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"You gotta love the crust of a person".

The brilliant and insightful Chris Rock, as most comedians are, said this in one of his comedy routines.

He also wisely said that when you first meet someone, you don't meet him or her, you meet their representative.  How true is that.  He goes on to say that in order to be with a person for a long time, "you've got to love the crust of the person."

This is where the rubber meets the road.

In my early 40's, I met my "soulmate".  A ruggedly handsome spiritual man who "saw" me.  He was a carpenter and I remember thinking as I was getting to know this deep quiet man, "He's a carpenter.  He' so wise...he's just like Jesus!"

There's nothing like falling in love in your 40's, when you finally have an actual idea of who you are.  When the amorphous you of your 20's has solidified into the crystal of self-knowing.  My life became a river of melted butter.

When my husband and I married, we were true romantics.  There were Scottish bagpipers and drummers coming out of the forest, the men were in kilts, and a sideways snow by a clear blue lake melted into the bright sunshine that only a Colorado fall day can provide.

Then reality hit.

"Blending" families...I had 4 teenagers and Nick, a 5-year-old daughter.  The onslaught of reality broke all semblances of perfect harmony and oneness.  We spent the next 6 years, tussling, fighting, protecting, blaming, alienating, and the worst of all...threatening to leave.

Where had that synchronicity gone?  Where was the music?  Where was the happy ending?

A couple of years ago, we took a class on Intimacy in Relationships.  There were 30 of us in attendance.  We were excited and ready to hear all the juicy wonderful things about falling in love that had brought us together.  

The teacher started out by saying, "Intimacy is a series of disillusionments."  There was a collective groan in the class.  He said again, firmly, "Intimacy is a series of disillusionments."

This is not what we wanted to hear and we wanted our money back!

Then we slowly began to learn, that when we could accept our partner's darker sides, the "crust of who they are", as we began to see our own shadow sides...the icy shelf of resentment, disappointment, and blame broke away...making room for deeper acceptance, understanding and most of all compassion.

And ultimately...intimacy.

A wise client once told me, "Expectations are premeditated resentments."

How true.  But the road to get there is one that takes a departure from fairy tales, Hollywood movies and romance novels.  

My husband and I will be married 8 years next month.  In second marriage amounts to about 15.  

Loving ourselves, and loving another is not for the faint of heart, the naïve or the unconscious.

But it's a journey well worth the peaks and valleys and an adventure worthwhile for the children to see.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Sep 23, 2008
    • How true.

      Wonderful article. I think it’s easier the second time around to absorb the “crust of who they are“.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Sep 23, 2008
    • Mary, that article made me stop, really stop, take a deep breath and read it - twice. Then a sense of quiet came over me. It all made perfect sense.

      Thank you

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote Sep 24, 2008
    • Thanks Yana.  And you‘re right—the second time around it’s a profound realization—learned the hard way.

      Chocolatier:  I’m glad you understood what I was saying.  I think many of us resist this idea.  We only need to take a look at ourselves and our own dark sides, that we want our partners to maybe not love, but cut us some slack for.

      Thanks for the comments.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Almostfive0 wrote Sep 25, 2008
    • Mary you are sooooo right!
      I loved when Chris Rock said that.
      I have learned this and am still learning this in my own marriage.
      I think we first have to find and love our own crust before we can appreciate someone else’
      We spend so much time trying to defend ourselves it seems that we forget the other person is no better or worse than we are.  We need to remember that we are all trying to figure it(life) all out.

            Report  Reply

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