Shoes and I were having a discussion yesterday about marriage:  what we were afraid of, what we like, what's hard.

And I said, "I would say you're probably my best friend, for all intents and purposes."
And he said, "What!  No way.  We are not best friends."

What I know about Shoes is that sometimes a little exploring is necessary - he's incredibly bright.  Not incredibly demonstrative or affective, but sharp.  And this is what Shoes said,

"The marriage relationship is completely separate from a friend relationship.  I don't hang out with my friends all the time - I eventually want them to go home.  I don't take into account their opinion for major life decisions.  I accept support from them ... sometimes, but sometimes I just want to figure it out on my own.  That doesn't describe the relationship we have.  We are here, with each other, in each other's space, for the majority of our time together.  We take into account what the other person feels and thinks all the time.  I run almost everything by you,  because I always care what you think - it always matters.  It's not better or worse than a friendship - it's just an entirely different ball game."

Shoes and I had an in person relationship for 8 months and a long distance relationship for three years.  Right after I graduated with my Master's, I moved to rural E WA and we got married.  Our relationship is different, and it always, always serves to remind  me that all relationships are incredibly different and incredibly filled with idiosyncratic meaning.

I had a couples' counseling session this morning that was incredibly challenging for me as a therapist on almost every level.  Without going into too much detail, I almost gave feedback that was completely off base.  Right before I gave the feedback, one of the partners contributed something that clarified the issue greatly, and I thought to myself, "I had it wrong.  I was assuming, and it was just dead wrong."

We think we know.  We think we know people, we think we know relationships, we think we know behavior and motivation.  We think we know.  We just don't know.  This week has been an excellent reminder in avoiding making assumptions and to ask questions.

People surprise me always.  Even after working with families for 13 years, people always surprise me.  Including clients.  Including my husband.  Including myself.


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