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"Hey Darlin', want to drive down to the beach and take a walk?"

"Not really," he says keeping his eyes focused on the sports section.

"It is a beautiful afternoon and it will be cooler down there," she says hopefully.

"Too much traffic and it will be a problem finding parking," he says still focused on the sports section.

I used to allow scenarios like this to frustrate me. Feeling like my desires were being disregarded, I would feel anger somewhere in my belly and rather than deal with it, I would store it in some handy dandy inner receptacle, suck up my disappointment and withdraw from my partner emotionally. Hardly the pathway to a loving relationship.

Now I handle things differently. As much as I enjoy going places with my man...and I do, I even like going to Walgreens with him, I am starting to go more places alone and loving it! Yesterday, I took my little self right down to the ocean and enjoyed a beach walk...alone. I was alone with my thoughts and delighted with the people watching.

When I got home, I told him how much fun I had and how beautiful the ocean was. He asked about the parking and I told him it took a little time to find my spot, but not bad. He said "I don't like the beach in the summer, it is too crowded. I prefer to go down there in the winter." I said, "I like winter too, but it was fun watching all the different people enjoying the day."

In my first marriage, I didn't make the choice to do fun things on my own. If he didn't want to go, then I didn't do it. Slowly but surely, I built up some heavy duty resentment. I don't know where I got the idea that a couple has to do everything together, but a part of me sure believed that was true.

These days my man and I enjoy our separate interests. If he is not up for something that I want us to do together, it doesn't stop me from doing it myself. We do share beach walking from time to time and I love the hand holding romance of that, but you know what? The power and majesty of the ocean and the quietness of my thoughts when alone are pretty magnificent too.

When we met up at the end of the day, we went to Home Depot together to buy some supplies. Holding hands as we walked from the parking lot was sweet too, the view was just a bit more mundane!

I will keep inviting him to do things I want to do as a couple but I am not going to let his preferences keep me from having fun on my own! If I feel disappointed, that's ok, I can find ways to tell him that. I find that just saying, "I need some Larry time" almost always opens him to me.

Learning to enjoy my own company,

Catherine

***Are you out of tune with your man? Did he used to be in to you but now you are not so sure? Were you sure he was your soul mate and now you are thinking, "What was I thinking?"

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