25 Years

Yes, I know this is supposed to be a pharmacy blog; however, I like to think that understanding your medications is a bit about living.  Living involves many components, of which one primary ingredient is relationships. 

Perhaps you may feel it is a bit of rubbish hearing relationship advice from your pharmacist, albeit virtual pharmacist, but this isn't really advice.  I have been off on a ski holiday for the past week with my wife, had a few discussions, listened to a couple of podcasts, and came to a bit of an understanding.  All I am doing is sharing that bit of understanding with you.

The other night we were lying in bed listening to a podcast together, as we quite commonly do.  This is a really cool thing to do together and I am constantly amazed by the amazing stories told on shows such as The Moth, This American Life, Snap Judgment or The TED Radio Hour.

This particular evening we were listening to The TED Talk show and the discussion for the evening was "How to solve for X".  Not to bore you (or ruin it for you if you haven't listened to the latest episode) with the details, but toward the end of the show was an interview with a mathematician who has created a set of calculations that will help determine the likely compatibility between two individuals.  In addition to this calculation, he also presented a situation that will determine, within 90%, the potential for a couples long term success in a relationship.

The calculations that determine compatibility are interesting; however, are somewhat unrealistic and complicated.  If interested, I would encourage you to listen to the program yourself in order to determine their practical and/or meaningful application in finding your partner. 

The second half of this process, discussing the potential for long term survival of a relationship, is worthy of further investigating.  The gentleman goes on to describe a process whereby he would ask a couple to have a seat in a quiet room together.  He then goes on to ask them to begin a discussion about the most contentious point of their relationship.  The couple needs to bring up and discuss something that has significantly affected their life such as finances, children, fidelity, drugs, family or whatever it may be for them.

The point of this exercise is not to create a battle ground between the two, but rather examine how the two deal with conflict when addressing each other.  Do they get angry, manipulative, aggressive or passive with each other, or do they give each other the time for their portion of the discussion while listening to each other's concerns?

Sounds simple…but it isn't.  The bottom line of this TED Talk is that couples who work through tough issues before going to sleep will have a much greater chance of long term success in their relationship.  Those couples that go to sleep without resolution will get up the next day, put on a reasonable face and continue as if there is no problem.  This practice of denial will lead to resentment, dissatisfaction, and eventual separation.

In the Fall of 1979 my wife and I went on our first date, she was 14 and I had just turned 16.  Over the next 11 years we dated and separated more than once, went to school, got jobs, and generally grew up.  On July 7th, 1990 we married and will soon have been married 25 years.

Over the past 25 years we have had amazing, wonderful times with each other, accompanied with some devastatingly difficult issues to work through.  We both have our own way of expressing our self to each other and we have come to reasonably accept each other's methods. 

Throughout our marriage we have attempted to practice this tool of not going to sleep until we resolve a critical issue.  Sometimes we have had success, other times, not so much.  The critical point is that if the issue is not resolved in some sort of mutual understanding, it is not buried, it will continue to come up and be right in front of us until we somehow work it out.

Here's to another 25 years!

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