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Unhappy relationships may be saved with dedication and work from both partners. Having been married with children, I would by lying if I didn’t ask myself occassionally if we could have made it work had we tried harder. Yet, truth be told a lot of damage had been done in those last two years… that repairing the relationship was futile. A bond we both shared since we were both twenty years old…a deep and loving friendship had been destroyed. In our individual hurt and pain, each of us had built up a wall. And I’ll admit, my wall became taller and stronger…he couldn’t get through to me towards the end.

It was…sadly…too little too late for me.

Effective communication, TRUE resolution of past problems and QUALITY (not quantity) time are essential to improving your relationship. I know this now. And I know how important it is that both partners must want to do the work to have a strong relationship.

Unhappy partners usually complain about a lack of intimacy. We all crave affection and attention. We should be encouraging to our partners, lifting them up and praising them.

It’s amazingly simple when you think about it. There is a wonderful scripture in the Bible that gives a wonderful instruction regarding love:

Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured.  It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail].  Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]…~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Amplified Version Bible  (AMP)

 

My friend who is also a therapist sent me this article titled, “The Four Horsemen of the Relationship Apocalypse.” This is a must-read for anyone in a relationship.

 

True love endures. 

 

The Four Horsemen of the Relationship Apocalypse

By Eric Barker 

Want to be a Master and not a Disaster? 

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We all make judgments and access others from an outsider’s point of view. Everyone has their own shit to muddle through and we aren’t always present to what others are experiencing in their lives.

 

As a writer, you would think I wouldn’t have a difficult time expressing myself in an articulate and basic way. I have all but given up trying to explain and seek some resolve. The look on my face isn’t disdain or boredom, it is worry and fear. The anxiety from what life is throwing at me is internalized, because I keep going back to this one thing: “Everyone has their own shit. No one wants to hear mine.” I allow people to think I’m a bitch. Snobby, even.  Perhaps my overreaction to something small is only my being theatrical. It isn’t because I’m thinking of an ill family member or a deep-rooted issue in my personal life. Stress of jackass tenants not paying their rent, my dog needing a surgery I couldn’t afford…those last two things are relatively small to all the other things I’m dealing with and yet they are on my mind constantly.

I’ve forged a disconnect between myself and my partner…between myself and my family… between me and the entire world. It isn’t because I do not crave their support and understanding. It is simply being too slapped down with fatigue from their assumptions and the disappointment of not truly being heard and understood. When a person has made up their mind of who you are, more often than not, I find myself shutting down. If they’re not interested in trying to know you and understand you, for me…it is game over.

I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder years ago and it is a huge cause for my constant desire to isolate myself when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Usually, I have been really good about having a handle on things…but lately, the vast amount of optimism I always had in life is dwindling.

And that’s where I am now. Overwhelmed, misunderstood and in this escape mode mentality to isolate myself even further. I’m one step away from being the crazy cat lady…EXCEPT I’m allergic to cats so I can’t even do THAT RIGHT. 

I tried to share these thoughts with someone, only because I NEEDED to hear, “You’re okay. I love you.” That would have made all the difference. Instead, I received, “Yeah, I’m stressed out too.”

I couldn’t be upset with this person because they have absolutely no idea what I’m dealing with. I have tried to explain myself…try to share the fears and worries that are torturing me to the point that my jaw is constantly aching from clenching it and grinding my teeth at night. And yes, I’m disappointed that I couldn’t hear simple words to make me feel less like I’m unworthy in their eyes. At the same time-and this is strange- I can’t help but feel envious of their inability to do so. How wonderful it would be to be able to write someone or something off as ridiculous because in their world…these feelings I have are so foreign they’re damn right weird.

One of the biggest misconceptions in dealing with someone like myself- is that there isn’t anything you could say to make the person feel better. If you’re dealing with someone who has chronic anxiety and suffers from PTSD, simply asking the person what you can do to make them feel better at that moment is monumentally helpful. Being sensitive and empathetic, especially if this is a person you love, is amazingly comforting.

It makes a difference. 

This is what I want people to know: We all experience anxiety in our lives…those sizzling nerves about public speaking or hosting an event…those types of anxiety are relatable. What I experience (on a daily bases) are the butterflies fluttering around in my stomach at such a constant speed it is painful. My world right now is in an upside down state and I don’t have the confidence and hope I once had to fight through.

It’s shameful to admit publicly the feelings of inferiority I’m experiencing, but this is my reality. I am clumsily stumbling through life reaching for this anchor that doesn’t exist.

 

 


Suggested Reading:

What You Should Know About PTSD

What You Should Know About Anxiety 

 

 

A political opinionated piece I’ve written is published on Thought Catalog.

You may view it here:

 

Trump Isn’t Making America Great Again, He’s Just Embarrassing Us

I usually do not discuss politics. Mainly, like religion, people aren’t going to change their opinion despite any facts thrown their way. (And let’s be honest…sometimes these ‘facts’ are shimmered with opinionated verbiage) Politics, in general, are personal.  A person’s political affiliation has to do with their moral character and beliefs. I respect and understand this and I am usually interested in why they feel the way they do. It’s intriguing to me because more often than not, there is a lot of merit in what they are saying and a glimpse into their background…

I have lost my car keys. It’s Day 3. I have looked EVERYWHERE and yet…NADA. My wallet is also in my vehicle, along with some other work stuff. I only have one set and have been dealing with the dealership about the second set of keys for months. (They never gave me a second set when I purchased the car) It’s a long story, but I can’t even use the remote start I received for a Christmas present UNTIL I get a second key that the dealership (who was taken over by another dealership) gives me the second key. They want me to pay for it and OMG…I’m having a panic attack just writing all of this.

And if that wasn’t all…I have tenants who are LATE on rent AGAIN and despite all my efforts in communicating and trying to work with them, they are the poster couple of being low-life manipulating losers. I just called their phone from my work phone in another attempt to reach out to them and someone FINALLY answered. When I asked for the husband, she was like, “He’s not here.” So I asked if this was the wife and she paused before saying, “No.” THEN she started saying she didn’t know where the husband was (saying his name) and that she found the phone at the store. “I don’t even know who’s phone this is.”

Being that I’ve had a lingering headache for a couple of days, beyond stressed, a wedding I’m in and a bachelorette party I’m co-hosting…NOT to mention  I have a dollar to my name until payday, I immediately took a heavy breath and brought out my inner thug attitude.

“Look, I don’t know who this is and what is going on, but this is <NAME AND NAME>’s landlord and I need either one of them to call me back. Do you understand?”

The ‘stranger’ or whoever agreed, but I doubt I’ll be receiving a phone call anytime soon.

I don’t know what is going on in the universe…in MY universe, but the hundreds of things that I’m dealing with are overwhelming. I can’t even begin to start in on everything and whilst I know I’m pretty fortunate in a lot of aspects, right now the negative is outweighing the positive.

It’s hard to fake all is well when you feel as if your soul is tearing from the burns of unfortunate and needless occurrences. It’s enough to make you want to throw yourself down like a toddler and cry.

It’s enough to almost think this is it for you. That maybe things are never going to get better.

That maybe…this is just what you deserve.

Four years of crazy is enough to turn you crazy and I wish I had just one aspect in my life that was relatively easy. Doesn’t have to be perfect, but I need something…ANYTHING…to be golden…or even a rusted bronze.

Right now, life pretty much sucks and I’m tired of pretending that it isn’t.  However, I’ll plastered that smile on my face and bury myself in work and pray.

Things must get better.

I work in downtown Anchorage and in a normal work day, I walk a few blocks to both our buildings. Back and forth. It’s Summer, so these walks are pretty cool for many reasons. Tourists, the flowers, the warm weather…

Downtown Anchorage is probably one of the coolest places on Earth and yet, I have taken this place for granted.

Yesterday, I snapped a few pictures during my walk to give you a glimpse of my town.

 

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If you know me, you know I have had a long love affair with Netflix. On a lunch date about five years ago, this guy asked me if I had watched the series on Netflix.

“You should watch House of Cards. You’ll love it.”

It was Netflix’s new series and if I remember correctly, it was their first. I didn’t get the concept of binge watching and didn’t realize when I was done with episode 13 of the first season, I would have to wait an entire year for  the new season.

Talk about your build up and then let down.

I was immediately hooked on this show. There is something sinister and appealing about Kevin Spacey, in general, and this character he portrays, ‘Francis Underwood’ well, I love to hate him.

The Boyfriend and I finished the last episode of the fifth season last night and I can’t get the season out of my head. The story line, outlandish and crazy…so much to absorb and discuss. However, what I especially enjoyed were Underwood’s cheesy bon mot to the camera.

  • One Nation, Underwood
  • The proverbial walk in the woods is not for me

 

And of course, my all time favorite: Meet Your New Daddy.

 

 

What were your favorite things about House of Cards this season? Twists that you considered outlandish? Anyone notice clues in some of the episodes that told us what to expect next year?

Sound off below.

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I am not a relationship expert. In fact, the only thing I could be considered an expert in is the art of breastfeeding, getting myself dressed and taking a phone call simultaneously. There was this one time I even managed to get myself into pantyhose whilst breastfeeding a 9 week old baby.

So with those types of talents (which aren’t gonna achieve in my receiving any type of awards or ribbons) my expertise is limited.

I preface all of this because in the last few months, I’ve received comments and emails from readers regarding posts I’ve written about relationships and then asking for advice. And believe me, I’m all but willing to give you my two cents on just about anything…so if you ask, I’ll give you my honest opinion. I want to be clear though: I am not a professional in the field of relationships.

Any kind of relationships.

In fact, if you were to evaluate all of my relationships from the age of 3, you’d find that I’m actually below average in the skills of relationships. To be absolutely blunt: I SUCK AT RELATIONSHIPS.

In the spirit of open forum and discussion, I encourage comments and feedback. If you want to ask a question, I’ll gladly answer. Just know, that if  you’re asking a question in the hopes I’m going to Oprah Winfrey your life, (which is ego fattening and head inflating for me, by the way) know that I’m just some 40 year old divorced mom who gets anxiety from driving to work.

The irony is not lost on me that my entire adult career has been dealing with the public and yet I am overwhelmed with big crowds and would much rather fly under the radar. See? I’m an enigma. I’m the last person you want to take advice from. My solution to almost anything is, “Which episode of ‘The Office’ will make me laugh hard enough to not think about this problem for a while?”

There’s your Disclaimer.

Now let’s delve into relationships…the non-expert, has no idea what she’s doing half the time, should take up underwater basket weaving instead of blogging version.


 

I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again and again: RELATIONSHIPS ARE HARD. It takes the efforts of the two people to make a relationship work. If you have one who is trying and the other person is complacent, chances are the relationship is doomed. There may come a time in which the person who has been trying decides to give up. Usually (in my experience) the one who had been complacent sees this as a wake-up call. By the time they decide to get both feet wet and do the work that is required, the other person is done. It’s too late. They’ve moved on, if only just emotionally.

 

How does a couple avoid even getting to that place? Or…what if you already are in that place…what do you do? 

  • Get Out and Do Something

If the only thing you can think of that you and your significant other do together is watch television together, then girlfriend, you’re in a relationship rut. I understand we all need down time and believe me, I am guilty of planting myself in front of the TV or bury my nose in a book to escape a hard day. I get it! However, if this is an all the time thing and the two of you do not have one thing you do together…then it’s time to change course.

You’re sitting in a rainy, muddy puddle together and the two of you have gotten so used to the yuck, you’re content in just puddle sitting. It’s going to be uncomfortable to actually step outside of the puddle and get cleaned up. However, think how fantastic you’re going to feel once that is done. And then you’ll be all, “Why the hell didn’t we do this sooner?”

LIVE. Get out of the house TOGETHER and have fun. This doesn’t mean extravagant and expensive outings…it’s about being adventurous and finding new environments to share TOGETHER. Make this mandatory. Get out together weekly on a mandatory date night, whether it be learning a new hobby, taking a walk, experiencing a new restaurant…just get off the couch and do something TOGETHER.

 

  • Rekindle the Intimacy 

When things get complacent in your relationship, it’ll reflect in the bedroom. It’s not always easy  to approach your love for a little something-something, especially if it’s been a while. I’ll admit this publicly: I’m not comfortable initiating. Having said that, sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone in order to “get some.”

When it has been awhile, it can feel all shades of weird to initiate some indoor sports action. Get your mind off THAT PART and pretend in your mind that it is in the beginning of the relationship.

Remember what attracted you to your honey to begin with. Flirt. Kiss. Hug. Hold his hand. Build that foundation of intimate excitement again.

Even if you don’t feel like the spark is there anymore, do it anyway…you’d be surprised at how often the feelings will return and then…chica chica bow bow. Fireworks.

 

  • Be Happy with Yourself

Your significant other isn’t going to be happy with you if you’re not happy with yourself! The happier you are, the more exciting your relationship will be. Work on YOU and your inner happiness FIRST. How can he possibly love or show you love if you can’t love yourself?

Do YOU. 

Pursue your own interests and passions. Be passionate with yourself and a passionate relationship will not be difficult to have.

  • Flirt

Remember in the beginning of your relationship when you would get butterflies whenever your babe walked into a room? I still have those moments when I see The Boyfriend after a long day. I get a little excited and I hope those feelings never end.

What I am guilty of is holding back on that excitement. I should be flirting with him, because our mutual flirtation is a huge part in us becoming a couple.

The first time we kissed, he sent me a text later that night which read something like this: “You were so cute the way you hopped up to kiss me.” The fact that he used the word ‘hopped’ (we were sitting in his truck talking.  I’m short, so in order to kiss him, I had to perch up a bit) endeared me. He was sharing with me his thoughts of our first kiss in an honest and flirtatious (albeit cute) way and I still smile when I think of it.

Flirt with your sweetheart. Send a flirty text during the day to make them smile. Gently touch the arch of her back in a loving way when standing in line. Wink at him across the room.

Flirt like you just met and want to get their attention. 

 

 

Relationships. They’re a crazy thing…but they don’t have to be so hard that they can’t be fun.