Mel and I have been married for 11 years, and during that time I have become very comfortable around her in ways I never expected. There is something to be said about keeping your cards close, but I feel like I have no secrets from my wife. Here are a few examples.
Be 100% comfortable naked: A few weeks ago I had a vasectomy. There were three fully dressed people in the room, and there I was with no pants on. I felt horribly uncomfortable. I feel the same way when I’m changing in the locker room. I haven’t reached that “I don’t give a damn” stage that a lot of older people reach. You know… the ones that strut around the locker room naked. But after 11 years together, Mel and I just get naked. It’s not always sexual. Most of the time it’s simply for changing and showering… that sort of thing. Sometimes I scratch while naked. Sometimes I ask her to look at a mole or a pimple in private places to see if it’s really cancer. And while this all sounds gross and un-sexy, there is something really wonderful about being so comfortable around someone that clothes don’t matter. There are no secrets, and there is no shame. It’s liberating.
Use the toilet: This applies to going number one and only sort of for number two. It’s gotten to the point where Mel and I will just continue a conversation while one is going potty. Rarely is there a missed beat. Sometimes we turn our backs. However, we haven’t fully gotten over the number two barrier yet. There have been accidents: one walking in on the other. And sometimes we’ve handed the other a roll of toilet paper. But ultimately we have an unwritten rule: don’t poop while I’m in the room. I have to assume there are couples out there that don’t miss a beat when one or the other poops. And maybe, once I’m that old dude, naked in the locker room, Mel and I will be there. But there is part of me that really hopes that we don’t. Ever. Get there.
Cry: This is not to say that I haven’t cried in front of someone. I have. But I’ve never REALLY cried in front of someone like I have my wife. When my grandmother died, Mel and I were still dating. We were talking about getting married at the time. My grandmother raised me from 12-18, so it felt like losing a mother. We were in my pickup. Mel was driving me home, and I just started bawling. Loud and hard. I’d never felt comfortable enough in front of someone to just let go. To not hold anything back. To not worry about how people were going to see me, or think less of me, and just cry. And you know what? She didn’t judge me at all. She just put her hand in mine.
Talk about the future: When Mel and I first got married I didn’t like to talk about my future because I didn’t really feel like I had one. I’d been working at a hardware store. I didn’t know how to type and I’d barely graduated from high school. When people asked me about my future plans, I shrugged because I felt like whatever my plans were, if I told them to someone, and didn’t achieve them, then they’d really know how big of a failure I was. But Mel, she saw something in me. Or perhaps she just really wanted to see something. And so she’d ask me what I was planning to do, and I’d tell her. What I wanted has changed over the years, but she still asks, and insists, and tries to help me accomplish and define my dreams.
Fail: I’ve failed a lot over the past 11 years. I’ve failed at everything from college exams, to job interviews, to fixing the sink. Many of my failures I’d never tell anyone about. However, Mel knows. Every time I’ve failed she’s been right there with me. This is not to say that I go out of my way to fail. But I feel comfort in knowing that if I do fail, I can do it in front of Mel and we will work through it together.
What have you done in front of your partner that you’ve never done in front of another person?