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Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

I read an article a few days ago that piqued my interest (click here to read the article in full). In short, the article talks about how the ‘modern man’ is supposed to be many things to their partner and should avoid some specific pitfalls if they are to keep their wife and their marriage in good shape.

The ‘rule’ that I have the challenge with is #1: “Providing the basics for your family”. It talks about a man working overtime shifts, or keeping his mouth shut if he don’t like his boss so he keeps his job. I disagree with this definition of ‘providing’ for a partner in a relationship.

I am in a wonderful relationship; my husband and I both work very hard at different things and towards different passions, to provide a home for each other and lifestyle that we enjoy together. We make different amounts of salary – but to me, that is the very least of being a provider.

To me, a provider is someone who loves me, when I don’t love myself. Someone who makes me smile, when I’m down. Someone who carries me, when I’m too tired to carry myself. The job or the money is only a single, very unimportant part of all of this – someone who works long hours to ‘bring home the bacon’ is NOT a provider unless they do all the other things that their partner needs them to do along the way.

The idea of a provider within a relationship should also be targeted towards both parties within a relationship, not just the ‘modern day man’. The last time I checked, a marriage and a relationship is a two-way street. Both partners need to be committed to success if the relationship is going to work. Both people need to be invested to keep the relationship, the spark, the trust, and the commitment alive to make it through the good times and the bad.

So how do you define a provider? To me, to be a partner in a committed relationship is, at it’s very basest level, what it means to provide for the person you are with. The technicalities of what that provision looks like will vary in every relationship and to every couple out there, but think about your definition of providing for your partner the next time you work late hours, take on extra shifts, or abandon your partner for the sake or ‘providing’ for them.

What are you really providing? Is it really what they need? Providing isn’t ‘providing‘ if it’s not good for the relationship.

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Be My Sea Otter

I read an interesting article the other day about sea otters. The article said that sea otters hold hands when they sleep so that they don’t drift away from each other. What a beautiful thought! And how applicable to us humans, in our busy and oh-so-distracting daily lives.

  • How many times have you felt as though something was getting between you and your partner?
  • How often have you felt as though the world is coming between you and your loved one?
  • Have you ever felt like your loved one is slipping away from you due to the madness that you feel all around you, and the pressures that are exerted on you both from society on a daily basis?

I have felt all of these stresses at various times in my relationships. Sometimes the requirements of work mean long days, exhausted nights, and too much overtime to count – all of which equates to less time with my husband. Sometimes all I read in the news is how everyone is splitting up, giving up, and refusing to make their relationships work – and I wonder how us two will every make it in this world where one seems to be the magic number.

But on days like these, and all the moments in between (truth be told), my husband and I take our cues from the sea otters – and we hold each other’s hand.

Holding hands is not only symbolic that we are united, close and strong together – but it’s a source of great physical comfort.

 

engaged couple holding on hands - view from backside

– It’s the warmth of someone you trust; holding you and supporting you when words are not enough.

– It’s the strength of the person you love the most in your life, leading you through the tough times and guiding you when you’ve lost your way.

– It’s the comfort of knowing you are not alone; you cannot be torn apart from your partner.

 

 

So the next time you are feeling a bit low, or like you need some extra strength from someone you love, don’t be afraid to reach out and hold their hand. I find it the simplest and most beautiful expression of love, trust, strength, and unity.

 

And if it’s good enough for the sea otters – it’s good enough for me.

 

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Like most people, I work during the day. However, I have been known to record Ellen Degeneres‘ talk-show at times, for a pick-me-up when I’m cleaning on the weekend or if I need some distraction. I’ve noticed that Ellen always ends her show by saying “Be kind to one another”. I love it. Here’ s why.

 

It’s sucniceh a simple request.

Such a simple concept. And yet – so lacking in this world I see around me.

Be nice. Be kind.

It’s not as though it’s an end to hunger or a ceasing of war (although these, too, would be nice).

Just a simple request to treat others as you’d want to be treated.

With kindness.

 

I think if we all tried this, we’d be amazed at the change we’d see in the world. For example:

  • Next time you walk through a door, check to see if there’s anyone behind you; if there is, hold the door
  • When a waiter brings you your food at a restaurant, say thank you with a smile, and mean it
  • If you see someone drop something on the street, stop and pick it up for them; don’t just walk by as if didn’t notice
  • When you walk by anyone, be it a stranger or someone you see everyday in your office, smile or say hello

Be kind to one another.

It’s not hard. It’s not expensive. And it’s not time consuming.

Let’s all follow Ellen’s advice.

 

 

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A Precious Commodity

Time is relative, when you think about it. It’s a bit like money. We all spend time where we choose (also like our money). And although we are all busy; there is always time to be made or found — and spent where it needs to be. However, time is not limitless. And that makes it a very precious commodity.

Sometimes, don’t get me wrong, time is spent where it has to be – we all need to work, and buy groceries, and do certain things on a regular basis that we would prefer not to have to do but that is necessary to our daily life. But for the most part, we can choose to spend our time where we would like to.

 

 

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In my opinion, time is our greatest treasure and the greatest gift we can give to those around us.

 

 

 

But how much time do we all waste, on a regular basis, doing something we don’t want or need to be doing? And as we spend our time doing these things that are sometimes mindless, often thankless, and always time consuming – how many times have we suddenly realized that we’ve lost time with someone or doing something really important, and that no matter how much we try, we’ll never get back?

Therein lies the lesson. It’s important to use time wisely. None of us know how much time we or those we love have left. If we make a conscious effort to spend our time doing what we love with who we love, we could say that our lives were time well spent.

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Recently, I heard a comment about how we love the people in our lives. The idea was that we all want to be loved, but we often recognize love only when it’s given to us in the same manner that we would give it to someone else. And consequently, when love is given to us in an unfamiliar way, it tends to go unnoticed.

For some, love is as simple as a wink when no one else is looking or a text message with a smiley face. For others, love means outward and public displays of affection, gushing ‘I love you’s’, and hand-holding at ever possible moment. But in the end, the key is to recognize how others give and show love and blend that with how you give and show love.  That way, the affection is recognized when it comes along, no matter what form it’s in.

So the next time you expect an ‘I love you’ written across the sky and what you get is a wink and a slight touch of a hand, remember that there is no right or wrong way to love or to be loved.

Just make sure that you do.

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The List

In every relationship, there is a list (figuratively, of course). A list of reasons why the relationship works, and what makes it tick.  And for each couple, that list is unique to them and their situation. It takes into account how personalities mesh and why souls connect. And while I can guarantee that there will always be things on the list that are not understood or agreed upon by others, quite frankly, the list is no one’s business but your own.

I know couples who have handled infidelity, money problems, or differences of culture, race, or religion. I know couples where one person is widely liked while the other person is not. But the one thing that all of these couples have in common is that they make a conscious choice to be together because of what they have with each other. They are good together, they know that, and that is what matters.

From the outside, some of these issues appear may insurmountable. Comments like ‘I would never deal with that’ or ‘I don’t know why they stay together’ tend to fly freely when others learn of the trouble. But honestly, when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter. As long as they are truly happy, with who they are and who they are with, that is what is important.

We’ve all heard expressions about walking miles in other people’s shoes – these instances are no different. Until you are there, with that person, in that scenario – you never know.

The next time you look at another person and judge their relationship (either with approval or with condemnation) remember that you don’t know what’s on their list. Instead, look at and after the things on your own list, in your relationship.  Keep your own list current, up to date, and relevant.

But remember – the only one to whom your list matters, is you.

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Embers Are Forever

It occured to me that lately I’ve written about ways to spice up your relationship and keep it fresh. However, a very wise and dear friend sent me a bit of food for thought about my most recent post Making The Effort. I don’t think her words need much explanation; they are beautiful and poignant. She said:

“(In a relationship) the sparks eventually turn into embers (the part of the fire with the most heat) …  No more popping, sparking, or sizzling,  but comforting nonetheless.  And they hold the heat forever.  The fire can be almost out, but if you stir up those embers, you get a little flame and you have a new beginning, sparks and all.”

Beautiful. Fire and flames are new and exciting, but eventually they flicker and grow dim. And that’s ok. Because the heat and the embers are around forever.

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