Monday, February 7, 2011

Cabana Boys are from Mars, their wives are from Venus

Many have read the classic book about relationships - Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  I've learned a lot from that one.  We also read one before we got the DIAGNOSIS about attachment - which had as its main point for guys the need to show your own vulnerability once in a while.  Now I'm no psychologist, but after 23 years of marriage and two kids and a lot of work and reading (and counseling and advice from my dear wife), I think I've learned a thing or two. So it's helped when stepping into this whole new situation.

For one, now we hardly ever argue now - hahahaha.  Most of the things we'd get in a snit over now seem pretty trivial in the scheme of things.  And as a true Cabana Boy - you've got to step up and provide the love and emotional support needed - aside from all the administrative matters, such as appointments, prescriptions, care of the wounded after surgery or treatment. So arguing shouldn't be in the DNA of a Cabana Boy.  But problem solving should be.  But if it's 24x7 that's a problem.

One piece of advice, something I've recognized in me, and which I've worked hard to address (with some satisfactory feedback from the main gal), is to recognize when it's time to be in problem solving mode and when it's time to simply hold her or listen (preferably both). There are plenty of times during the cancer treatment journey when you come to forks in the road (treatment options, scan results, alternative approaches, etc.).  Don't pick that fork up and always problem solve! It's good to do.  But you earn a PhD. through knowing the right time to do this and when it's simply better to hold her and be empathetic and supportive. There aren't always answers, or obvious ones.  At times, even if there is an answer, it may not be what she needs just then.  It may be far better to just hold her.

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