticularly the wife whom neither of us had ever met. The husband is a fellow with whom I’ve had some very nice conversations over the years while riding our bicycles.

Several weeks after this warm and congenial dinner, I was talking to the husband while he worked on my bicycle. In the course of the conversation he asked what I was up to lately, and I told him that Nancy and I were conducting a workshop for couples called Imperfect Partners: Making it Work.

In response, my friend, married twenty plus years, thoughtfully remarked that it was quite evident while in our company that not only did Nancy and I get along well, but that we “worked well together.”

It’s true, we do…. But it wasn’t always that way. We’ve come a long way.

In the beginning, we went through a phase that seems to be pretty normal for couples newly in love: The excitement of getting to know each other, the thrill of being so attracted to someone who appears to be “the one,” sex, romance, meeting each other’s families, and finally, some months down the road, the inevitable really getting to know each other. And getting to know ourselves in a committed relationship.

I recall a phrase I heard years ago: “The truth will set you free; but first it will piss you off.”

The truth in this instance is that fostering and maintaining a thriving and manageable relationship requires not just love, but patience, effort, attention, discipline and work. If you’re anything like me, you might think: Not very romantic!

I wanted easy, I wanted spontaneity, I wanted what I wanted, and I wanted Nancy to know it intuitively. She admitted to wanting the same things. We agreed that we both held these expectations in all our previous relationships. It never worked.

Over the course of our relating and loving we have discovered a few things that make our relationship work, that free us from the blocks that prevent intimacy, and help keep the aliveness ever-present.

Communication is the key. Taking the time to sit down face-to-face and let each other know what we’re thinking and feeling is essential. Nothing provides clarity and intimacy like speaking one’s heart and being witnessed by one’s partner.

We affirm each other daily, with a kind word or gesture, a kiss, a hug, a thank you, to acknowledge our gratitude for our partnership and how it nurtures us individually. We take time outs when things get difficult, as they will in any relationship, allowing the heat to subside so that things can be more reasonably discussed. We plan our lives together, taking time to discuss finances, family, fun, sex, and vacations.

We also make sure that we take good care of our individual lives, so that we bring our best selves to the partnership. Sure, we continually turn to each other for support, listening, and guidance, but we don’t expect the other to be our sole source of happiness, nor do we expect that the other can “save” us from whatever individual challenges we face.

Meditation and prayer, separately and together, has become the bedrock of our relationship and a solid foundation on which our loving relationship is built. The practice of being in silence together is incredibly powerful.

All of this has led us to create the Imperfect Partners workshop. It is an acknowledgment of the power of truthful communication, the freedom of discipline, and the gift of a committed, loving partner willing to engage fully and passionately, one day at a time, in deepening and celebrating our commitment. To share this with our larger community is a joy, and only confirms that whatever or whomever we treat with care will always reward us. It is a sacred and adventurous journey.

By | 2016-10-22T08:21:12+00:00 March 27th, 2014|Expect Nothing, Healthy Living|23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Scott March 27, 2014 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    This is a terrific idea! You two are going to help a lot of couples!!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Scott B

    • Michael Levine March 28, 2014 at 2:23 pm - Reply

      Thank YOU, Scott.

  2. Carole B March 27, 2014 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    Thank you Michael for your graceful depiction of your journey into and with your partnership
    You two have made incredible progress. I am glad you can share this with others.
    I hope someday to meet my Mr Imperfect to give me something to rag about!
    BEST, XO

    • Michael Levine March 28, 2014 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      Thanks Carole for you support and kind words, and best of everything on your Imperfect PERFECT journey.

  3. David March 28, 2014 at 12:49 am - Reply

    Love you Both.

    • Michael Levine March 28, 2014 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      Thanks. Love you too!

  4. Margaret March 28, 2014 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Beautifully said. Of course, these are wise words for any relationship. Thanks.

    • Michael Levine March 28, 2014 at 2:26 pm - Reply

      Thanks Margaret!

  5. John B March 28, 2014 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Having known Michael for many years I can attest to the progress he has achieved with Nancy.
    Relationships are never easy, especially in the long terml but Nancy and Michael have wonderful insight in how to make them better.

    • Michael Levine March 28, 2014 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      John, Thanks for your support over the years. You’re a HUGE example for me!

  6. Bari March 28, 2014 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    I can hear your voice in this nicely written piece. Maybe you will write more?

  7. Marie March 28, 2014 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    You Guys!
    This is a wonderful testament & example of the “Real Deal” in relationships!!
    Thank You both for sharing it!

    I wish you continued success in the workshops (which I might be taking down the line!!) & ever deepening success together!!

    All love,
    Marie

    • Nancy March 29, 2014 at 9:36 am - Reply

      Thank you, Marie, for your support and all the wonderful work you do. We’d love to see you in one of our workshops! love, Nancy

  8. amanda March 28, 2014 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    This was wonderful reading and something my fiance and discuss all the time. We agree with all the points you touched on. I also want to say that creating an environment for telling truth is very important also. The truth can be difficult but you have to know you can tell it without being penalized for telling it. You have to allow your mate to experience your truth however they do but realize you can’t control or put an expectation on their reaction. However you must allow them to have it and be able to discuss any feelings about those truths afterwards.

    Great blog!

    Amanda A.

    • Nancy March 29, 2014 at 9:42 am - Reply

      Amanda, I am so happy to know you are in such a loving, open and honest relationship. We all deserve such love. And I know you have such fun together, which is a crucial element in a successful relationship. Much love to you both. Nancy

  9. Jeff March 29, 2014 at 5:34 am - Reply

    Nice piece of reading. I should write, instead of just posting pictures. Hope all is well.

    • Michael Levine March 29, 2014 at 11:02 am - Reply

      Read, write and ride….and post pictures. All have their purpose. Thanks for looking and reading. All the best. Michael

  10. claudio dias March 29, 2014 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    happy to see that you are doing such a important thing in any couple life, my best wish to you both and a lots of luck, all the best. Claudio dias

    • Michael Levine March 29, 2014 at 5:44 pm - Reply

      Thanks Claudio. Good words from a real family man.

  11. Concetta March 29, 2014 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Awesome piece. Yes- book in the future!!

    • Michael Levine March 31, 2014 at 9:38 am - Reply

      Thank you Concetta. You’re a brave soul.

  12. Pete D March 31, 2014 at 7:11 am - Reply

    Amazing to read this. Amazing work. Such an incredible need for this. For intimacy. For not waiting for that fictitious perfect partner, but jumping in whole-heartedly (but grounded with eyes open) now. You and Nancy are such a great couple and example for couples everywhere. Deeply moving work!

    • Michael Levine March 31, 2014 at 9:36 am - Reply

      Pete, This means a lot coming from you. Love from us both…to you both.

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