I Now Pronounce You

Free Free, Set Them Free -or- Things I’ve Learned, revisited

Posted in Uncategorized by inowpronounceyou on March 10, 2007

Fiance went off to her RE class today at just before 8…and I got up and went out shortly thereafter. I got some caffeine free green tea (cuz I gave up coffee) went to Dupont, and sat on the bench with my thoughts…well, one line of thinking in particular.

All day I’ve had this thing kicking around in my head..this debate. See, earlier this week, KassyK at Caged Bird Sings posted about getting back together with her ex-boyfriend, and how happy she is about it. It was a fabulous post of love lost and rediscovered, and I smiled through the whole thing…

It got me thinking about my own experience in the realm of reconnection. I’ve mentioned before that Fiance and I were apart for 6 months, that we got back together and are where we are now. It also got me thinking about the soft undercurrent of Kassy’s post, which was (and KassyK, if you should read this; forgive me if I’m completely off base) almost an explanation. As if to say you know some people are going to give you a hard time about getting back together with an ex, so be preemptive and let them know that there are reasons, and that you’re happy.

I don’t make this observation as a judgment. I make it out of recognition. I was there. When I got back together with Fiance, there were some people more than ready to give the “Don’t buy the same car twice” speech, and I got preemptive. “I’m happy…we really are better together than apart…I’ve missed her even when I didn’t know I was missing her”

What was rattling around in my thick skull today was…


I know all the arguments. Believe me, I do. It didn’t work once, why would it work the second time?

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Believe me, I know.

Here’s what it looks like from this side of the aisle:

We are a point and click society. How fast is fast enough? It’s NEVER fast enough. If you aren’t 100% JUMP UP AND DOWN satisfied, get your money back. It’s all about ME and what makes ME happy. Get a lawyer and get what’s yours. Sue. Take. Consume.

You know what we aren’t about?





We are a long-term-finance, short-term-reward world. Overnight shipping. We aren’t built to work it out. We’re built to save the receipt and bring it back. We’re built to know that no contract is REALLY binding. We’re built for 30 day guarantees and trial memberships. Travel packs. Buy one get one free.

And I’m not saying that’s ALL bad. But I am saying that we have this mind set and then we’re surprised that our grandparents could stay married, our parents couldn’t, and we can’t even keep a significant other for 4 season in a calendar year. We want it faster, and that includes happiness.

Think about that…

Happiness should come fast and easy.

Now, I am NOT just waxing metaphorically about getting out at the first stubbed toe…I’m also talking about getting IN. We have three dates, get physical, and suddenly we’re vested emotionally. What the fuck is that about? And I’m not preaching from up on high. My perfect relationship at times in my life was dinner for two, breakfast for one. But why was I surprised at the amount of struggle relationships meant for me? Why was I surprised that “there’s always someone out there who’s better” had me constantly cutting bait and chasing the next pretty face that I had a great conversation with?

And better yet, this person that I am trying so hard to get as far away from…how’d I wind up dating her in the first damn place?

To that end and in the interest of fairness, I’m sure that person was thinking the same thing about me.

As sure as I didn’t have a good answer on the front end, I damn sure didn’t have one on the other end every time. There were times I said “I don’t need this” when I’m not entirely sure what “this” was…or why, exactly, I was sure I didn’t need it. What I DID know was that it was forcing me to choose between effort and none. And I decided that the answer was “none”.

My point is that there are times where we don’t think much about the effort being happy with someone else takes. And when I look around and at myself, I often see that it’s a pattern that has very very little to do with the other person…it’s just what we do.

But sometimes, it is worth the pain. It IS worth the struggle, the hurt, the anger, and the soul sucking swallow of pride it takes to say “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you” or the soul baring it takes to say “I was wrong, I want to try again”…because happiness isn’t about all about “me” or “you”. It’s about a back and forth. It’s playing Rummy without keeping score. Getting pummeled in one hand and taking it all back the next, but not gloating OR getting angry.

It’s about loving the game and the chance to play it with that person.

Sometimes you need to slow down, rethink, and reevaluate. Sometimes things don’t work perfectly the very first time. But that doesn’t mean they never will or never could. Sometimes, things DO change. Occasionally, forgiving is a good thing. And moving forward. And acknowledging that neither one of you are perfect, that you’ll never be perfect, and that perfection is a pretty rough and LONELY standard to set… and that absolutely none of this means you should settle.

It means that damned saying about loving something and setting it free might be more than a pain in the ass thing people say at inopportune times and a decent Sting song. (that’s Branford Marsalis playin’ sax, yo)

I know that to a whole lot of people that doesn’t make whole lot of sense. But I’ll bet a round of shots (that I can’t drink just yet) that KassyK gets it. The sad thing is that apparently you have to go through a little hell, a little pain, and a whole lot of self discovery to learn that. I know I did. I think she did, too. And my hat’s off to her.

Because no one (except for marketing companies) said it was supposed to be easy.

If you need somebody, call my name
If you want someone, you can do the same
If you want to keep something precious
You got to lock it up and throw away the key
If you want to hold onto your possession
Don’t even think about me

If you love somebody, set them free

If it’s a mirror you want, just look into my eyes
Or a whipping boy, someone to despise
Or a prisoner in the dark
Tied up in chains you just can’t see
Or a beast in a gilded cage
That’s all some people ever want to be

If you love somebody, set them free

You can’t control an independent heart
Can’t tear the one you love apart
Forever conditioned to believe that we can’t live
We can’t live here and be happy with less
So many riches, so many souls
Everything we see we want to possess

If you need somebody, call my name
If you want someone, you can do the same
If you want to keep something precious
You got to lock it up and throw away the key
If you want to hold onto your possession
Don’t even think about me

If you love somebody, set them free


15 Responses to 'Free Free, Set Them Free -or- Things I’ve Learned, revisited'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Free Free, Set Them Free -or- Things I’ve Learned, revisited'.

  1. EDW said,

    This is a fantastic post.

    I’ve been married 7 years, and those things you listed and what you described is basically what you need to keep a marriage going. Shit happens. You have to decide to forgive and move on, or you’ll fall apart like so many others do. You’ve already learned that, though, it seems, so you’re ahead of the game.

    Everything you’ve written about how we are in our culture is so true. We are not programmed to stick it out, and God knows I’ve uttered, under my breath or to myself “I don’t need this”, also. Yet it’s worth it for those times when happiness is effortless, because of who we’re with.

  2. sbmaya said,

    Hi! I came by your site via Indie Bloggers (loved the “Things I should have known’ post – brilliant! I just wanted to say that a) I agree with 98% of what you’ve said in your posts…and this is because: I plan weddings. For work. Personally, I often walk a tenuous line of “you NEED X …..but you need to realize that this day is just that: A DAY. ONE DAY…and not feeding the ‘wedding industry beast” that says one must spend 30-70K to have a ‘perfect’ wedding. I cry bullshit on that front.

    I’ve been married almost seven years to a man (a guitar playin’/lovin’/collecting man at that) who is 12 years older than me. Despite the facts that we only dated for 3 weeks and were married 2 months later..I still feel that investing too quickly, emotionionally speaking, with the wrong people…is a huge mistake that many people make these days. My theory, like yours, is that the rest of life moves so fast now (vs our grandparents time) that we’re just in to damn much of a hurry.

    Looking forward to more entries – holla back at my place (Chock Late at WordPress)

  3. EDW; thank you…I don’t know if I’m ahead of the game. Really, I just feel like this is where it should START from. (By the way, people, EDW wrote a post on Indie Bloggers entitled “Ahead By A Century” that is just fantastic…AND it reminded me to pull out my Tragically Hip CD’s. A win-win)

    sbmaya; Why can’t you be my wedding planner?! Also, if you have any advice for Firance about living with a guitar addic t, it would be appreciated. We tend to have a difference of opinion on the subject when I spot a ’74 Strat and say “Wow, $8000 is NOT a bad number for that…”

  4. brookem said,

    Good ole’ Indie Bloggers! That’s how I got here too. Loved your post on there and particularly enjoyed this one. It’s great hearing these things from a guys side.
    I’m not in a relationship right now, but have experience with getting back together after a breakup. I also heard the many warnings you mentioned, people’s different opinions about considering a second go. Although things didn’t work out, round two, I would have never felt settled, down the road, had I not given things that chance one more time. My point is, for the few that are open to second chances, and are able to take what they have learned round one, forgive, move on, and grow, it working out second time around is a great bonus. But even if it doesn’t ? I still think it’s worth that second chance, no matter what, for the things you learn along the way and for not having the “what if?” feeling forever after.

  5. namaste said,

    Thanks. Love your blog too. Not often we get a clear perspective from the ‘other side’!



  6. brookem; that’s such a great point…even if it doesn’t work out, sometimes it’s far better to try, live and learn, and then definitively KNOW than it is to wonder “what if”.

    Namaste; I’m starting to wonder if I’m violating some “guy” code of ethics. 🙂 Next topic; Great Places We Hide Our Porn.

  7. Mandy said,

    for a person who constantly questions whether or not i’m working too hard or not hard enough in my current relationships… I really appreciated this post.

    I think a lot of times relationships don’t work because quite simply people aren’t willing to make them work. They cash in too soon – don’t want to make the effort… just as you said. And they don’t communicate with one another. Ask for what they need, what they want, and then meet each other more than halfway.

    So yeah… you’re exactly right. And I have no wise words because I feel as though I’m just realizing most of these things myself. I’ll keep going along with “slow down, rethink, and re-evaluate” mentality. Seems a good place to be.


  8. Mandy; I’m glad that it fell in line with what you’re dealing with. The only voices out there today seem to be all about how it’s not worth it. Sometimes, I beg to differ. Best of luck to you!

  9. sbmaya said,

    So…I’d be happy to help you guys out – My advice to Fiance would be:
    1. Give him a ‘cave’ (aka “Man Room”) somewhere where he can store all his axes. Heh. I mean, PRICELESS WORKS OF MUSICAL ART. When we were first married, we lived in our studio with a peaked ceiling. We had 7 guitars (3 going up on each side, one in the middle) artistically hung on the walls via nice hangers. Not to mention the two on the wall. Now that we’re in the home part of our house, he stores his crap, I mean, stuff in “our” (his) office/Man Room. And, come to think, here’s what currently lives in my living room:
    1 Big Amp (Epi..something or other), 1 little amp, 2 Martin accoustics and 5 assorted electrics. I won’t even talk about the DJ coffin. (This in a small SMALL living room)

    He’s playing for me, too. Just make sure you play for her, a LOT. Remind her you’re free entertainment for all your friends when they come over. And…just pick a spot and try and keep most of the stuff there.

    PS He says you can do better than 8K for a ’74. Heh. Actually, if you’re on any of the guitar buy/sell boards, you two have probably ‘bumped into each other online.

    PPS. If you want to do a destination wedding to Santa Barbara, I can do a HELL of a lot better than 100/plate for food. Serious – and we’re *the* destination for weddings, too. Tons of different venues, prices, vendors, etc. Shoot me an email if you’re interested (mayapuravida@hotmail.com) or leave me a comment.

  10. KassyK said,

    Thank you so much for this…this was a beautiful post and to hear you say that I “get it” from someone who has been there is really poignant and special.

    You and your lady are a true inspiration to me. Thank you!!

  11. sbmaya; LOVE the advice! Consider it relayed. I’m just getting back in to it, so it’s not quite a space issue….YET.
    As for the wedding, I think we’re going to Maine, but SD would not be a shabby shin-dig either!

    KassyK; SO glad you liked it.

  12. Jo said,

    I’ve been there too and you’re absolutely right. We were only broken up for 2 weeks and my friends told me it was for the best. Those were one of the hardest 2 weeks of my life. That was 2 years ago and we’ve never been stronger.

    About the guitar obsession? I completely empathize with your fiance. My boyfriend’s amps and gear take up half the living room. We’re moving to a 2 bedroom place just so he can have a place for his gear.

  13. freckledk said,

    I have an on-again/off-again, whom I adore, regardless of our on/off status. There’s just something there. It can be maddening to do the one step forward/two steps back dance and there are times when I think that it would be best if I cut ties with him completely, but it doesn’t last. We’re best friends.

    I don’t even bring up his name to some friends anymore, for doing so subjects me to eye-rolling and lectures on self-esteem. I’m not an irrational person. I know that there are two possible outcomes: it will either work out or it won’t. If Kassy or Jo want to reconcile with an ex, if you want to marry a former-ex, you will hear nothing but positive feedback from me. I’m not going to be “That Friend,” the one who you are afraid to call with your relationship issues. Never, ever. Not me.

  14. People do not get that sometimes there are very GOOD reasons why you keep coming back to the same person. That it’s not all out of familiarity and ease, and that often there’s nothing easy about it. But there is something there, and until it’s exhausted one way or the other, there’s no walking away. All the best to you, freckledK.

  15. adult japan tv

    Free Free, Set Them Free -or- Things I’ve Learned, revisited « I

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: