Thich Nhat Hanh Wheedles His Way Into my Marriage

Zen Calligraphy of Thich Nhat Hanh at the Bangkok Art and CulturThere are two times I thought we were finished: at our friends’ wedding when he wouldn’t dance with me, not even to a slow song where he would only have to stand there and sway, and the night he went to the Motel 6 because I brought a shedding dog into our house for the night. In both those instances I thought, “Fuck this, I am done.”

In our 10 years together we’ve become predictable, the opposite of exciting. If I left, would I stay in the same town? Would we still be friends? Do I only stay because of these unknowns? Thich Nhat Hanh said, “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of fear of the unknown, they prefer the suffering that is familiar.”

But I’m not suffering. We balance each other. I’m the world traveler while he stays home to take care of the cats. (He didn’t even have a passport until I wanted to book our flights to Japan.) He won’t let me pick a fight. (When I try, he makes jokes until I laugh or he says, “I’m not talking to you until you’re out of this crazy mood.”) He doesn’t care if I go out dancing with my friends and come home at 4am. (Although I’d rather that he care and sign his ass up for Salsa lessons.)karandavasana

Ten years does lack some excitement but it is full of comfort. He lets me pick the movie, is a good enough listener to know all about karandavasana despite not having set foot in a yoga studio since 2008. (This is the pose in the pic, and no, I can’t do it.) He doesn’t care that I hang up almost-finished paintings and move on to the next one without ever finishing the first. Maybe this Thich Nhat Hanh quote better suits my circumstance:

“Many people think that excitement is happiness… But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”



  1. YES!! I frequently say I embrace my delightfully boring life. It is calm, peaceful and happy. Excitement equals drama for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha! “delightfully boring!” I’m with you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. wonderful introspection!
    within a few breaths
    it’s possible for
    the insight of understanding
    to glow as aspiration
    to bring joyful, even exciting
    activity into relationship 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. a poem comment! awesome! thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. amen

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I find that embracing the pain or suffering, rather than denying it makes it easier to deal with and accept. I always thought being stronger meant ignoring the fact that I’m in pain, but it’s rather the opposite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Good insight!


  5. A lovely post. 🙂 Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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