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Love and Marriage

Shawn is relieved to see that Bethenny's marriage (and business parntership) is much like his own, farts and all.

First let me say how excited I am that Bethenny, Jason, Bryn and Cookie are back!

During the wedding planning process I often hear my clients joke about having kids. Or one spouse may pick on their future in laws. Or the bride might make a dig at how her fiancé farts (so I'd better have Beano at the wedding). In my planning world that's normal, but rarely do I ever get to see the "after." Rarely do I get to see my couples after they say "I do."

I've been "married" for eight years. Not legally, but in heart and a true commitment. If you ask my partner Michael he'll tell you it’s been "eight long years." However, as much as we joke about that, it really has been eight long years. Together we’ve experienced the good, the bad and the ugly. And so often when we are fighting or going through a rough patch I wonder are we the only ones that are like this? Are we freaks of the "married world"? Surely there has to be some other couple out there that is just like us.

Watching Bethenny and Jason took a huge weight off my "married" shoulders. I am not saying that I can compare Bethenny and Jason, to Michael and I. But what I am saying is I see that all couples everywhere go through the same thing: finding balance and happiness all the while finding our individual married selves.

Michael and I not only live together, but we run a business together. Michael takes care of all the "business stuff." I call it "stuff" because it's the "stuff" I don't want to tend to. Or it's the "stuff" I'm quite frankly not good at. He's good at the business side, and I'm good at the creative side. We both like people, but I tend to get more attached to my clients than he does.

Being in business together has been very rewarding; however it often has had its down side. We often bump, no I take that back, we often crash heads on so many topics that at one point a few years ago it almost ruined our relationship. It scared the crap out of both of us. We quickly had to set boundaries when and where we would discuss business. We try hard (although we sometimes fail) to keep work at work and home at home. The boundaries help…it's not a cure, but it helps.

So I can relate to Jason saying that he will work "with" not "for" Bethenny. It's not easy and although my name is on the front door (as I often like to say) it's our business. We both have worked hard to build to it. That's something I have to remember when it comes to those business decisions. Sometimes I'm not always right and that's hard to admit. I wish them luck as they venture into this next phase. I have no doubt they will succeed! Both are brilliant business people.

I remember the first time I took Michael to my hometown of Rochester, NY. I was nervous, yet filled with pride. Rochester is a small city. Everyone knows each other, and the way of life is simple and filled with everything that says family values. So I can relate to where Jason is from. I, too, have a small family. Like Jason, my family is something I hold near and dear to my heart. Michael has a larger family and grew up in a slightly larger Midwestern city; Milwaukee, WI.

Ironically however, although 10 years apart in age we grew up with a lot of the same traditions; therefore, fitting in with each others family wasn't a huge issue. What was, was deciding what holidays to spend where and how often to visit each others family. These are the things that fights are made of. We both equally get flack from either side for not visiting enough or for missing this or that holiday. It's a hard choice, but one that we both support each other on. We try to take turns rotating holidays and we often try not to keep "score" of who we visited more. Regardless of this mutual agreement it's hard. It's hard when you want your space, its hard when you want to do your own thing…it's hard to tell family "no." But you know, sometimes you have to say "no." You have to set your own boundaries and your own traditions. Setting traditions with Michael has been just one of the many fabulous things we have done together. I grew up with certain traditions and so did Michael. But now we have traditions that we are creating together. And those are the best kind!

Therefore, I give Bethenny a lot of credit for putting her foot down wanting to create those memories with just her, Jason, and Bryn. I don't feel that she hurt any feelings, but rather she established boundaries that perhaps Jason had trouble setting himself. In the end I think they both realized something on their visit. They realized a little give and take and they realized that although you know the person you're married to you are always discovering new things about that person.To me that's refreshing…that's what makes a happy marriage, a successful marriage.

So in the end, I think Michael and I are pretty normal as couples go. We fight about farting, we disagree about business, we set boundaries with family and we love each other more for who we are than the day we met.

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