My friend Tina has one of those second marriages that’s all lovey dovey. You know the ones they are constantly holding hands, whispering, giggling, always together. He even surprised her at the door one day wearing nothing but a feather duster.
One day Tina blustered into work all pissed off. She said that Pete, who works out of the house, was supposed to be at a meeting yesterday when she got home. She was really happy the whole drive home picturing having the house to herself. All she wanted was to put on some music, cook and have a glass of wine. Maybe she would call her son or a friend. But she just wanted to the house to herself.
Excitedly she turned the corner. What. WHAT! His truck was in the driveway. “I was so damned mad when I saw it. This was supposed to be my time. He wasn’t supposed to be there. I was thinking about having this all day.”
We were silent until we burst out laughing — this unfortunately pissed Tina off more.
“C’mon Tina — we totally get that you wanted the house to yourself but you two are always so freaking lovely dovey. Are you are really this mad over this?”
She was. She explained, “look I was a single mother for so long I just never thought I would find anyone else that I would actually want to marry. I never spent much time thinking about it. Then I did and it was — well, it still is magic and it’s great. But he is always there I need a couple hours to myself.” She was in tears.
Really — they really are the couple that is ALWAYS together. While Tina like it most of the time it was too much and she wasn’t sure how to tell him.
Once the rest of us understood that Tina really was upset and didn’t know how to have this conversation advice poured out. The common theme — Tell him. Just tell him. Could he go out one night a week — even for a couple hours so she could have the house to herself.
Ok I’m not going to say that the conversation went really well — that Pete hugged her, they cried, they made love and then scheduled his 1st night out with the boys.
It didn’t go that smooth. Pete didn’t get it. There were hurt feelings, a bit of drama, but begrudgingly he agreed.
The 1st time they tried it well Tina said it was ok but she was really guilty and Pete encouraged that guilt by sulking. But we told Tina — don’t stop give it a month see how it is after a month of one evening a week to yourself.
After a bumpy start — it worked. Tina got some much needed alone time. Pete hung out with someone besides his wife. Tina loves it now — Pete goes a long with it but I’m betting that after a few more months he will like it a lot better too.
Your personal leadership is about voicing your thoughts, taking care of yourself, and doing things that make you laugh your real laugh.
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Lisa Guida hosts Beach Days for professional women and entrepreneurs that have outgrown their role, company or clients. Together we find creative, natural solutions for your career or business challenges. www.whyleap.com
Originally published at medium.com