Marriage and Partnership
ASTRO-RELATIONSHIPS: How to recognize a bad relationship and what to do when you don’t know what to do about it.0
Look at my face; do you think at (almost) 46 years old that ANY man can get one over on me? No way! I’ve had the wool pulled over my eyes and I don’t like it; too scratchy. Oh, men with facial hair: even a very, very close shave won’t convince me. I’ll stick with anonymous synthetic fibers, thank-you-very-much. We’re talking real love life here! The things that keep some people up at night. For the wrong reasons. Or for the right reasons — see, I’m not sure. I’m on the side lines. I’ll just coach the rest of you through and suck on my thumb. (more…)
Sometimes the simplest of things we can do for ourselves we don’t do very often, if ever at all. We look in the mirror and think ‘oh my God. Look at this…oh my…look at that…’ and walk away defeated. But there is no opponent. There is no Tyson coming at us from the opposite corner. We don’t even stand our ground long enough to really get a good look at the person in the mirror; we walk away quickly to avoid looking long at all.
The enemy isn’t the unfaithful partner that tanked our self-esteem, or the mean-spirited, so-called friend who doesn’t lift us up when we’re down because they “don’t know what it’s like not to be perfect.” It’s not the bully on the black top who tormented us at school or the group of populars who didn’t invite us out for a burger after a big game. The greatest enemy we face is the one who walks up to the mirror at least once a day, usually first thing in the morning, and stares right back.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why can’t we just love ourselves the way we are, for who we are, without putting so much emphasis on the way we look? I know it sounds trite, but the media in all its glossy glory with its digitally manipulated human weapons isn’t selling us anything that makes us feel better about looking in the mirror; it usually tries to sell us near impossible standards of beauty that are just as impossible to achieve naturally. I wish more beauty and grooming products were marketed to us as simply and directly as dental floss picks. (more…)
Okay, so we’ve decided that dating sites are “…Russian roulette…” according to Dennis Haynes, and I’ve added that some people on there are going to lie about their marital status even if that includes “not telling ain’t lyin'” situations.
So I’ve decided that the best way to date is to date people you know really well — like classmates, kids from the block — that kind of thing. Most of the time (though there are no guarantees) they will be the same gender they were when you knew them back then because, back then, we all know things made more sense (we’re old enough now to be able to say that). I mean, look: celebrities wore real clothes on the red carpet and sex tapes were bought at Ace hardware — not part of a PR campaign. It made sense.
I cannot guarantee anything other than I was born a female and I have no man-made or otherwise altered or augmented parts. I dunno about anyone else, but I digress, as usual. So here’s what you can expect from a first date with me: “So, I know you don’t like me and let’s be honest here — I don’t like you either. But I’m pretty sure I know how screwed up you are and pretty much the extent of how screwed up your life is. As such, I will tell you ALL about my childhood trauma and other excuses for the reason why I’m so screwed up and I’m on a date with you. Deal? I don’t pay for dates — you do.”
“Every wakeful step, every mindful act is the direct path to awakening. Wherever you go, there you are.” –Buddha
I’m always honored when anyone asks me for help of one kind or another. I am working on some projects that should make it easier to get more information out to you on more of a schedule. While I wish I could attend to each person the way I prefer, I know it’s not possible for each one of you to sit with me, personally, on a couch, under hypnosis, or under the spell of one of my best chicken soup recipes and sent back into the world with a kiss on your forehead. I do want to tell you this: the information that comes to you, in one way or another, from one experience or another, in ways you expect and the unexpected, is exactly what you need at the time you receive it. (more…)
Thanks for all the Valentine’s Day love! I had such fun reading your Valentine’s Day wishes that I found myself drifting back to elementary school days and preparations for classroom parties. Those were such carefree and innocent days. I remember how difficult a task it was to write less than 30 names on little paper envelopes was and my mother never, ever lost her patience with my procrastination. I remember how overwhelmed I felt checking to be sure I didn’t miss anyone or sent two to the same person and missed someone else. I realize how much time Mom spent helping me and my brothers with Valentine’s Day tasks. I appreciate how Mom and Dad made sure we had Valentine’s Day cards to give our friends though we didn’t have much disposable income for those kinds of things. I realize that helping us with the American tradition of school children passing out paper cards with sentiments like “Be mine!” printed on them was a pretty big deal — I learned a lot from it. I also learned it’s much easier to write 26 kids’ first names on miniature envelopes with a fat My Pal pencil than it is to have a real-life relationship with the guy on the other end of the candy conversation heart. (more…)
SPECIAL shout out to my single friends! Happy Valentine’s Day to you! If I were near you, I’d like to exchange Valentine’s Day cards, treats, and stickers, and my fave — the little boxes of conversation hearts! I would give you the prettiest pencils and lollies and I would cut for your the prettiest hearts in the deepest red paper, signed, “Your friend forever, Rita”.
Never think that you are alone because you’re single today: you may be luckier than some whose hearts are broken all day today, perhaps by someone they thought cared for them or someone who never did, perhaps by someone who cheated them and lied. I’m not saying it’s fun to be alone on Valentine’s Day, but I can tell you I know worse things that could be present in our lives today.
Don’t hesitate on love: give someone a chance! If you don’t match well, you’re still friends or you find cause enough to not want to be friends at all! But, the trying is the hard part if you’re out of practice and want someone special in your life…consider it’s like riding a bike: once you get on the bike you quickly remember how to pedal and balance! Don’t be afraid to get your heart broken: mine’s been broken so many times that now I think it’s quite pretty, like a mosaic. The scars remain, perhaps, but are not painful anymore: they just remind me of what I won’t put up with ever again!
You don’t have to jump into a full-blown romance, either. Just be FRIENDS first and see what happens from there. If nothing comes of it, you are always going to be friends. I’ve friends who started out as romantic interests and we figured out we’re better together as friends and companions in life! Let it be, let the past go away and fade into history, create a new story, a new romance for yourself if only the beginning is a journal entry that is, “I love myself enough to never settle for second best because I’m second to none.”
God bless you today — know that I love you and many others really do. And if you ever doubt, stop a moment — pause — and know that God in Heaven and your loved ones that are watching you live your life from their vantage point, always loved you, always will, and there is no greater love than that. Love yourself enough to say, “I am strong, deserving, good, and worthy of romance and beautiful LOVE.” Trust in God that life is not meant to be painful, nor is love supposed to hurt us deeply. ASK GOD for someone special in your life and TRUST IN HIM enough to know that there is no greater love than His but that he does, very much, want someone special in your life!
Go for it! Love yourself first in all relationships, enough to know the difference between a good one and a bad one. I guarantee there’s no benefit to you in staying in a relationship that hurts you and if you remember one thing, remember this: there is someone special out there, somewhere, for each of us but you won’t find him or her if you don’t look around.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO ALL MY SINGLE, LOVING FRIENDS! God bless you!
Men & Women: 6th and 7th Senses. I’m for hire: I’m worth (at least) $138,095 annually per MSN Money!4
I’m beginning to think the old wive’s tale that women have a 6th psychic sense AND a 7th is TRUE: the Woman/Mother Sense which also senses the 7th sense in men, the “If Woman is Here and I’m Asleep, She Will Let the Dog Out/In/Attend to the Kids/Move the Laundry/Be Sure Everything’s In Order” sense. I’m assuming men have a 6th sense and if they don’t, we’ll skip to seven, anyway, for sake of continuity.
Just bear with me: at 4:35 a.m. apparently I’m the only human in this house that hears and responds to the dog’s needs, every night and every morning. This morning, Truffle was at it early but she also had a rough night after being sprayed by a skunk and bathed in unusual combinations of chemicals: she wanted to go outside, she wanted water, she wanted to be spoken to gently, she wanted to go back to bed. I should be in bed! I can’t: my 7th Woman/Mother sense told me to check on the sleeping forms that are my young men whose 6th psychic sense is sharp because they are innocent and whose 7th “If Woman is Here” sense is not yet developed and is in the early stages of “If Mommy is Here She Does it All Because She Gave Birth To and Loves Me” growth (that’s okay, they are children and can even hear the dog while sleeping). Both boys had immunizations yesterday, three including one combination Meningitis/Whooping Cough and Tetanus (the one people hate to get) and at 4:35 a.m., both are running low grade, detectable fevers. One said, “Mom, my arm’s completely numb” to which I responded, “You probably slept on it” and the other said, “Jeez! My arm really HURTS! Someone kicked my a$$!” (clever 11 year old) to which I responded, “Neither of you wanted pain medication yesterday.” I mean, I raise them like men and didn’t hold their hand during immunization (though Todd did, okay, I’ll accept Todd, a male, said he’d do it). The kids were just showing me they recall I taught them that men do not show evidence of pain and suffering because they are not women. I gave the clever round one Tylenol and Ibuprofen, the skinny tall one a bottle of water, and kissed them both on the cheek because it’s not okay for them to demonstrate pain — only quiet discomfort! I’ll let the a$$ word slide tonight — but they cannot demonstrate weakness, “Someone kicked my a$$!” or not!
Thinking of taking your relationship to the next level? Are you going to move someone into your home? How well do you know this person? How long have you been dating or engaged? Do you have concerns about the other party? You should consider the following writing inspired by the case of a child gone missing: young Miss Hailey Dunn. This missing persons case is not yet solved.
I add my opinion on live-ins in general: if you have children, study your partner, please. If you detect any discomfort in your children, find out why. Study your partner: how does he/she interact with children? Does he/she respect children, if he/she is a parent, how does your partner parent his/her own? More critically, do you suspect or detect inappropriate attention directed to others, especially children? We often see males, but not limited to, who cannot keep their eyes off minors: you should take note of how they look at them and if their attention is drawn to children’s bodies.
What’s in a Monday afternoon? Time to go home and make dinner with your wife, husband, or partner? It’s time to relax and make preparations for the evening. Stress is something healthy people handle easily: don’t bring it home with you. Set time aside to talk about what’s bothering you and make time to listen to your sweetheart and ask “How are you?” Life is short, your best friend is the person you come home to that’s always going to be there for you: never forget that!
I may just stress you out! Just kidding. I’m here to help.
Do you bring stress home from the job? At the end of the day, rather than leave work related stresses where they belong, do you bring them home?
Are you the spouse of someone who is bringing work related stress home for dinner?
We live in a world where there are obvious stresses upon us: family life, work life, financial considerations, raising and guiding children. The reality is some days are harder than others, some periods of challenge are longer, sometimes we know we are operating under quite a lot of pressure. What are we supposed to do with that pressure and stress after a long day at work?
In a perfect world, we’d leave our stresses from the job, on the job. We don’t really want to think about work another moment of the day, let alone at night when we’d rather enjoy our free time, family time, time with our children, and some relaxation. But we often come home to more demands upon us. We have precious few hours to feed ourselves, our families, monitor children’s homework, clean up, load the washer, dryer, and dishes, attend to pets, bathe children and self, let alone have time for our partners or ourselves and still not forget to pay the utilities so they aren’t shut off! Time for romance — what? Who’s that gal or that guy over there with the hopeful eyes?
When we’ve had a particularly rough day, we often face traffic time leaving us little or no time to decompress before navigating a freeway or other congested routes. We may tell ourselves we are going to leave it at work, leave the stress and drama on the desk blotter, and shut it all off when we log out of our computers or lock the doors behind us. But that’s not as easy to do as it is to think it. By the time we do get home, even when we try to sing our stress away to some preferred tunes, we often walk into a house full of chaos, edgy children, messes everywhere, and people asking to be fed and soothed — including our significant others! We may very well have been in a better mood before turning our keys in our locks, just to be assaulted by noise, lights, demands, and pressure to get it all done in the hopes we can shower and tumble into bed. The idea of relaxing oneself after all that already makes me tense, I don’t know about you!
Stress, irritability, depression, upset, even anger are human emotions and part of the human experience. Why it’s happening to us is a consideration. What we do with those emotions must always be checked. Have you ever considered that when you come home from a bad day you might be impatient, irritated, prone to biting someone’s head off? Does your partner come home edgy, irritable, and short tempered? If you have a steady, even tempered partner at home whose feathers are never ruffled regardless of hurricane, know you’re lucky! Ever wonder if you’re the one coming home a little less than in control of yourself? It’s a good question to ask yourself if you aren’t sure but suspect your mate and children hide in their rooms when they hear your car pull up in the drive. If you live alone you aren’t affecting anyone but you may be affecting your own health, so don’t count yourselves out if you live the single life.
Some couples feel the best way to handle job stress is to not bring it home. I disagree: we are human, we aren’t computers with programs we can close nor are we cell phones with apps we can hide. Doing that just leads to even more frustration and could become smoke that certainly indicates fire. Ignoring the fact you aren’t feeling your best or your happiest is nothing but denial. The stress is still there but we sweep it under the proverbial rug — and we know what happens when we do that: someone will trip on that lump under the carpet and could get hurt.
What’s the best way to manage our daily stress so we don’t hurt the ones we love or even affect the energy in the environment, causing everyone to feel the same way (that’s what happens, especially with children — they very easily pick up on OUR stress)? I have some ideas for you and your usual stresses that could help you improve those precious few hours that are better spent doing everything that needs to be done in a way that will actually calm and relax you.
- Remember that people need to eat: Even if it means you cook a few extra helpings and meals on the two days of weekend, you are taking pressure off yourself should something go haywire or you just don’t feel like cooking. Fast foods and prepared meals are great but they aren’t healthy every day. I like to make many extra servings when possible and freeze them into containers I get at the dollar store. When I don’t feel like cooking, I don’t have to. Also, don’t feel guilty about doing something underhanded like feeding your kids hot dogs for a night! If you’re feeding them well most of the time, a hot dog or sandwich and soup here and there is perfectly fine. Keep a pad handy in the kitchen to write down what you run out of so you don’t spend your time making a daily trip to the market. You can write down common supplies like TP, shampoo, etc., as you run out.
- Keep your laundry up daily if at all possible: If you keep your laundry piling up all week you’re going to be doing laundry all weekend. Not to mention, if you didn’t have time over the weekend to do the washing because you were actually out having fun or sleeping in while your kids play video games, someone’s going to end up without socks, a favorite shirt, or one of your kids is going to school in a dirty jacket or jeans. Keep your baskets sorted into just two baskets: white and colors. If you have delicates, I doubt you’d throw them in with someone’s Velcro gym shorts. Every night when everyone has showered for the last time, toss in a load of what you need so it’s washing while you put kids to bed. Then, when YOU are ready to go to bed, toss your washed load in the dryer. You don’t need dryer sheets: get generic dryer balls at Target. It’s okay if the laundry sits in the dryer and sometimes there’s going to be a wrinkle, but I’d rather have to iron something than to bleach mildew out of socks that sat under wet towels for two weeks! When you come home from work the next day, you can set your kids up with the chore of folding the clothes (do NOT redo it! No matter how bad it is, it IS done). Kids need chores or they’ll act like freeloaders soon enough. Laundry is a bigger stress on families than most realize.
- Keep your expectations about housekeeping realistic: Stop looking on top of your fridge because you are wasting your time cleaning it during the week. One thing is an explosion of red sauce in your microwave and another is dust all over your furniture. There is no inspection agency coming by with white gloves and if an in law or friend comes over and mentions how dirty your house is, hand them a mop and a bucket and say, “Agreed — you do it.” No one who really likes you is going to come over to see if you’ve scrubbed something — they’re coming to see you. Ask them for help if you’re busy. Kids can have chores but even then keep it realistic during the week. I mentioned the folding of the laundry chore. You can also give them the chore of tidying a room up before bed. Monday through Friday is not the time to reorganize all your drawers or sort through moving boxes or you’ll be pretty irritated when you realize it’s 9:00 p.m., no one has eaten, no one’s taken a bath, they are all about to try to take one at the same time, and your cat just threw up on your bed. Forget Martha Stewart and anyone else who wants you to fold hospital corners. I imagine she folded enough sheets in prison and wished for a very dirty house. No one is going to include in your eulogy that you “kept a very clean house” but they might say you, “never were home, anyway, and threw light furniture at family members.”
- Your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, room mate, mother, father, etc. are not punching bags: Though some of them would be fun to practice on. If you know you’re in a bad mood or even know you are always in a bad mood, did it occur to you that it’s not fair to everyone else? Now, if you tell me that you don’t care, I’m going to throw light furniture at you — you deserve a knock upside the head. No matter how we are feeling we do NOT have the right to cuss people out, threaten them with divorce, tell them they’re fat, remind them they don’t make enough money so YOU don’t have to work, or bitch at them about something they did/didn’t/should/shouldn’t do. I am VERY opposed to people calling each other names and taking their nasty stress out on others the same way I’m averse to monkeys throwing dung at passersby — but at least the monkeys have an excuse: they live in zoos and trees. Now that we’ve established that you are not an animal, I want to remind you that though it’s natural to have stress and feel it, it is NOT okay to take it out on anyone else. Further, it is NOT okay to bottle it up inside of you and demand that your entire household occupants stay away from you at all times (though it’s advisable under some extreme duress). Communication is key: it’s okay to talk about your problems and remains of the day so long as it does not become breeding ground for even more stress or even an argument. Nothing is important enough to argue about unless you’ve got a wayward spouse (get an attorney — they love to argue).
- Set a ritual for what happens when you come home including a time to talk about your problems: Make a deal with your partner and family that perhaps when you are preparing dinner you will chat about the day, the drama, the problems, and make it a rule that it is not forum for criticism. What we all want is to vent a little, not blow up the pressure cooker. I’m suggesting you let a little steam out in a controlled manner. Make rules about it: if you don’t want advice, that’s a rule. State that you just want to vent. The other party is the listener at that point and should be quiet and make sounds like, “Ohhhhh” and “WOW” and even “Mhmm”. Nodding of the heads in agreement is a sign of support, not necessarily taking sides. Take turns: Monday, you go first. I go first Tuesdays. Change it around if one of you is in a better mood. Limit this dialog to just the amount of time it takes to prepare a meal and do NOT take it to the table with you unless it’s agreed upon. That is the limit: try to not talk about it again for the rest of the night and certainly NEVER in the bedroom!
- Your partner loves you, needs you, and you may forget you need some TLC and even romance: Sex. Sex! Okay, you don’t have to if you don’t want to, but do try. If a glass of wine or aperitif at bedtime settles your nerves and aren’t prone to alcoholism, that may be the thing to settle you when you are a bundle of frazzled, exposed, live wire. Chat about your hopes and dreams for the future while you prepare for bed with showers, washing up, etc. Freshen up for the night and feel good but don’t forget that feeling good also involves hugs, kisses, cuddling, and relaxing, healing intimacy. Even if you don’t feel like it, don’t push your sweetie away like a hairy cat on your bed, whether or not he or she is. Be nice! Remember that you got together for a reason, not to be enemies in bed. It’s okay to be tired, but sometimes being sleepy is the best time to have lazy intimacy — you don’t have to impress each other with acrobatics, contortions, or endurance. Definitely make this your YOU time, for both of YOU. Dim the lights (don’t tell me you won’t get cheeky unless the lights are off — you are beautiful and that’s why your partner is trying to get your attention!). Just settle down, light a candle or two, and look at each other, look deeply into each other’s eyes and remember that you are together because you are best friends in life. Once upon a time, one or both of you thought the other HOT! And while we are older by the day and often have given birth to many humans, our wrecked bellies are the medals awarded us for brining our beloved children into the world, much as a spare tire or four on our men prove they don’t have time to pump something up in a gym because they are at home with us (feed them carefully!). Bedtime is time for calming down, relaxing, unwinding, and holding each other. That’s when you get to forget the day and remember that the only thing that really matters in life is having someone to love that loves you that much, too. Let nothing interfere with your most precious relationship.
Life is short, some say. I think the hard days feel a bit long. But there’s really no challenge, no stress, that you should allow to rule your life and the time you have outside of work and daily grind. The day can be sweeter if you’re able to keep yourself in check, ask for what you need, be there for someone else, and look forward to the hours that should be stress-free. You can control your stress by first controlling yourself. We are masters of our minds and our lives. Just because we don’t have the money to cure an emergency and pay the auto insurance does not mean that a solution can’t be found another time. But don’t let those things that aren’t as important as your sanity get in the way of living your life and being happy. Life happens around us, it doesn’t have to happen to us, and we are all entitled to a bad day — but not to ruin the rest of the night. This is your life: make it a sweet one!
Be well, my friends, be happy. Tell the stress monster to stuff it: that monster can make an appointment with you during business hours.
Much love to you all.