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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » The Conclusion: Making Love Out of Nothing at All (A Landmark)

   
Author Topic: The Conclusion: Making Love Out of Nothing at All (A Landmark)
beverly
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Several people after reading Porter and my joint landmark "He Said, She Said" requested the next chapter. I never thought there would be one because there didn't seem to be a story there worth telling. Well, now there is.

This landmark was actually written several months ago for another forum and was partly in response to an insightful, thought-provoking post by Brinestone. Here is that post:

quote:
Not to bring the other thread into this one, but the author of The Five Love Languages has a theory that the first three years of any relationship are the "in love" phase, driven largely by hormones whose purpose is to get a couple to stay together long enough to produce and raise offspring past infancy. He says that the things we do to express our "love" during this phase do not count because they take no effort; our hormones are essentially taking over and making us more affectionate than we normally would be.

It's after this period ends that the potential for real love arises. Many couples don't know that the "in love" phase is supposed to end, so when it does, they think they've fallen out of love with their spouse and become bitter with their marriage (if they stay) or else bail.

Says the author (whose name I can't remember but am too lazy to look up), if we work at making love work past the "in love" phase, we will find even deeper and more lasting joy in our spouse than we could ever imagine. We trade infatuation for love, friendship, and commitment.


If this is true, then love can only enter when infatuation has run its course. Infatuation is really, really fun, it's true, but I personally don't know how much to do with real love it has. At some level, remembering the infatuation stage is what keeps me trying with Jon Boy. In other words, I love him now because I was infatuated with him then. All the things I was infatuated with and excited about when they were new are now things I am familiar with and in love with. The infatuation stage basically told me that here was a guy worth committing to, if that makes sense.

I can totally imagine a couple making a marriage work without that "in love" phase happening; it would just be like they started at about year three or whatever. You would just have to be mature about your expectations, and I think you would have to start with friendship and admiration for one another.

OK, so then I responded to another specific post on that same thread. Here is my post in which I quote that post and then follow it with my own comments:

quote:

Infatuation to me is that overwhelming urge I get to drop my brain on the ground, hand a guy my my self-esteem, my car keys, and my sanity, and then throw myself at his feet and beg for approval.

Unfortunately, the guys whose approval I so desperately crave are rarely ones with whom I could ever actually maintain a healthy, happy relationship. So I've had to tell infatuation to shut up a little. I need to hang onto my car keys, keep my brain firmly in place, and retain possession of my own soul instead of trying to foist it off on someone else. So far, it seems to be working well.

Oh my goodness, this is soooo me.

This is why I chose to marry a man with whom I experienced little infatuation. Most of the infatuation I felt for him happened before we started dating. I have come to realize in retrospect that due to the bizarre nature of our courtship and our very different personalities and approaches to life, I never passed through with Porter what most people call the "being in love" phase. It never happened for me.

You see, while I was a person who craved that feeling when I met him, I had learned to be deeply suspicious of it in myself for the reasons mentioned by ambrosia. Porter had become deeply cynical towards infatuation and romance and had developed very pragmatic attitudes towards relationships.

What I realize now happened with us is that I would try to connect with him in the ways that build feelings of "being in love" with a person, and he would unconsciously deflect those things. This both bothered and fascinated me. It also made our first years of marriage very rough on me, and since I was often unhappy, this affected him as well. I think we did some version of "starting at year-three" that Brinestone mentioned, except that we didn't have the common history of having been infatuated with each other.

On the other hand, while Porter's version of "being in love" is rather different than mine, he had less trouble "being in love" with me in his own way.

Anyway, to say the least, our marriage has had it's challenges. I feel that as we prayed together and apart for the benefit of our marriage, God heard our prayers and worked some deft and lovely miracles for our sakes.

First of all, we began receiving callings together in the church. I have noticed that this does not happen very often. Most married couples have callings that have no relation to each other whatsoever. But with the exception of some minor overlap, we have had callings together for the last 6 years or so. Porter and I taught a Sunday School class together. We were in nursery together. We were Bear Den Leaders together and later the Cub Master and Pack Committee Chair. The first two callings were in one ward, the second two in another.

During this same time, Porter received an excellent job that allowed him to work from the home. This meant that Porter and I were around each other most of the time, even if we might be busy. I had noticed that before this time we, like most couples, didn't see each other all that often. Things had become rather "cool" between us, especially with the birth of our first child and the challenges it brought. I was deeply in love with my baby, but not with my husband. He seemed cool towards me as well. I often thought of him as little more than a roommate that I occasionally had sex with. I spent a lot of this time very depressed, and I think he was depressed as well.

Anyway, we now were forced to deal with each other, to work together, and interact far more than most married couples do. We could not ignore our problems, as Porter would often be tempted to do.

Then a catalyst happened that blessed us even further: a forum called Hatrack. I fell in love with it immediately and spent gross amounts of time there. As a result, Porter became involved himself. The forum got us both talking about things that we wouldn't normally talk about, since Porter doesn't like to talk about anything that makes him uncomfortable, and a lot of things make him uncomfortable. [Wink] We had some marvelous experiences. The forums occasionally resulted in conflict between us, some rather intense. That was the effect of the catalyst, it caused us to interact on a deeper, more intimate level, and therefore brought to the surface the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was glorious. It revolutionized our relationship.

Since I believe in God and that He guides our lives the purposes that best suit us, I believe that we are where we are today (on 6 acres in Oregon, preparing to attempt sustainable farming practices) because we were finally ready for it. It is exciting, and it is an adventure that we are sharing together, building upon a foundation of caring and trust, and balancing each other in our very different strengths and weaknesses. I feel very strongly that Satan tried desperately to derail us from this path and more often than I can count very nearly succeeded. I cannot count the number of times I have been tempted to say words that would've wounded our marriage, possibly beyond repair. Somehow it was a line I never crossed. Not that I think we would've necessarily divorced, but I think we would've suffered a lot more in our marriage and taken a lot longer to arrive where we are today, if we ever arrived.

We didn't have the advantage most couples have of feeling a mutual "in love" and unity from the start. We didn't start out with a "golden age." We had a bizarre and tempestuous courtship that led to a unusual and often difficult marriage relationship, but I feel we have reached a "golden age" now, and for which I am indescribably grateful. I believe that things will only continue to get better and better with each passing year. Passing through this firey furnace has molded and changed me--and honestly, I really needed that. I still marvel at the whole thing and can't help but agree that God works in mysterious ways.

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Telperion the Silver
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That's beautiful Mary!
Yay for Porter and Mary and Hatrack!
[Smile]

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beverly
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Hey, Telp!

I must say, I have a deep sense of gratitude towards Hatrack. [Smile] Thank you!

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stihl1
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I have air supply running through my head now.
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Liz B
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Wow! Thanks for posting that. What a beautiful story.
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rivka
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[Smile]
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erosomniac
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I'm not sure I've found the words to express how that made me feel; I guess I have to leave it at "thank you."
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MightyCow
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Congrats on your success, and may you continue to grow closer together. [Smile]
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Phanto
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How beautiful [Smile] .
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Tante Shvester
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Thanks for the landmark, Bev. Lovely, just lovely.
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Derrell
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[Smile]
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Icarus
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[Smile]
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Jim-Me
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add me to the smiling people [Smile]
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anti_maven
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That is beautiful. More smiles [Smile]

Thanks for sharing.

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Amanecer
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[Smile]
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Annie
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This sounds really odd and fangirlish, but Bev and Porter - you two have become a weird sort of sensible guiding force in my social life. I know very few people with your attitude toward life, and I am very grateful you share it so often and freely. I hope in my future life-altering decisions, I will get a chance to sit around a campfire and hash it out with you two while we cook things on sticks and then listen to a little bit of bluegrass. [Smile]

Domo. Arigato gozaimasu.

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beverly
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Annie: We always knew we were weird. ^_^ I look forward to the next time we sit around the campfire cooking tasty morsels on sticks. [Smile]

All: Funny, this was really awkward to share when I first wrote it several months back, but it was relatively painless to cut and paste it now. I feel a sense of detachment, as though I am reading another person's story. When I share things like this, it is always with the hope that it will offer something meaningful those who hear it.

It is good to be where we are. [Smile]

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MyrddinFyre
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What an interesting story, thanks for sharing [Smile]

Also, I didn't know you were into sustainable agriculture. Kudos to you both!

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beverly
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quote:
Also, I didn't know you were into sustainable agriculture. Kudos to you both!
Oh yeah. [Smile] You ought to see my "Oregon Trail" thread all about us moving to acerage in Oregon. We are gonna get a batch of 25 chicks next week!
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ClaudiaTherese
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I like reading your thoughts on your life, beverly.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Annie, the admiration is mutual.

Also, you were in Japan at the time, but you might be interested in reading this thread about us moving to Oregon.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by beverly:
We are gonna get a batch of 25 chicks next week!

What? I only agreed to two dozen! [Mad]
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rivka
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*too many "just one little chick" jokes!!!*

*head asplodes*

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MyrddinFyre
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quote:
Oh yeah. [Smile] You ought to see my "Oregon Trail" thread all about us moving to acerage in Oregon. We are gonna get a batch of 25 chicks next week!
I'm on so sporadically that I totally missed it! Will definitely check it out [Big Grin]
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El JT de Spang
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Originally posted by beverly:
We are gonna get a batch of 25 chicks next week!

What? I only agreed to two dozen! [Mad]
You just send the extra chick my way. [Wink]

*goes off to look for the eyebrow-waggling smilie*

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beverly
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Heh. [Smile]
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Leonide
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bev, i've always admired you and porter as individuals -- now i admire you as a couple, as well [Smile] what a great post.
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Mrs.M
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I think the kind of love story y'all have is so much more... I don't know, but it warms my heart thinking about it.
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Megan
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Very beautiful. [Smile]
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Farmgirl
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Your post just made me feel good all over, Bev. It is a beautiful and unique relationship that you two have! I pray for many blessings for you in the coming years.

FG
(and Porter - you always order a couple extra to account for possible mortality in transit and adaptation..) [Wink]

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cmc
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That was really beautiful + moving. Got all misty-eyed and everything...

Congratulations on reaching that point and having the grace to realize it.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I think the kind of love story y'all have is so much more...
unlikely to be made into a romantic comedy?
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Uprooted
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Beverly's post made me go look for the archived landmark, which I read at an outlandishly late hour last night. I just came back to this thread and read it today, and I have to say, both are fantastic. Thanks for sharing your story with us -- it adds insight to an ongoing dialogue I've been having with a friend lately.
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beverly
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Thanks for reading the preceeding landmark! I think it really adds more meaning to this one, putting things in context. We have such an unusual story. We have rarely come across romantic stories that remind of us ours, but OSC has written one, the story of how Ender's parents met. [Smile]
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mr_porteiro_head
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Which one of her landmarks did you read? The He Said, She Said one?
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Uprooted
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Which one of her landmarks did you read? The He Said, She Said one?

Yes--and since it took some effort for me to locate it, here's a link in case anyone else wants to read it.

And in going to find the URL, I noticed another landmark by beverly with an intriguing title just above that one -- so maybe I'll read that tomorrow.

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BlackBlade
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This thread only makes me even more sad that something as trivial as Tiffany being sick robbed me of the chance to meet you two. [Frown]

But hey, life is long, and the world is certainly small enough. Heres hoping for a next time.

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beverly
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Awww, sickness is not a trivial matter.

While I am certainly less active on the fora at this time in my life, I still really enjoy being with Hatrackers in person and will seek out future opportunities.

Uprooted: my first two landmarks very much go together. The first is "The Ugly Duckling" (childhood) and I think the second is "Metamorphosis: Love and Learning" (adolescence).

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