I’m not sure how it started, but my husband and I have a “no baggage” policy. Secret resentments or silent grudges are forbidden. Maybe because our relationship started long-distance, we quickly recognized that open communication was the only way we had a chance of making it.
So, for us, there’s no waiting for an annual airing of our grievances on Festivus or keeping them bottled up until we explode. We must each let one another know when we are hurt, angry, or disappointed promptly.
This tactic has served us well over the last two decades.
What I appreciate about a…
Around 8 am on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend 2001, I gave myself a silent pep talk in the mirror. This is a necessary practice for introverts who occasionally want to pass for extroverts, without consuming alcohol.
I was at the College of Santa Fe for the long weekend, to attend a screenwriting conference. I was intent on learning, meeting lots of people, and making the expense of my travel from the east coast and the conference worthwhile. I knew I had to be a bit more outgoing than normal to accomplish this.
I’d met a few nice people…
The first time I cleaned up some of my husband’s things around the house and he got mad I was shocked. I was expecting thanks, not complaints. Heaven forbid I put something back where it belongs. Far from being apologetic, I was angry. I felt unappreciated and deeply annoyed too.
I was just being nice. I certainly wouldn’t have complained if he cleaned up my stuff. What the heck?
It’s no secret that relationships are work and, at different points, both partners will make mistakes and hurt one another. This is why forgiveness is a requirement of any close relationship…
I’ve often had trouble getting myself to do things that need to be done when I don’t really want to do them.
But recently I stumbled upon the best way I’ve ever found for getting myself to do tasks I normally dread. Now instead of avoiding certain tasks, I look forward to doing them and even actively look for the time to get them done as soon as possible.
It’s so simple I can’t believe I never consciously used this technique before.
For me, it works much better than bribing myself with rewards.
In the past, I had often tried…
My husband was the one who told me that Bill and Melinda Gates had announced their divorce. He’s not one to gossip, but he told me about it in a text. He was so surprised — and disappointed.
It’s always harder to accept a split when the couple has been together for so long and they seem so great together. There are some couples who we just assume will always be together.
I’ve written quite a few pieces about relationships on Medium. My husband started joking that he is my muse.
Sometimes, maybe it’s true. I’ve learned a lot in the nearly two decades we’ve been together. I enjoy sharing my experiences and lessons learned to help encourage others.
The encouragement is needed because being in a long-term committed relationship isn’t easy. I think the mistake that too many couples make is thinking that it should be.
(Why is this? Nothing worth doing in life is easy!)
When we were receiving our pre-marital counseling, I remember a question we both answered in…
You’ve likely heard the adage “It takes a village to raise a child.”
It’s true. It helps to have good teachers, family members, neighbors, and friends who can help guide and support your kids. Not to mention doctors, dentists, camp counselors, babysitters, pastors, rabbis, therapists, and more.
But I’ve also discovered it takes a village of a different sort to support a parent.
It takes friends of different types that fulfill various needs and support us in essential ways.
As we look forward to more in-person time with other people soon, I have been thinking a lot about my friends…
Have you ever felt insecure about how your relationship compares to others when it comes to money, love, and sex?
When I was dating, I used to wonder how my relationships “measured up”. I’d look to other couples to try and gauge how we were doing. If they went away for the weekend or to a new restaurant, I felt like maybe that was something we had to do too. Was our relationship “less than” if we didn’t?
Or if a friend’s boyfriend was fond of public displays of affection, did that mean mine didn’t care about me as much…
When I first met my husband, if you had asked me what I found sexy about him I would have said his looks, his subtle French accent, his intelligence, and humor.
Many years later, I still find these things about him very attractive (even if I can no longer hear any French accent), but what has surprised me is the other characteristics that I didn’t think about then that I now realize are where long-term sex appeal can be found.
We are each hardwired to find certain physical traits attractive. We are innately drawn to some kinds of looks or…