Friday morning, as we’re standing in the kitchen, Megan lets me know she’ll be wearing heels on our dinner date that night. Instantly she sees an imaginary flag being thrown to stop the play.
Let me clarify, Megan is beautiful and looks stunning in anything, especially heels. But what the term “heels” implies, is I will be expected to dress accordingly, and that will not include converse, jeans or anything resembling comfort.
My default reaction is dread. Getting uncomfortable isn’t high on my joy list. This Friday, however, I made the decision to try something different, instead of playing the role of the complaining husband I chose to ask a few questions.
Making sure to phrase the question so Megan knew I wanted to truly understand, I simply asked what it meant to her when she got dressed up, why was it important?
Sitting down on the stool in our kitchen, Megan explained that she wanted to feel pretty, and wearing a nice dress and amazing shoes made her feel that way.
She also said that because she’s a professional photographer she is constantly shooting beautiful events, dinners, and parties and wants to experience the same beauty she sees others enjoying through her lens.
Understanding the why behind Megan’s desire made it not only easy, but actually fun to embrace. I decided to go buy a pair of cool dress shoes, picking out a pair with funky blue laces.
I was instantly looking forward to our night.
Comfortably sitting on the couch with my laptop securely on my lap, I finish typing my name, address and credit card number. With a slight pause, I click the Submit button. Just like that, It’s confirmed, in two weeks I’ll be taking a 3-day course that will lead to getting my motorcycle license.
My father-in-law George has a few vintage motorcycles and the thought of us riding up the Sonoma Coast, stopping at a seaside cafe and having conversations that seem to happen best on two wheels has inspired me to act.
From 3rd-6th grade, I rode my bike to school almost every day, or at least every day I decided to go. Outside my normal path to school was a place I called heaven, otherwise known as the local Yamaha dealer. At least once a week I would take a detour on the way home from school and visit the Yamaha shop, they always had cool stickers I could put on my bike.
After digging through the old sticker box, I’d walk the long row of motorcycles, smelling the new rubber tires, and putting my little hand on the throttle.
I’m 46, and up until now, I haven’t fulfilled the dream of owning a street bike. I’ve had several dirt bikes over the years and, to be honest, based on my decision-making when it came to speed, it’s probably best I avoided the street bike desires of my youth.
Getting my motorcycle license has a slightly bigger impact than Megan wanting to wear heels to dinner, I get that.
Fortunately, Megan has been encouraging and supportive even though me riding a motorcycle scares her. The reason, she can see the side of me that needs adventure. She also understands the relationship aspects that come into play for me when riding with close friends and family, relationships that have been missing in my life.
When my questions out number my statements by at least 3-to-1, I find the conversations with my family to be more meaningful and productive.
Expecting our spouses to want the same things for the same reasons is the first step down a long and bumpy road. I’m a slow learner, but understanding why something is important to my wife or kids is a much better direction to take if having a long happy relationship is my goal.
Helping each other dream and strive towards becoming the best version of ourselves has served us well in our marriage, even when it’s uncomfortable. With that said, it’s still much easier to type this than actually do this, but the doing is all that counts.
This Week’s Podcast
Listen in as Mike Dillard talks with Alison Armstrong about relationships. There are several great tips on how to get better and be happier!
For more info on Mike Dillard and the Self Made Man visit his iTunes page. Be sure to check out other episodes and subscribe to Mike’s Podcast if you connect with him. Also, make sure to leave a rating and a comment in iTunes, so Mike feels the love.