Clapton sings the blues

My husband Ty loves ‘The Blues’. We often squabble over his choice of Sirius radio stations in the car as he listens almost exclusively to BB Kings Bluesville with a little Fox News for imbalance. Many great artists are deeply rooted in blues guitar, and Eric Clapton is no exception. We were excited to attend his concert here in Fort Lauderdale.

Our anticipation usually lends itself to early arrival, and we sat and talked while the seats around us slowly filled.

A group of friends milled around in the row in front of us, four couples in their late forties, figuring out which couple had to move to the odd two seats next to me. It took but five minutes for me to notice that the couple next to me were the ones who generally provided the entertainment for the group.

This husband and wife fought so loudly that I could clearly hear them over the music and they did not stop until the encore song.

Think of the friends you have who provide the public drama that the rest of you talk about. If you don’t have a couple like that in your circle of friends – that couple may be you.

Not everyone is in the right relationship.Since I have written so often and openly about my husband and our life together in my book and online accounts, people ask my opinion about marriage after weight loss surgery. I have a pat answer that if you have a good relationship before bariatric surgery, it will do well after or even get better.

However, if you have a bad relationship – one that is not built on sharing and mutual respect, it gets much worse. If before your bariatric surgery you are the couple who fights during the Eric Clapton concert, you will continue to provide those around you with a benchmark for a bad marriage that makes them feel much better about what is going on in their house.

After weight loss surgery we are often faced with relationship issues. Without weight loss surgery we are often faced with relationship issues.

Weight loss provides yet another change that stresses either the ability or inability for the relationship to adjust or move. Change is simply representative of the many facets of life. If there is a commitment between two partners to move forward in life together, they have a commitment to change: change in self, change in the other, change in relationship.

I think many people have the misnomer that people grow together – nope, we all grow separately, but the growth needs to keep us in the same zone as our spouse. That is what a marriage is all about. That is where the mutual respect comes in. If we all moved as we please without regard to the other person – that is called being single and uncommitted, and that is fine too.

Weight loss surgery itself does not change a marriage. It may change the dynamic but not what is at the core of the two people.

My husband Ty and I have been together since 1982 – I met him when I was just twenty one years old. We have an age difference of twenty three years. (I can hear you doing the math!) We have always had periods of significant change as we have moved through these years.

This pattern has continued over these ten years since my weight loss surgery, but we have always shared a deep love.

Any person in a relationship who tells you that their life is all cake and roses is not being honest with you. The difference though in couples who are happy is in the way that they deal with change.

At one point things going on in our life were just too great and unfamiliar for us to deal with on our own. We have worked through a period of serious adjustment with the help of a couples therapist. It is not unlike the television show ‘The Marriage Ref’. Two sides, both think they are right and it’s the OTHER PERSON who needs to change. Our therapist holds up a big mirror to both of us and opens up a window into motivation for words and actions. Once we remove the conclusions we have jumped to and the things we have assumed, we often find out we agree.

What I have learned is that simply understanding the rationale of other person can do more for a relationship than all the righteousness in the world. Its easy to place blame. It is hard to hold up the mirror and take responsibility for your own participation. Its tough to see your actions from where your spouse stands. Being right isn’t the end – being wrong isn’t the end. Its how you move on and what comes next.

Those of you who have good marriages with people you have a bond with will understand what I mean. Those of you who had or have bad marriages – I hope you find happiness to share with another soul one day as its a wonderful thing.