Learning to let go

Perhaps because we are all fond of our memories and detest change, I’ve always tried to figure out why it is so hard to let go? Let go of old habits, past hurts, fading fond memories? Why is it so difficult to demolish these old bridges and move forward???

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Perhaps we hold on to illusions of what we think is “right.”  We can’t move forward if we are stuck in a misconception of reality.  And what causes us to distort our perceived perception of truth.

The older we get the more difficult it becomes to welcome change. I see it at work, I see it with my mom and definitely I saw this with dad.

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”
C. JoyBell C.

What baffles the mind is why people hold on to things which create and cause only pain?

Advertisements

Being married means being part of a team

You are no longer responsible for yourself.  You are part of a unit which you agreed upon (taking a solemn oath or vow.)

Sadly, I think many Americans forgo these promises and continue working independently from the unit.

Am not saying you are your spouse’s keeper.

God no! 😦

What I am saying is that each and every adult out there, who is in a serious and committed relationship, take personal responsibility over themselves, their actions.

With that being said, when those of us, like myself, who’ve been more single than attached, we can sometimes forget that there is another person in the equation. Their happiness, their self-worth becomes entangled with the every-day-to-day doldrums of simply existing.

Though my parents’ marriage was by no means perfect, they stuck together through it all. And, this is the template I go by.

Mom and dad took their vows quite literally, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.

That’s why I can’t seem to understand how people easily discard the sacred vows they went into freely…eyes wide open.

I’ve been part of team my entire adult life. The military taught me about self-sacrifice for the betterment of the whole. In marriage, we will make sacrifices for our spouses, as long as these acts are not taken for granted.

I see too many couples who settle into a comfortable and habitual day to day married life. The wants of the one outweigh the needs of the two.

When this happens communication is the key. Yes, I’ve beaten up this topic to death on this blog but wow….when it comes to such a sacred institution as marriage, when you love someone……when you truly love them….sacrifices will be made if not today…then tomorrow. And if you feel like your voice isn’t being heard, speak up…being married means being part of a team.

Don’t be that silent partner.

Hyprocrisy at its finest

1800422_584586928312276_5829320478725468737_n

hy·poc·ri·sy
hiˈpäkrisē/
noun
noun: hypocrisy; plural noun: hypocrisies
The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.
What I can never understand is how people can go around acting in a certain manner but God forbid if you did the exact same thing there’s hell to pay.

I’ve seen various relationships affected by this so-called “double standard” from family, marriages, friendships and yes, even coworkers.

If said individuals cannot get a grip on themselves then it’s best to either discover the root of the problem (if possible) and if solve it.

 
HOW they can justify their behavior and yet criticize you for doing the same is beyond my mental and emotional capacity.

If said person continues to be a toxic element in your life the best (and at least for me…most L.O.G.I.C.A.L. solution is to simply get rid of them by leaving or if forced to interact (such as with a coworker) do so as sparingly as possible–if only to to simply preserve your own precarious sanity.  🙂

Fake on-line persona

I was reading an article regarding a woman’s journey into her ex-boyfriends scandalous cheating ways and how she found out he had a fake Facebook page. You know there’s trouble in paradise when a partner decides to hide something like this from their S.O. (Significant Other).  If said person feels the need to create a fake online persona then there is either something wrong with that person, or with the relationship as a whole.

It irked me to read it. I really should have simply clicked out of there but things like this really stick in my craw.  WHY is it there are individuals out there who slip themselves into someone’s life and ingratiate themselves to said person only to break their hearts later????

WHY do they even get involved?

WHY even fall in love or for that matter “commit.”

If that person is having a difficult time staying true-blue to their partner then:

 

DON’T. GET. INVOLVED!!!!!!!

STAY SINGLE!!!!

YOU DON’T DESERVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER!!!!

 

Why put some innocent through torment because you aren’t able to keep yourself together? And while we’re at it…WHY the self-destructive behavior?

And with the Internet at all of our fingertips it makes it that much easier to stray. Yes, am on my soapbox today. The article really struck a nerve. I honestly don’t get these people who feel they have all the rights in the world to screw around on their partner and think nothing of it. I guess there’s no conscious in there. Jiminy Cricket went on vacation.

I only have eyes for you

“Maybe that’s what it all comes down to. Love, not as a surge of passion, but as a choice to commit to something, someone, no matter what obstacles or temptations stand in the way. And maybe making that choice, again and again, day in and day out, year after year, says more about love than never having a choice to make at all.”
Emily Giffin, Love the One You’re With

When two people commit to one another, a life long journey of hopes, dreams, goals, and yes love…..stands before them.

Being married or in a long-term committed relationship takes guts. It takes guts knowing you are exposing yourself, your heart to someone else and trusting that this individual will live up to your expectations and that your love will not be bruised and battered.

Of course that’s everyone’s fairytale ending but we all know that in real relationships disappointments, hardships and doubts abound.

With that being said, when we conscientiously choose to create a lifelong bond with someone else we are committing to more than just that person. We become part of a union. Couples are entwine in both emotional and physical fidelity.  And when you love someone…truly love them….this aspect of the relationship is quite easy to accomplish.

We then learn to work with and perhaps even accept some of the flaws that come with loving another individual…so long as these flaws do not overwhelm or shadow the relationship in its entirety.

“People always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of it.’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

Having eyes for only your partner and your partner only means to continuously maintain a lifelong love affair. Keeping that element of romance through the years….trying not to take the other for granted and remembering that even though you are coupling as one…to keep intact your personal integrity and your identity so that you are able to give the best of yourself and establish a healthy commitment for years to come:

“My love affair with (him) had a wonderful element of romance to it, which I will always cherish. But it was not an infatuation, and here’s how I can tell: because I did not demand that he become my Great Emancipator or my Source of All Life, nor did I immediately vanish into that man’s chest cavity like a twisted, unrecognizable, parasitical homunculus. During our long period of courtship, I remained intact within my own personality, and I allowed myself to meet (him) for who he was.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

The bigger picture

“If we are not allowed to deal with small problems, we will be destroyed by slightly larger ones. When we come to understand this, we live our lives not avoiding problems, but welcoming them them as challenges that will strengthen us so that we can be victorious in the future.”
Jim Stovall, The Ultimate Gift

I think a lot of marital difficulties comes from immaturity and a lack of self-confidence–also a big part of our relationship issues is not being able to see the picture.

 

As Americans, most of us want everything N.O.W.  If we have to wait even 5 minutes for something it’s a chore. (No one can tell me different.)

Can you just imagine how this relates to relationships?

When things are difficult, or are heading that way, whether it be your finances, employment status, or even waiting for personal issues to resolve themselves….negativity sets in.  We become overwhelmed and fail to see the journey in it’s entirety and instead focus only on the problems (and not in a good way).

Nothing in this life is easy. Falling in love, having children, maintaining your health and family/friend relationships to taking care of your spousal needs….there will always be issues along the way.

When we fail to see the bigger picture, such as spending your life with someone you love, becoming a parent, having a great quality of life….we become lost in the details instead of realizing the blessings which will come our way.

I am at fault for not realizing the positive outcomes which come about from such things.

I also realize life isn’t easy and it certainly hasn’t been for me. But I do have one thing on my side and that is I am tenacious. I will not give up. I will fight tooth and nail for what I believe in. And, yes of course, common sense will undoubtedly kick in…and if something isn’t meant to be I let go.

“When things get too complicated, it sometimes makes sense to stop and wonder: Have I asked the right question?”
Enrico Bombieri

For someone like myself, I always try to give 110%.

Yes, there are times I want to give up. I think, why do I fight this hard for something so difficult?

Then I come to the realization: despite all the hardships…..in the end it’s all worth it.

I for one don’t wish to journey through life alone. Having a partner to ease some of the troubles that will inevitably come our way, is a great motivator. One, that I am willing to fight for, work hard for, and to make him and everyone else realize that I am a woman of means, of intellect and strength who is able to carry her own weight, who is able to see the bigger picture and push forward through hardships and crisis. Love isn’t easy. It’s trial by error and it’s accepting the fact that yes, sometimes we can’t fix things. As long as I believe in myself, in my marriage ultimately knowing I can conquer anything that comes my way.

Frustrations and other mumbo jumbo

“At the least, bear patiently, if thou canst not joyfully. And although thou be very unwilling to hear it, and feel indignation, yet check thyself, and suffer no unadvised word to come forth from thy lips, whereby the little ones may be offended. Soon the storm which hath been raised shall be stilled, and inward grief shall be sweetened by returning grace.”
― Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

Testaments to our characters is certainly illustrated when things don’t go our way. We can only control our reactions to our environment, to other people. As much as we try, we simply cannot control the actions of others…not really. And, if you think you can you really need to question yourself as to what kind of person you are—–if controlling others is your main life’s goal.

Marriage is not just a union between two people but it is also an emotional union. How we view life, perceived indifference, creates the foundation from which the marriage will grow. You can stifle each other with lack of communication, mistrust, and disrespect…or you can actually watch it flourish as both of you work together towards common goals.

If you cannot be happy about whatever is going on in your relationship (again, as long as there is nothing disrespectful going on) don’t “rain on your partner’s parade” instead find something to rejoice.  And as the old adage goes, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.  If there are children, always remember, little ears are listening and we do emulate our parents in some part, though we would most likely try to deny it.

And arguments will most certainly occur.  No marriage is perfect and to strive for such ill-conceived perfection will only create unrealistic expectations.

American Marriages

http-www.dandelionandgreyblog.com201106beautiful-black-whites-from-ashleyhtmlThe notion of the “romantic” marriage is really a novel American concept. According to Stephanie Koontz, Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage. in our not so distant past, we Americans  primarily married out of convenience, seeking positive traits in a partner such as fairness, kindliness, and good temper.

Of course today individuals come together out of love and not so much for romantic coupling and the divorce rate is still at around 50%. Why is that? Is it because we place far too many expectations on our partner? Sometimes unrealistic? Then there is the changing gender rolls. The economic downturn of our economy has seen more men unemployed as compared to women. Women are fast becoming the primary bread winner.  According to the NY Times, this trend is bound to continue:

Four in 10 American households with children under age 18 now include a mother who is either the sole or primary earner for her family, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census and polling data released Wednesday. This share, the highest on record, has quadrupled since 1960.

The shift reflects evolving family dynamics.

For one, it has become more acceptable and expected for married women to join the work force. It is also more common for single women to raise children on their own. Most of the mothers who are chief breadwinners for their families — nearly two-thirds — are single parents.

The recession may have played a role in pushing women into primary earning roles, as men are disproportionately employed in industries like construction and manufacturing that bore the brunt of the layoffs during the downturn. Women, though, have benefited from a smaller share of the job gains during the recovery; the public sector, which employs a large number of women, is still laying off workers.

(source)

Today’s couples are also faced with not just gender changing roles and financial hardships, but are also dealing with technological advances which have played havoc on some marriages. It’s that much easier to slip into an anonymous role behind a computer screen and become a voyeur exploring “uncharted seas.” Partners are reconnecting with old flames (i.e. via Facebook) or delving into the seedy side of porn and unwanted personal ads.

Making a “got at it” in today’s world means working that much harder to stay together.  The key is remembering that we are part of a team.  Keep the lines of communication open and respect your spouse’s feelings. Never go to bed angry. That doesn’t solve anything.

NEVER!

 

To learn more about building a happy marriage please click here

When your spouse is your best friend

Out of billions of people in this world we choose one person in legal matrimony or civil union to enter our family fold.  They are the first-line witnesses to your good days and bad..riding along beside you on the roller coaster of life.
Shouldn’t it stand to reason that they too are also your best friend.  I mean separate from say your girlfriend or a husband’s best buddy….partners shouldn’t simply have a contractual union but a deep personal one as well.

The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It’s a choice you make – not just on your wedding day, but over and over again – and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife.

Barbara de Angelis
The catch-22 is not allowing your “friendship” to take over the life you had before getting married. It’s healthy to always have outside interests and friends.  For some of us developing long-lasting and meaningful friendships is difficult.  When you constantly move, like I have via the military and then college, you make strong connections only to lose them because of a geographical divide.
My husband and I are so different in so many ways that it’s incredible we even married. However, those same differences attracted me to him and add spice to our relationship. One thing I have tried not to do, (because this is an easy trap married couples can fall into), is to change my husband. I knew exactly what I was getting into when we married. The only thing I have ever asked is we adhere to having mutual respect for one another and keep an open line of communication. Marriage is hard work. Every day we have to consciously realize this person has made a commitment to us that isn’t through blood.  They chose us for a reason.
With that being said, there are things about my life that are better shared with very few close girlfriends I have known for many years.  They are able to give me the “woman’s perspective” on certain issues.  Women are great communicators and sometimes you simply need that “girl-time.”
Life is about balance.  Too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Let your spouse have their hobbies and sometimes it’s good to actually participate in something that he or she may like.

Below are 25 ways you and your spouse can create a long-lasting loving relationship with friendship as a base:

25 Ways to be a Best Friend to Your Spouse

Loving your spouse for who they are

1. Enjoy your spouse for who they are.

2. Discover and foster mutual interests. Best friends find things they both like to do and continue to develop those mutual interests.

3. Prioritize your spouse.

4. Spend quality time with your spouse.

5. Remind your spouse of their best qualities, especially when they feel vulnerable.

6. Criticize (without being critical). Best friends challenge you to be the best person you can be.

7. Listen, don’t judge. Our friends want to know first and foremost that we understand them.

8. Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt.

9.  Let it go a bit when your spouse is grumpy. We all have bad days and want our friends to give us wiggle room when we have them.

10. Take notice of your spouse’s favorites. If something is important to your spouse, recognize it, even if it is not important to you.

11. Don’t take advantage of your spouse’s weaknesses. Recognize that your spouse trusts you.

12. Only speak good things about your spouse, every time and to everyone.

13. Defend your spouse in front of others. If someone talks negatively of your spouse, defend them. That is what friends do.

Find activities you can enjoy together

14. Do things for your spouse. You do not need a reason and you should no expect anything in return.

15. Tell your spouse the truth. Sometimes you need to level with your friends in a kind, respectful way.

16. Discuss your hurt or anger with your spouse during disagreements without belittling them.

17. Share in your spouses happiness. It is always more fun to be happy together!

18. Celebrate in your spouses success. If your spouse has accomplished something (even a small something) congratulate and cheer.

19. Share your interests, your thoughts and opinions. It is important to show your spouse you are willing to trust him or her with your thoughts and opinions as well.

20. Communicate clearly. You should not expect your spouse to read your mind. Be clear when expressing your thoughts.

20. Keep your spouses secrets. Your spouse needs to trust that emotions and thoughts shared with you are for your ears only.

21. Accept your spouse’s silence. Respect that sometimes your spouse is not yet ready to talk about something and be patient.

22. Laugh with your spouse.

23. Treat your spouse as your equal. Friendships are a give and take that balances out over your friendship.

24. Support your spouse’s decisions. You may sometimes disagree but in the end do your best to support your spouse in their decision.

25. Be reliable for your spouse. Sometimes we may bail on our spouse because “they will understand”. You should also make every effort to come through with what you said you would do.

(SOURCE)

Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.

Zig Ziglar

The art of forgiveness

“If you want to forget something or someone, never hate it, or never hate him/her. Everything and everyone that you hate is engraved upon your heart; if you want to let go of something, if you want to forget, you cannot hate.”
C. JoyBell C.

When it came to marriage or any serious monogamous relationship, one of the greatest deterrents for someone like myself was the inability to forgive. I grew up in a household chalk filled with grudges and unspoken words of grief and betrayal.  I saw what these negative and destructive actions did towards my parents and siblings.  As I grew older I continued to see mistrust, misgivings, heartbreak and anger with other married couples and it warded me off taking this huge committal step.

I did notwish to co-mingle in any of those toxic feelings again. I wanted my freedom. Craved it!! I wanted to experience life and everything it had to offer: adventure, free love…independence.

Of course the military wasn’t exactly the best teacher for healthy relationships.  I saw infidelity all around me.  Their were casual hooks ups with other soldiers within my unit, men visiting “Mamasan” and her girls at the local village bar.  At 18 years I was a novice at love, with life.  It sort of hardened me towards trusting someone fully with my heart.

And as I grew older, my focus was primarily on my daughter and gaining an education.

As a single mother I knew I had to continue bettering myself and provide a loving/stable home.  I enjoyed college, being young, carefree and winning over people with my positive energy and really just loving life.

Financially it was tough, but I persevered knowing something better was around the corner when it came to finding the “perfect” job and the “perfect” man. Of course neither exists.  Life is what we make of it and we can take any job, any relationship, and with a little hard work make it all work.

Yet marriage eluded me and rightly so.  I continued to find misgivings about such a commitment. I saw how couples bicker about the littlest of things, perhaps a culmination of mistrust and boring routines.

“I have always found it odd that people who think passive aggressively ignoring a person is making a point to them. The only point it makes to anyone is your inability to articulate your point of view because deep down you know you can’t win. It’s better to assert yourself and tell the person you are moving on without them and why, rather than leave a lasting impression of cowardness on your part in a person’s mind by avoiding them.”
Shannon L. Alder

What I think couples lack is knowing how to forgive and move on. They dwell on past misdeeds or indiscretions, unable to let go of the betrayal and hurt.  Partners or spouses are unable to move forward because they lack compassion or perhaps they feel “stuck” in a relationship that really is going no where but are afraid to let go because they feel, “this is all there is.” If your partner or spouse continues with said behavior, doesn’t change then yes, it’s time to let go if all other avenues have been exhausted.    You need to realize what is important to you may not be important for that person.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking they’ll change. Before you know it 5 or 10 or 20 years can slip away and your life, this gift, will be filled with a toxicity of regret. So, please please remember this:

“Before you can live a part of you has to die. You have to let go of what could have been, how you should have acted and what you wish you would have said differently. You have to accept that you can’t change the past experiences, opinions of others at that moment in time or outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally recognize that truth then you will understand the true meaning of forgiveness of yourself and others. From this point you will finally be free.”
Shannon L. Alder

 

images