If I write out my feelings, I will feel better - basically the idea behind journaling. I will also become more clear and, as a natural-born teacher, I can offer my experience to benefit others. So here goes. I could have called it "Love Wears Many Faces or Acts of Love".
For many, many years my husband and I had created a morning ritual/habit whereby we get up very early which sort of fit our biological clock and gave us time to connect in the morning. But in many ways, it had stopped working.
I had been noticing that we were not that interested in what each other was saying. (Of course, the little girl in me wanted to say "HE is not interested in what I am saying and I go out of my way to care" but knowing that it takes two, let's just say it was "each other".
I had been wanting to sleep quite often later than 4am but got up anyway.
I was kind of tired of being so out of sync with most of the rest of my world. We almost never considered doing stuff at night because it...
My Martian and I had certain times that we set aside just for our relationship support. Every morning before school we had a little sacred time together. It certainly is not the same as a weekend in the country but it created a beautiful everyday-ness to our lives. The Martian left for work at around 6:30 a.m. We got up by 4:00 a.m. to have enough time to do what we did without him rushing off and us not having a few minutes to connect.
It's at these little meetings that we caught each other up on what was happening in our lives, planned events and even planned a little bit into the future - like going to visit our kids over the holidays.
In the past he had been at such a high level of stress by the time the semester was over, it was important that he had the time off to relax. Finally, after 8 years of teaching, he wasn't that stressed. He taught until he was 80!
In the past when he was on vacation, I had trouble adjusting to having him in my "workspace" -...
The reason I can say that is that I’ve had three – and they couldn’t be more different:
We were 18 when we met, 22 when we married and we didn’t have a clue who we were or how to have a functional relationship – with ourselves or each other. I came from what is politely called a dysfunctional family and I wore all the hallmarks – low self-esteem, a poor self-image on a physical and personality level. I thought I was defective and not good at anything and so would never find another partner. That’s why I married who I did. By the time we were dating for 6 months I already experienced his mean and controlling ways. He experienced my victimy and wimpy emotional untruth. I never stood up for what I thought or felt. I was too damaged and immature. This mess that we created together lasted for a total of 19 years. We split a couple of months before our 15th anniversary.
By this time, a...
It is a scientific fact that healthy relationships make us healthier and happier. And this includes all different types of healthy relationships - friends, family, partners and colleagues. All different types of relationships but bottom line - no matter what type of relationships you have, when it's healthy, so are you. The healthier they are, the happier you will be and the less stress you will have in your life.
Anyone who's ever been in any kind of relationship knows there are sometimes (or often) challenges. You might get disappointed by the other but by accepting the people that we love for who they are and not expecting them to change for you, you have a good start towards having healthy relationships in your life.
Take the time to really talk to the people in your life and actually listen to what they are saying – you know, communication - a key factor in maintaining healthy relationships with anyone.
In recent years my disappointments in relationships have been about...
It would really be great if such a thing existed out there in the world. All you’d have to do is get out your trusty credit card, put in your number and the perfect questions to tell you each whether you were compatible would pop right up. And off into the sunset you’d go – either together or apart - depending on the results of the test.
That might have worked when you were 14. Some teen magazine created the test. You took it and found out yes or no.
Or you might count on the info you get from your local or online astrologer. Maybe they do know but truly, how to know if he’s the one or not is not that hard. The information is right there inside you.
Every time he makes you happy, he’s the one. Every time he does something that upsets you, angers you, hurts your feelings or makes you feel small, he is not the one. If he continues to hurt your feelings and make you feel small, he is not the one.
Now I am not so naïve as to think it’s that...
OK. I teach and coach about relationships. Everybody knows that communication is one of the pillars of a healthy relationship. In relationship communication I have learned to communicate the big stuff - like: "You are acting like a jerk" or "when you don't talk to me, I feel scared about our relationship and don't know what's going on," etc.
But how do I let you know things like, "You have dandruff "or "you dripped on the bathroom floor or messed up the sheets?" Those things are so personal and seem so hard to communicate and so petty to boot. I just want to let them go. But then I end up resentful. You know, little thing on top of little thing on top of clean up after you and say nothing, on top of little thing and I'm ready to walk right out the door.
I was in a great relationship for 31 years and I still haven't learned the best way to do it.
Any ideas on relationship communication on those really personal and bugging things?
Darn! After so many years together and so much love, I could still act like a creep. One day the Martian came home after work. . .
A word about his work. He was 78 and started teaching physics at an inner-city high school at age 70! He got up each morning by 4:30, left the house by 6:00 and got home most days between 4:30 and 5. Although financial adversity pushed him into this, it turned out he loved it and loved the kids.
Anyway, my part in making this career work for him was to make his lunch and breakfast and provide whatever support I could. With good relationship communication, I reminded him of his purpose and the rewards he got even when it was hard. Sometimes he was just tired and I could help by throwing around ideas with him on how to get the kids involved and learning.
OK. Back to that day in particular. When the Martian came home I was washing the dishes for what seemed like the millionth time. I wanted him to empty his lunchbox when...
When I run across someone who expects to have a perfect relationship at all times, I feel sad for them. Life is not like that. Babies are perfect – and then they cry and mess their diapers. Relationships often seem perfect in the beginning and then something happens. What is it that happens?
Life happens. And the emotional reactions you each have to it often cause friction. For example, you’re married for a year. You couldn’t be happier and then you lose your job. You’re fine about it. A little scared maybe but you’ve watched your father bounce back from business failure a number of times and you somehow know all will be well. He, on the other hand, only feels really comfortable when he knows what the future will be. Uncertainty brings out a controlling side you never really noticed before. And the budding entrepreneur in you who kind of likes the challenge of creating something out of nothing, DOES NOT WANT TO BE CONTROLLED.
Well, imagine a few more...
My husband and I were together for 32 years. When I look around in the world at most people who've been together for many years I see one of two places the majority of couples end up. Either they are "comfortable" with each other which means they fit like an old shoe and I imagine that he may come home and watch TV or read the sports section and she comes home and does her routine. They're fond of each other but so are many brothers and sisters and long-term friends fond of each other. The other extreme are those who are fed up with each other and living their own lives or thinking of divorce.
But we are in a third kind of relationship – a vibrant, healthy one. Some of what makes it healthy is the following:
Being two mature adults with good self images, we had the flexibility to each know when we come first or when we need to put our partner first. For example, I like early morning but I never conceived of waking up each weekday by 4:15a.m. I always liked 5:30. Well,...
The year when my family and friends celebrated my 65th birthday with me, we had about 16 people including 3 noisy little boys ages 8, 4 and almost 3 in my not that big living room. It was joyful mayhem at its best.
Awhile after the event I was discussing the wonderfulness of it all and the Martian (my husband Bart) said he realized that one of the things he wants to learn from me is how to create a loving family and friends as I have done.
He reiterated how both his mother and father left their families behind and subtly and not so subtly gave him and his sister the message that people and particularly families are too much bother and trouble. We all know that families are bother and trouble. To me there is so much happiness from the relationship support I have with my family and friends. There is great joy and richness in working out of the bother and trouble.
Here's a couple of quotes from my step-daughter's special birthday gift to me 70 Things I Love About...
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