In the midst of learning how to love my guy well, I’ve learned how important it is to recognize and celebrate the victories so that we can repeat them. This weekend was a total victory- we went to see a movie together and both came out happy at the end!
Early on in our relationship we went to a movie and I had a great time, but it was before he had shared his diagnosis with me, so I’m not sure if he enjoyed it at all or not. But since we’ve been to movies two other times and neither time ended well. I’m just beginning to realize that whatever we do not only do we need to recognize how the bipolar disorder is affecting him, but we also have to address our different expectations. I have never gone to the movie theater much, so I see a movie as a date and attach more romance to the experience than I realized. My guy on the other hand goes to the movies for fun and to relax. So my constant attempts at hand holding did not go over well. When we got to the car we were able to talk through it and I realized that his bipolar disorder often makes him not want to be touched. This was the first time that we had to have a discussion about the physical side of our relationship and the impact that bipolar has on it. There have been plenty of discussions since- probably enough for at least 2 additional blog posts. Sorry- back to the movies…
This weekend we did it! I’ll admit, I was reluctant to go, recalling the vow I made in my head after the last time not to go again for a while. But it was a good activity for the day after the change to Daylight Saving Time and we both really wanted to see the movie. And we had a great experience. I know we were both working hard to make it work, particularly him. We went for a quick lunch before the movie so that we could get there plenty early and get good seats. But our food was pretty slow and I could feel the anxiety growing for him. We still arrived at the theater 15 minutes before show time; when I mentioned that his response was, “This is a good time for me to practice patience.” He did so well talking himself through it, we got great seats, and we both really enjoyed the movie. At one point during the movie he actually reached over and held my hand- something he hasn’t done for over a month since his current episode started. My heart fluttered and that moment really made the whole weekend for me.
When we walked out, he was walking tall, I put my arm in his, and he responded like he did before his current episode began. It feels good for things to go well and every victory is worth celebrating, no matter how small. Outside the theater we shared a High-5 over the whole thing and were able to talk about the movie in the car instead of how we were feeling and what went wrong. It only took us 4 attempts, but we got there. God continues to answer our prayers, provide opportunities to communicate with each others, and most of all, show us how to love each other well.