If you haven't, you should take a look: Forty Days of Dating. Fascinating, isn't it? I was totally sucked in. I've been thinking a lot about relationships in general (new project), about the damage we do to one another and to ourselves, about what is forgivable and what is not, about how navigating these relationship questions ultimately teaches us about ourselves. I think it's interesting that we often spend the first years of a relationship working through the big obvious things, and all those big obvious things are variations on the question "which one of us has the power here?"
Obviously, in my relationship, it's me. You can tell because my husband has taken to calling me Mrs. David Kay which would be kind of adorable in that last desperate grasp at the patriarchy way if it wasn't so fucking annoying. He kind of laughs when he does it too, and he looks very much like my children do when they try to call me by my first name--kind of thrilled with the power and also a little bit terrified that they're going too far. Basically, what I'm saying is that I'm married to a six year old.
Anyway, it turns out that the really difficult work comes with the smaller questions, which all basically boil down to "why haven't you changed this about yourself when you know how much I hate it?" And these are the questions that never really go away, and the really interesting thing is how we deal with it when we finally realize that.
I think what ultimately fascinated me so much about this Forty Days experiment is how the compressed, artificial nature of it ultimately lead to a real experience. Or at least one that looks real. At least one in which they're asking the same questions we're all asking in our relationships. And in the end, aren't our relationships experiments too?
(Also, I'd like to just add that David read this post and laughed a little, but he was like, "Yeah, go ahead. Post it." This basically translates as "I'm not afraid of you saying you have all the power. I'm fine with it. This is how much power I have." He's bluffing.)