Sandra Dodd

"To feel another person's joy as joy in yourself, that is love."
Emanuel Swedenborg, Divine Love and Wisdom 47

Emanuel Swedenborg was an 18th century mystic. He wrote a lot about love and marriage, and a church was built around his teachings. My friend Lori Odhner, who with Julie Rice was one of my first two La Leche League leaders, grew up in that church, and in February when I spoke at a marriage conference it was a conference she and her husband put on. I'm not religious and not part of that church, but a couple or few people on this list are. The quote came to me in today's "Marriage Moats," which Lori sends out every day. There's a link to it at the bottom of this page:

That's the disclaimer.

The important reason I brought the quote here is that over the past three days and past three months I've been around people who expressed jealous resentment about something their child loved, or that their spouse loved.

To have a partnership with another person, whether child or adult, the other person's interested need to be appreciated, welcomed, rejoiced in.
If your child thinks a thing is wonderful and you think it's stupid, the fault is in the parent, not the child.
If one's husband or wife is interested in a certain food, or music, or game, or hobby, you don't have to move into that soundscape or arena and live there, but if you treat that interest as a foreign entity rather than as something that brings your partner joy, you erode any chance of longterm respect and support and love.

Now I need to stop rolling my eyes about or wincing at Viking heavy metal. But I did find and buy some of those CDs Keith loves and has memorized, so it's not like I never supported it. I just need to stop commenting that it's not my favorite.



> "To feel another person's joy as joy in yourself, that is love."
> Emanuel Swedenborg, Divine Love and Wisdom 47

Thanks for sharing this quote, and the Viking heavy metal story.

My husband's favourite band as a teen, and still to this day, is RUSH. He plays a few of their songs on his guitar, so much that both my son and I often find ourselves singing and dancing along, but I also roll my eyes at times, in what I thought was a playful way. RUSH was never a favourite of mine. Actually, I really didn't like them at all.

Recently, I noticed that they are on tour, and I spoke of getting us tickets. He said very plainly that he wouldn't want to go with me. I would be a downer to go with. I felt sad about that, but I instantly understood why.

Since then, I have been watching videos with him and reading lyrics. We watched a documentary together, and it was great, really. For his birthday last week, I suggested we go together and pick out a Geddy Lee bass at our local guitar shop. He was so thrilled. He found one, and has been playing it all week.

He probably still won't want to go with me to the concert. I don't blame him. I wouldn't either. But, I think he feels good about my sincere attempt to embrace his joy.