6. Honesty Without Cruelty.

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This is in reference to my blog entry http://goshthisdivorce.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/sit-wait-contemplate/.

When I think of honesty, my brain goes in so many directions it almost feels impossible to pick a way. So, I won’t.

The first thing I think of, when it comes to honesty, is myself. I do a great deal of things wrong, but I don’t feel like honesty is one of them. I am the absolute worst liar ever. When you add in the fact that I have ADD and can’t always remember specifics and details – I’ve just found it easier not to lie. I don’t mean just the whoppers either. In general, I don’t do the white lies either. If you don’t make up a story, you don’t have to worry about remembering it – and I would never remember it. It seems like such a great quality to have, in my mind…but I’m often criticized for it. It’s often held against me. I’ve been told that I’m “too honest” not because I’m not tactful, rather sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth. I just can’t seem to sugar coat things though – that’s not a skill I possess. Honesty with tact is a difficult thing to be – because sometimes, as the saying goes, you can’t sugar coat a turd. If someone hurts me, I’m honest about it without being cruel – it’s just at times people have seemed shocked that I’d actually say something about it. As if hurting me wasn’t painful enough, they feel the need to get upset because I called them on it. Here’s an idea – don’t hurt people and you won’t have that mirror held to your face and be told how you made the other person feel.

While I understand it’s not a quality everyone wants (genuine honesty…so if they don’t want it, I’m definitely not the right person for them) I want that same quality I see in myself, in my future mate. I need someone who can give me a reality check without breaking me down. I need constructive criticism to continue to grow and I need it from someone I totally trust and feel safe with.

5. Compassion and Empathy.

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This is in reference to my blog entry http://goshthisdivorce.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/sit-wait-contemplate/.

I think the words sympathy and empathy are often confused or people think they can be used interchangeably. Before I launch on this post, I want to clear up that confusion.

Sympathy is more about understanding where someone is coming from and being able to feel bad for them.
Empathy is the ability to take perspective, stay out of judgement, recognize emotion in other people, then communicating with that.

In short – sympathy is feeling for, empathy is feeling with. I hope that makes sense.

Both are important qualities and are easily confused, so that’s why I decided to use the term “compassion” in place of sympathy. This way it’s easier to discern what I’m talking about and not getting caught up in sympathize and empathize. ;-)

There are times where compassion is called for and times where empathy is called for. I think every relationship you have – even with just your casual acquaintances, you have to exercise at least one or the other. In close relationships – I believe you need both and it should come fairly easy. There is a balance though of being compassionate and empathetic, but also staying strong enough to support the feelings of your significant other and still be able to bring them up out of whatever hole they are in. That’s the hardest part with empathy; being able to feel with them, but still being able to support them and not get caught up in those feelings yourself. If you are unable to do that, you are being counterproductive to the other person and that’s not really caring for them.

The Boyfriend has an occasional difficulty with this. When I get down, he empathizes, but then he starts to get down and he’s unable to really support me like I need. (As I said, this is an occasional thing – not an every occurrence thing.) The drawback to this is that it has made me a little less likely to come to him with my problems, from time to time, only because I know going to him won’t cheer me up – rather will bring him down, which will make me feel worse. We’ve talked about this and it hasn’t really happened since, but I’m still a little reserved. I know the only way I’ll get past that is to go to him with everything, but I have my own issues with guarded feelings that I still need to work through and since that nerve was hit by him – it makes it difficult. I definitely think it is something we can work through – much like many things in a relationship, it just takes time.

Grand Romantic Gestures.

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A few years back, I received an email from my assistant at work who was telling me about something one of our employees had done for another employee. Her email read “I wanted to pass this along, as I thought it was a nice jester”. I immediately cracked up and thought of all the play on words you could have with that. There’s the jester of goodwill – which would be the happy, little guy in the three point hat, handing out food to the poor. The jester of good faith – which would be the happy little guy in a three point hat, totally trusting you on your word. Then I thought of one that stopped me in my train of thought – the romantic jester.

I’ve said for a long time that romance is dead. I’m still mourning the loss of it. I’m not talking about those sweet, little nothings that people do for you when you care – I’m talking the grand gestures. The ones that are done few and far between that make you pause, soak up an immense amount of love, and just leave you glowing throughout the week. Of course, I’ve only read about these in romance novels and not actually been the recipient of them. Maybe I’m selfish, but just once I’d love a guy to walk through my office to hand deliver me a dozen roses, or surprise me with a really great meal (without me having to hint first), or write me a romantic letter or poem, or even just remember a special day and mark it by doing something…without me reminding them. I can’t help but to feel disappointed that none of those opportunities have come up for me, and even more disappointed when I hear they haven’t really came up for my friends either – because that just leaves me feeling hopeless about romance.

The romantic jester has certainly mocked me. I remember those special days, I cherish the anniversaries of them and feel like they should be celebrated…but if I did that every single time, I’d be left alone, a fool, and my actions would just be taken for granted…at least that is how I would feel (which may not be an accurate perception, but nonetheless – it is mine). What is it about the romantic gesture that we find so fearful that we’ve pushed it into either extinction or tamed it into the docile, complacent animal? Where is the passion, the fire, the excitement? It feels like there’s no urgency or no need anymore to have to work for it – rather we just sit back and medicate it with “oh, I love you, too” and sitting through our meals, staring absently at our phones, stating that we want to keep in touch with people, but losing touch with all those around us. When did the grand romantic gestures just become grand jesters, making us feel like fools?

I think I’m just going to romance myself. ;-)

4. Support. Whenever Needed – Support.

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This is in reference to my blog entry http://goshthisdivorce.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/sit-wait-contemplate/.

I’d like to stress that all of these are written from my point of view, but I would never ask someone to do something for me I wouldn’t do for them. I am a communicator, I do compromise, I work through bumps and don’t give up, and I do unconditionally support people – sometimes setting aside my own issues for the greater good. Everything on my list that I’m looking for in a mate, I feel I posses and bring to the table myself. I’m far from perfect in any of them, but I am willing to work and grow in all of these areas with the right person.

It’s odd that I would reach #4 on my list now, because it is oh so relevant. To recap, here is the #4 quality I am looking for in my next spouse:

  • Support, even when you’re not feeling it. Being able to decide who needs the love and support more and giving them that, even when you’re dealing with issues of your own.

My life growing up was simple. It was easy. I used to often look back and think about what a charmed life I really did have. My family loved me unconditionally, they supported me unconditionally, and they trusted me. Then, just over three years ago, I found out that all that stuff I thought was unconditional, was actually tied to the fact that I had always done what they wanted and what was expected of me.

What I found is that, while they loved me unconditionally because I was their daughter/sister/niece/granddaughter, that doesn’t always translate into respecting me for me – that’s just loving me for a bloodline connection. I found out the hard way that their “unconditional support” was only true in endeavors that they understood. They, aside from my mom, didn’t have a true trust of my character or believe that I would always do the right thing. For that, and all the issues that have come up since then surrounding my divorce and some of their manipulative actions behind it, I will be forever scarred. The way my family reacted hurt much more than my divorce ever did.

Support. I need someone who understands me so deeply, so completely, that they will be able to give me unconditional support. Not support after they know my whole life story or supporting a situation after they know all the details…but support because they understand what a good person I am, what an honest and genuine person I am, and that because of that, I will always do the thing I think it right and just. In return, I promise that I will love them just the same and give them the same unconditional support and trust that they deserve.

I’m totally not saying that if they support me and then think I’m doing wrong, they can’t have a say in it – rather they should never look at me and assume I’m taking a wrong path, like my family did and still somewhat continue to do. It’s more of a “do no harm” when it comes to things.

I also need someone who can prioritize. Everyone needs support in a variety of areas. Myself, I need someone to support me when I have a rough day at work or feel overloaded, I need someone to support me when I’m falling behind at home, and I definitely need someone to support me when I’m dealing with EX and co-parenting. In the scheme of things though, it’s that last one that always trumps everything else. That situation (when issues arise) is my number one stressor that makes me feel the most alone. Typically, when co-parenting issues come up, it pushes my mental limits to the edge and I worry. That worry for my children flows into every other aspect – making work more stressful and home life more difficult to focus on and I fall behind. I need someone who can recognize that and help me get myself back on track.

I’ve already mentioned that my dear, longtime friend PLM is amazing at this, but I also have to say that my other dear friend, HLJ is pretty amazing at it as well. She has called me from time to time with something on her mind that is just eating her up, but as soon as she hears my kids are being messed with, she drops it and helps me out. In turn, I am able to focus and help her through her issue as well. It’s a great balance of give and take – something that I’ve found, so far, women seem to be better than men with.

There are so many times where I’ve been able to prioritize my own issues and feelings as being less important that someone’s – and do it happily for the greater good. However in my relationships, it has occasionally been to my own self destruction that I’ve done that. I’ve worried about an issue that pops up and affects both myself and The Boyfriend, but I’ve set my own feelings aside and focused on him. Unfortunately, I think I’ve taken this a little far and, in the past, my feelings haven’t been considered enough. I haven’t put them out there on a topic or issue between the two of us and rather focused on “fixing” him, without expecting him to work on or for him to take some responsibility in fixing the issue. I’m slowly working on correcting that, but it takes time and understanding…which is where the rare but painful issue comes in. I will tell him that something is really important to me, he will say he gets it, then he will do the complete opposite. (Please take note that I said this is rare, but it does come up.)

For example – Facebook. Facebook is a great way to keep up with friends, but it can also lead to some really inappropriate things being commented/messaged/etc. Because of issues in the past, The Boyfriend and I have a deal – no Facebook after we speak at night (usually past 10pm or if we don’t speak, 10pm is the general time). A few weeks ago, I mentioned to him again that for my comfort level, especially based off of things that have happened in the past in other relationships and with him, I still needed that so I could rest well at night. This is a pretty good compromise for both of us, considering at one point he had offered to remove himself from Facebook completely (which I told him wasn’t necessary, but only because I know it’s a way for him to keep contact with his overseas friends) – so asking for both of us to stay off it late at night shouldn’t be a big deal, because it’s fair. I mentioned it because I had noticed he had started going back on and it was really affecting me – mentally. At the time, he seemed totally fine with it (staying off after 10pm)…but then a few days later was back into the pattern. He blamed it on boredom, which I can understand, but it’s such a simple thing I’m asking him to do that I’m not only doing the same (so it’s fair), it just helps me sleep at night, for a multitude of past and present reasons I won’t go into. So, I asked him again to stop and he said he would.

I’m hoping he will support that need, but considering the recent history, I’m nervous he won’t. Every time we’ve made a compromise and it’s fallen through, it’s taken a bit of my self confidence away. Granted, that’s on me partially – I shouldn’t give anyone that kind of power over me. However, I am more vulnerable with him because in a majority of areas, he does support me, he will compromise with me, so when he doesn’t it simply shakes me to the core.

In relationships, we’re not always going to understand why the other person needs us to support or do something to support them. We can’t really understand unless we’ve been through everything they’ve gone through – either the stuff they’ve gone through with you and maybe you don’t realize how much you’ve hurt them or the stuff they’ve gone through before you. The important thing is being able to realize that what they ask or need in support, if coming from a genuinely honest and true person, they have their reasons and need you to help in whatever capacity you can – even if it seems silly or you don’t understand. If they are good, their reasons aren’t nefarious, and they are a fair compromise – sometimes you just need to do it.

3. Not Seeing Obstacles as Road Blocks.

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Once upon a time, there was this beautiful fairy princess that was kind and pure. In a nearby kingdom, there was this dashing, handsome, and single prince. Magically the forces that be drew them together, overcoming whatever single obstacle stood in their way, and they lived happily ever after.

One of my favorite stories growing up was Sleeping Beauty. She, against all odds and even being cursed, met her prince. To my knowledge, there was never a continuation of the end of the story. A union of two kind, gentle people…and they lived happily ever after. The Prince never lost his job, the princess never suffered postpartum depression, they never fought, their kids all got straight A’s, and hardship, even in the slightest, never struck them.

The part of the story that Disney left out was that when Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip first got together, Phillip had some residual trust issues because when he first met Aurora, she was going by the name Briar Rose. He felt lied to about that and always wondered if she wasn’t aware of who she was or that she was betrothed to him, who else had she met so “innocently” in the woods. When they got married, Aurora had difficulty getting pregnant, as her own mother did in the beginning of the story which starts something to the effect of “After many childless years, King Stefan and Queen Leah happily welcome the birth of their daughter, the Princess Aurora.” They struggled and fought with infertility, finally investing thousands into fertility treatments…which made Aurora a particularly hormonal princess. Phillip then struggled with depression, realizing that he wasn’t giving the kingdom he had now created, combining the two when they had gotten married, the heir to the throne. (On a side note…I think romance is dead, can you tell? LOL!)

Those are the only issues they had because they had both come from the exact same family backgrounds and values. Imagine if Princess Aurora had been a peasant and Prince Phillip royalty – what issues that would have come up then?

There were times in my marriage where I thought ‘isn’t this supposed to be easier?’ Even when yes, they could have been, it doesn’t mean they SHOULD have been. If I had to go back, I would have every argument, tried just as hard, and tried to overcome every single issue in my marriage again, even to have it end still. I gave everything to making that relationship work and, somehow, it still didn’t. So now I can live the rest of my life never wondering if I didn’t try hard enough or work enough on it…because I am 100% confident that I did everything in my power and it just wasn’t enough; just wasn’t meant to be.

I’m not saying that in every single relationship you should compromise yourself or work on something that’s impossible, rather I’m talking about those relationships you are committed to being in that are healthy and, in general, happy ones that you should be in. If you love someone, I mean really love and are committed to them, working through the bumps is what you do when life throws you that curve ball. Life gives you an alcoholic that you didn’t know about, don’t immediately walk away, not if this is a relationship that has some quality worth saving. Now, if he’s a hopeless one that won’t work on the problem with you – you do need to walk away. I think that’s the key in facing issues – if you aren’t facing and working on them as a couple and only one of you is engaged, then it’s time to end the relationship.

I see this in my relationship now with The Boyfriend. We’ve hit a few rocks in the road from time to time. They’ve not stopped me from trying though, I’ve taken them as signs of the things we may be neglecting in our relationship or just difference between the two of us that we need to compromise on. He is always willing to work on them, just some are taking longer than others. Communication is one area that we seem to be improving on. We’ve done that through a few different venues. Number one: He had to learn what being in a relationship with someone who is a communicator is like. He was used to people just glossing over any issues that came up or hurt feelings, and that is just not me. I am an honest person. I care about people enough to be honest with them, even when it’s difficult. He’s getting better with that and taking my honesty for what it is – a sign of how much I care (I care enough to tell him when my feelings are hurt and why) and not criticism. Well…most of the time, at least – he still gets huffy occasionally when he feels like I’m being critical, rather than constructive. ;-) Number two: He is definitely getting better about opening up to me. Granted, sometimes it’s with a great deal of prodding, but he will eventually. Number three: I think we’ve met on the middle with our communication needs. He doesn’t need a great deal of contact through the day and I need that interaction. So, we’ve met in the middle – I’ve scaled back on what I need and he’s increased the amount he gives to me.

One of the other bumps was honesty. I am the absolute worst liar you have ever known. Seriously, I can’t pull off a lie to save my life. I know this about myself, so I tend to be a very honest person. That’s difficult for a lot of people though. I’m not talking about huge lies (like “I didn’t know she was a hooker.” HA HA HA), rather more about the white lies like “I didn’t see that text message” or “I just stayed in last night” when you really go out.  We’ve made some headway on honesty. He is still afraid to be honest with me at times when he’s afraid that I’ll be mad (although, I think eventually he always has come out with it, so far – there’s just been hesitation). This one really bothers me though because I have a fear that if something really bad does happen or if he makes some mistake, he will never come to me out of fear of my reaction. To be honest, I’m not even sure what reaction he is afraid of because I’ve dealt with some pretty huge stuff in my life with and outside of him and handled it with an amazing amount of grace. I think this is the biggest bump we are facing at the time. It’s so easy for him to just gloss over the truth or white lie on stupid, little things, then he uses the excuse of “well, two years ago in this situation you…” which absolutely drives me insane. He has difficulty letting go of the small stuff and a great deal of difficulty in forgiving and forgetting. Not the forgiving part so much, rather the forgetting.

On a very positive note though, the seemingly biggest bump in the road that I think we’re about to overcome is our location(s). Unfortunately, I couldn’t compromise and meet him halfway on the location, but I have done all I can to compromise on the situation around him moving, where he’ll live, and what that will be like when/if he’s here. This was huge for The Boyfriend in particular, who had a huge hang up about moving back to his hometown (which is where I live). I think he finally realized that home isn’t about a location, rather the people you live your life with. The important thing is that we worked through and over that bump TOGETHER. Both of us had to give and take, but I think we’ve found a happy situation that we both feel like we’re coming out ahead in some way.

2. Compromise. Anything Can Work.

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This is in reference to my blog entry http://goshthisdivorce.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/sit-wait-contemplate/.

2. A genuine desire to compromise and find a way to make anything work.

Oh my, this is a huge one. Compromise. Compromise is at the heart of every strong relationship. It’s the huge stepping stone to becoming a long lasting, truly happy couple. Compromise is what starts to happen when it stops being just about you and starts becoming about us. This is not to be confused with losing yourself. Compromise is not about changing to fit exactly what the other person wants, rather finding your identity and keeping it as a “we” instead of just “me”. Some people are unable to compromise – and that was a downfall of EX. He couldn’t see past himself to change for the better for us…because it was too hard for him.

Compromising to meet someone in a relationship can be difficult to navigate. Finding that balance of “you and I” and making a “we” out of it is difficult. I know it can be done though. However, I also appreciate how difficult it can be and know that it will take someone exceedingly special for me to do it with.

Another essential part to compromise is my #1 item: Communication. If open, honest communication doesn’t occur when a couple is trying to find a happy medium, this is where the issues come in. One person starts to feel taken for granted and the other person is totally clueless about it because they never spoke up to them. This inevitably leads to the demise of a relationship, with one person very unhappy and bottled up about it and the other person totally clueless it’s even going on. To compromise, you have to communicate.

1. Communication

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This is in reference to my blog entry http://goshthisdivorce.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/sit-wait-contemplate/.

We talk, text, email, chat, Facebook, Tweet, Blog, and perform various other forms of communication. Some is spoken, some non verbal by body language and facial expressions, and some information is shown by our actions…but does this always get us where we want to be?

No.

The reason? Because we all have different communication styles. The key isn’t necessarily finding someone that communicates exactly like you, rather finding someone who can compromise so the two of you can communicate a.) effectively and b.) in such a manner that fulfills your needs.

I seem to have the most difficulty finding the latter, even with the largest of compromises. I know when people are upset that I have to, sometimes, set my feelings or issues aside for the greater need. If they are in more need than I am, then I should set my stuff aside, temporarily, and support them. I never had that in EX. Every issue was his. Even after years and years of working together (because I realize this stuff doesn’t just magically happen overnight) I was always the giver. I came to him when he had a problem, always setting my own hurt feelings aside. Whenever I had something come up, it was always turned into his issue – never mine.

I fear that this is a typically male trait, rather than just a human trait as I’ve met very few men that know how to temporarily set aside their personal feelings because they realize their spouse or significant other is in more turmoil than they are. However, I have a few female friends that are AMAZING about this. In particular, my friend PLM. I have known PLM for 31 years. We have both had times in our lives that have been bumpy that have coincided and, almost at the flip of a quarter, we’ve always (without ever really talking about it) been able to figure out who needed the focus more – her or me. We’ve always taken care of both eventually, but always been able to prioritize.

Is it too much to ask for this in a heterosexual relationship as well?  Maybe…maybe…

In my next marriage, I will be looking for a certain capability in communication. I know it’s not something that will happen overnight, I know it will take time to cultivate, but I know what the seeds look like and what I need to see in a partner before going on that endeavor. The biggest hurdle to me though is that I am an enabler.

There…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

I.AM.AN.ENABLER.

I see myself still doing this in my life and definitely in my relationship with The Boyfriend. Not by his doing, but totally by my choice…and yet I still do it. I enable him miscommunicating with me (sometimes not communicating with me), I enable him to not pay attention to my feelings by myself stating they are not important…and then I wonder why when something is amiss with me, why he doesn’t pick up on it and call me out to find out what’s wrong. It’s easier for him just to ignore it and let it slide by…and I’ve let him do that instead of showing him how a loving relationship is supposed to communicate. Part of the time is it out of sheer exhaustion – I’m too exhausted to take the wheel and I just *hope* he will (which, since he doesn’t get it and falls into that “male trait”, there is no chance he will without a little guidance). The other part is his fear of rejection and just his focus on himself and self preservation, instead of seeing us as a couple and couple preservation.

That’s a hard concept though for someone who has never had a very long term relationship. Communication like I’m talking about doesn’t happen with someone you’ve just met – rather something you build after a few years of trust.

Communication is knowing when to push and knowing when to sit back and wait. It’s also about listening though – and I don’t mean just sitting there quietly (like so many people mistake it for) but listening and asking thoughtful questions to help the other person get through whatever it is they are working though. That’s the part so many people forget is that if all you are doing is sitting there with no questions and no thought – it’s like the person is just blankly telling you a story. People like to be heard, but they need some kind of feedback to know they are really being understood. So often, I think people leave conversations thinking that they are glad the other person listened, because they needed to talk through something, but feeling very much not understood. This leaves you feeling empty and even more alone that you did before.

I spent years in my marriage with someone who was a great listener, but never really understood me. I know I couldn’t handle that and I won’t marry that type of person again.

Sit, Wait, Contemplate.

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The annulment papers have all be sent. It’s quite an ordeal to get all those together. Aside from the questionnaire that pretty much asks about everything from your childhood to your perception of your ex-spouse’s childhood through your life post divorce, you also have to include your legal marriage license and divorce decree, yours and your exes baptismal certificates, all kinds of contact info and three “witnesses”.

EX brought the kids back after his visitation last night and commented “I got your letter from the church” (letting him know I had filed annulment). All I replied was “they said they would notify you” and I continued on with what I was doing. He thankfully dropped it there.

I’m good though. The nice thing about filling out and creating a 20 page document dissecting what all went wrong in your marriage, starting from even the way each of you were brought up, is that it gives you a picture of what life was really like. It was more a history lesson and review of how many things were stacked against us and how only one of us was really willing to work on those things. It’s also started to make me really thing about what I will do different and what I want different when I get married.

Yep, you read that right; singlemom78 finally has an opinion on if she wants to get married again and the answer is finally and confidently YES.

There is a lot of history behind that yes though. A lot of anticipation and a whole lot of self examination that has gone on in the past 3+ years to get there. I have learned the traits of what makes a relationship unsuccessful, so I feel like I know a lot more about what could have made it successful after going through all the steps that made it go sour.

So here is my list. I’m not going to go into too much detail here because I want to blog on each of the points (yes, there is that much to say about each of them).

  1. Communication.
  2. A genuine desire to compromise and find a way to make anything work.
  3. A blindness to obstacles that you encounter as a couple – they are not obstacles, rather stumbling blocks that you help each other up from, then move on and grow from.
  4. Support, even when you’re not feeling it. Being able to decide who needs the love and support more and giving them that, even when you’re dealing with issues of your own.
  5. Compassion and empathy.
  6. Honesty without cruelty.
  7. Equal.
  8. Unconditional (not just love).
  9. Loyalty.
  10. Soul mate.

Sex Starts In The Kitchen.

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I just had a wonderful long weekend vacation with two lovely friends. The three of us had 5 solid days together of catching up and bonding – which was absolutely needed. We are all three moms, work full time, and lead hectic lives. The other two ladies are both married – one for 12 years and the other for 13. Happily, they are so happily married, which is an even better thing to see.

However, both of them shared the same issue in their marriages – lack of intimacy. Both of them voiced a great deal of frustration in this and their spouse’s seemingly lack of interest. One attributed it all to her weight and the other attributed it to just the hectic schedules of family life. Both of them felt like everything else was really great, just disconnected on a physical level.

This made me think back to the time EX and I spent in Pre-Cana classes to prepare for our marriage. This is the Catholic process, kind of like counseling, that you go through before you get married. You meet with a married couple from your church or a surrounding church and discuss all the topics you may not approach before you get married – finances, children, parenting, home life, and your love life is included. I remember so clearly the wife announcing one evening “sex starts in the kitchen”. I giggled, but once she explained herself it totally made sense. She said that if you start in the kitchen, just passing each other grumpily in an exchange for coffee, you go about the rest of your day, not really thinking of the other person. By the end of the day, you get home, make dinner, exchange pleasantries, then go to bed. There is a total emotional and physical disconnect that occurs. She suggested that if you just take a few moments in the morning to actually look at your spouse, maybe kiss them and give them a swift pat on the behind, tell them you love them, you take that interaction into your day and it’s on your mind. Maybe not consciously, but at the very least subconsciously. She said that at the end of the day when you meet back up, your brain thinks about that kiss, making you want another. Your interactions at dinner will be different, and that will carry over to the bedroom.

Having been previously married for 11 years, I can tell you that this is all true. When things were good and we had those little PDA moments, our sex life was always VERY active and absolutely lovely. When those things ended, the emotional and physical stuff started to spiral downwards. Had we been able to “fix” our marriage, it would have taken a lot to fix the physical part as well – having had such a drought.

I’ve learned there’s more. That simple step of starting sex in the kitchen, over your morning OJ, will go a huge way. Physical intimacy isn’t just about a “spark” or that feeling of “I want to jump your body”, it’s about making sure you keep your mind sharp and focused on your lover, so your body follows your mind. It’s not that, in a long term relationship, the fire goes out (like what these ladies were experiencing) it’s that we take for granted that fire is there and we start to neglect it when we should be fanning it.

Why is sex so hot in the beginning of a relationship and marriage? Because it’s all you’re thinking about, all day (well, maybe not all day, but you get my drift). As soon as intimacy becomes an obligation, we take it for granted that the other person will go for it just whenever because that’s what they are supposed to do…and we stop planning it, we stop that anticipation. You can’t take an emotional and physical person for granted like that though, or you end up like these two ladies were complaining about – sex twice a month, if they are lucky.

Sex starts in the kitchen. To love someone, to love their body and mind, you have to think about them and their needs and desires. I can guarantee if you start to think about those on a daily basis, your sex will start in the kitchen as well. Who knows…on a good day it may end there as well. <3

Limbo. I Freaking Hate It.

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I’ve always been a planner. Everything always has a few different perceivable outcomes for me and typically, things have always ended up within those outcomes in my mind – good or bad. In relationships though I’ve found this to be impossible. Divorce was definitely not something I had ever anticipated. Even now in my relationship with The Boyfriend, I find us in limbo.

In September, we will have been together for 3 years. In some regards, it feels like we just met because everything is so fresh and still so wonderful. In other regards, this seems like a lifetime.

It still feels new every time I see him step off that train. I get out of my car to pick him up (we have a long distance relationship and only see each other on the weekends) and my heart literally starts to pitter-patter a little faster. As soon as I spot those handsome brown eyes, I feel this amazing warm grin spread across my face. My palms will sweat, just for a moment, and then we’ll embrace and it’s like two old lovers meeting up once again. When we’re together, things are amazing. I wake up and see him sleeping peacefully and I feel a great calm and love for him as the sun comes in across his face. Even doing normal, household things seems absolutely lovely when he’s around. It’s a feeling I don’t want to end…but it always has to, because he lives 240 miles away from me. When he leaves, it feels like a disconnect; like a plug being pulled out of it’s socket. Sure, we talk on the phone, but it’s just not the same. We live two separate lives and, although we can tell each other about those lives, we can’t really experience them.

It feels like a lifetime every time he or I step on the train to go home – to our separate homes, 240 miles apart. He seems to seamlessly transition back to his single life, in his single world, still keeping tags on me and still attempting to communicate – but it’s not the same. It feels like we’ve been doing the back and forth forever – and not just in a literal way, but in an emotional way as well. We’ve been talking about him moving down for well over a year now – and have taken some slow steps to attain that. At times though, it feels like I’m pushing and he’s pulling and we are getting nowhere. I know we both ultimately want it, it’s just that it is a scary move, for BOTH of us. He feels like it’s all on him because I can’t move because of the kiddos so he is the one to uproot his life. I feel like he doesn’t appreciate that, while I don’t have to give up my home/job/friends, this is a huge step for me – letting another man around my children.

So we’ve been in limbo, which is getting really old for the both of us. We’ve both had our moments where we were ready to just tank it and give up, but we can’t. The connection and relationship there is so strong, that neither of us want to just let this pass by. However, it feels like we’re stuck. I can’t push him forward and he’s not taking the lead – but neither want to let go.

The worst part is the advice. Unless you’ve been in this situation – and I’m not talking just moving in together, I’m talking one of you totally uprooting your life to move in together, you have no clue what you are talking about. Sure, it all seems easy in theory, but then there’s the reality of needing to find someone to rent the space the other person is moving out of and that person finding a totally new job in this economy, and all the work that goes into combining everything and orchestrating it all. It is not as simple as it is so easily envisioned.

Actually, I lied. That’s not the worst part. The worst part is being me and not knowing if something I want so dearly will ever happen.