Thursday, July 28, 2011

Happy Couples Change

We all change. Happy couples have the special challenge of managing their individual changes in ways that are sensitive to the other's willingness, readiness, and/or desire to change too.

Why does one have to change just because the other does? They don't … except they DO.

Here's a one-sentence tutorial: As a two-human-system, one member of a couple will, no choice, affect the other whether they intentionally try to or not. Here's a one-sentence example (which might sound familiar since it grew out of a story in What Happy Couples Do): shifting from the rather flat "Oh, hi" or silence when your spouse walks in the end-of-the-day door to "Hello o' beautiful spouse of mine! How was your day?" … the dynamic changes even though only one of you changed your greeting. Get it?

For a real-time example: A change we're making in our house and marriage - right now - is shifting from pretty darn healthy eating to pretty-crazy-super-clean-eating. Evidence: A shot of our newly-stocked all-organic-grains/nuts/fruits pantry and the mountain of goodness on our counter after our CSA arrived the other day:

(NOTE: don't hate me because I have a label-maker).

Back to the change. We are, for sure, 1) getting older, 2) getting smarter (about food and the environment), and 3) did I mention we're getting older? Oh, and then there's 4) we really like being a couple and raising our two cool kids, so we'd like to do it for a really-lot longer. Four great reasons to change - together.

While I (Carol) am typically at the helm of the food ship in our house, past attempts to significantly change our family's eating patterns have been met with one or all of: "GROSS! Mom! You expect us to actually eat that?" and/or "Honey, how much does organic milk cost?" and/or "Can't we just have tater tots this one special night?" (No! That is GROSS.)

This time, as we shift to as much local, seasonal, dark and leafy, high-nutrient clean foods, my spouse has been fully on board. He even likes the kale-spinach smoothies (thanks for the recipe, neighbor pal Deborah). Crazy what 20 years of marriage will do! And how much happier and relationship-ly healthy it is when two people can change simultaneously.

P.S. 2 points if you can, without re-reading this blog, guess how many times I wrote the word "change" in this blog post? There just isn't a good synonym in this context. Oh, and 3 points if you happened to have noticed the Happy Couple Company very hip diner mugs and wine/juice glasses in the background of the veggie photo. Not intentional. But I love it when that happens.


emily b said...

I DID notice the mugs!

I need to take a cue from you and start eating better. There have been too many noodle boxes and mini pizzas consumed by yours truly. It's just so much easier and faster...but it's taking a toll on my body.

Thanks for the inspiration to eat healthier! (Though if I had your amazing kitchen, I feel like I would spend lots more time in it...)

franky said...
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Grace said...

Carol, I saw you on the MN news. You looked SO CUTE! Eeek!

Carol Bruess and Anna Kudak said...

Aw, "GRACE," you're too kind. I actually was a wreck (sweaty, greasy, hot, tired ... but threw on a dress and must have fooled at least one viewer!)

Hope you are well?!

Nick Jacobs said...

I'm always on the lookout for cheap airline tickets so my wife and I can get some alone time in a romantic location. It makes all the difference in the world to our relationship to get away and have some real one on one time!