My husband and I watched an episode of My Family recently and, as is often the case, the program reminded us a lot of our own married life. Sure the situations are more extreme, but the feelings and challenges are similar. All too often we find ourselves looking at each other thinking how eerily My Family reflects our life together.
In the episode, Ben and Susan head off to a marriage retreat to freshen up their relationship. They struggle with all the exercises they are asked to partake in. One activity they are asked to do is to list ten things they love about each other. They both fail to do this and actually start crossing things off that they have already written down. This was an uncanny episode as, in my Valentine’s Day post, I suggested my readers might try to think of all the things they loved about their partners.
Long term relationships like Ben and Susan’s fall into predictable patterns and often we forget all those things that made us fall in love in the first place. People change, we get bogged down with life, endearing traits aren’t so endearing after 20 years and we notice the annoying things much more than the loving, helpful qualities. I think this is why so many people fall out of love.
But Ben and Susan Harper show us that beneath all the sarcasm and harping, mocking and annoying that goes on in everyday married life there often is a strong thread of love and commitment unpinning the relationship. If we focus on that solid, caring core and think about all there is to love in our partner then that might make the difference between a loving partnership and an endurance test.
If you haven’t already watched My Family, I thoroughly recommend it. Here’s a small sample: ‘My Family’ Clip- Susan for a Bruisin’- Aerobics