As I sit back and reflect on his story, I can only imagine the blanket of white snow that covers the night sky. I can see the snow building up and accumulating in a manor that makes operating any vehicle very difficult. I can see her face of concern that lights with curiosity as he offers her a seat on the back of his motorcycle. Winter is different in South Lake Tahoe, as we have seen 5+ feet of snow fall in one night. I know their relationship was defined within that moment. When she asked, “Where are we going?” and he said “Just going down the road.”. Little did she know that, that “road” would lead to 30+ years of marriage and lots of fucking sex.
I have recollected on all of the self help books that I have read, all the articles, all the relationship advice from professionals and nothing compares to lessons I learned from two bikers. Two people that lived within moments that society deems as “inappropriate”. Their brash love has always resonated and after visiting with them again, it is clear that they are real “#relationshipgoals” of 2017. I am so fortunate to have the parents that I have. While they have always supported me, I have found that they have always been my true north. Their love for each other has never wavered, and as I got older, I learned just how important they are to each other. I learned how different my upbringing was compared to others. I had the “pleasure” as a teenager, sleeping in a bedroom that had a wall that collided with theirs. Let me tell you, lots of noises and me pissed off, as I heard “MOTHER, MOTHER, MOTHER” at ungodly hours of the night. I remember being so angry, but today, I am so fucking proud of my parents. They found a way to make their love truly last a life time. I am not talking about staying together for the sake of the children, but truly wanting and choosing each other every night. So let me tell you what makes their love different than anyone I have ever met, and why I am unwilling to settle for anything less.
1, They put their marriage first, before us kids. Man I know I am gunna piss off a lot of people with this advice, but I will say this is probably the most important bit of information I can give to you today. I can tell you after nearly 30 years on this planet, my parents always made me feel loved. I never felt any inadequacies growing up. I never felt resentment or bitterness towards my parents (except at 2am when I vividly had to “hear” them). They made a choice to make their marriage a priority. At the end of the day, when we all grew up and moved out, they knew they had to be in the same household together. I found out later on, that they would frequently head out for a drive that would lead to them being isolated in my elementary school parking lot. Ill spare you more details. What people forget is that their original love for each other was the foundation of my life being created. Without that love, I would have never existed. That love should never go away because a child is born. You have to find time to be together as husband and wife and not just as parents. If you think you can finally “work on your marriage after the kids are grown”, you are going to be building a wall of resentment that will probably never come down.
2. They choose to submit to each other for the greater good of their marriage. As our society turns away from a family nucleus and more towards a need it now self centered agenda, we loose sight of our ability to submit to each other. We ask ourselves “What can I get out of this?” not “What can I give to this?”. Being on a team, means sacrifice. It means you are both working towards a common goal. Learning to compromise is what makes the wheels turn. Finding time for forgiveness at the end of the night when you know you’re right is a submission to your marriage and ego. They had a rule, if one person was working, the other person was taking care of the house. If both were working, they shared taking care of the house. It was not limited to gender roles, but what makes the most sense, as far as contributions to the whole team.
3. Have some good sex. It is awkward to put into writing, that my father who just turned 69, (go figure) has a better sex life than most of my peers. I think it is a little more awkward that I know that. Growing up I remember I had to always knock on the door before I went into my parents bedroom because they choose to sleep in the nude. Studies have now found that this is one of the most intimate things you can do. The benefits greatly impact your sex life and your overall marriage. My father still gets nightly back scratches as they digress their days to each other. Sex has not become a chore, it has become a priority. It is our fundamental and biological code for survival. If you let this slip, don’t wonder why you guys “have become room mates living in the same house”
4. Find common ground. Their passion for motorcycles has been there my entire life. They had shared their biggest passion around 2 wheels and the wind. It is something that is very important to both of them. I am sure they will tell you for different reasons, but they both have strong validation through that passion. It aligns and is congruent with who they are as people. I remember listening to a Tony Robbins interview regarding compatibility and passion/needs in a relationship and the importance of having passions aligned. I then later read an excerpt from his book “Ultimate Relationship Program”, where he goes on to say “This is the bottom-line about compatibility: if you and your partner have one need in common in your top two needs, then an extraordinary relationship is possible. You will still have differences in values, beliefs and rules, but these can be worked with.” Interesting enough he puts more emphasis on having matching needs above values and beliefs. It all comes back to that snowy night of being on the same bike together and choosing to travel down the road as one.
5. Be honest in your communication with your best friend. Learning how to articulate and communicate is one of the hardest things that people struggle with. Thankfully, my mother had 6 older brother and grew up to have all 4 boys, so she was forced to be strong and effectively communicate her point. It also deters from passive aggressive behavior, which is the step child of resentment. Communication is also how you actually talk to your partner. Developing speech patterns that consistently talk down to each other will weaken the foundation. Being able to spend your life with your best friend that you also have sex with is probably the best thing anyone could ever do.
6. Every day touch each other with your hands (and with your words). My mother explains it as “touch and tell each other I love you, every day” and My father puts it as “hold hands in public no matter how old you are” It is a common theme that they resonate with physical connection. These are not just intimate caress under the blankets but the also the assuring touch of protection and safety. Hearing the words “I love you” and it actually meaning something, keeps the kindle of your flame alive.
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