Posts Tagged ‘NY Times Modern Love’

Improve Your Marriage: Act A Little Divorced.

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Photo Credit — Lyte Henrickson

 

Written by Terri Crosby for In Care of Relationships

Marriage is popular, but it’s not easy. 

In a recent video blog called “Why Most Marriages Fail” (1 min 30 secs) I talk about how losing ourselves in a relationship makes it go downhill.

If you’re looking for a little hope with an extra dip of practical information, check out Love Illuminated: Exploring Life’s Most Mystifying Subject (With the Help of 50,000 Strangers) by Daniel Jones. 

He is the long-time author of the NY Times “Modern Love” column. 

In chapter 6 of his book, he gives practical tips for maintaining healthy individuality in marriage. 

Thousands of people have written to him over the years about every possible aspect of love, one of them being the downside of living in the same house with the same person forever!  For some, this long-term commitment can feel smothering.  Others might describe the trouble with marriage as, “Somewhere along the way, I simply lost myself.”

And goodness!  “Losing yourself” has so many variations.

You love freedom, but over the years, you feel like you’ve lost it.  You love exploring the local countryside on weekends, or taking day trips or spontaneous Saturday morning excursions, and you stopped doing that.  Maybe you used to hang-glide, take photographs of nature, or sing.  But with the responsibility of children and schedules, you got talked out of it.

BEHOLD!

There are solutions to feeling like your individual flavors have melted into blobs of too much togetherness, where nobody’s really getting what they truly want.  You know – those times when you go along with your partner, even when you don’t really want to.  You go just because it’s expected or because you think they want you there — to keep the peace or to keep up appearances. 

A friend of mine just came back from a very good vacation.  He got a little divorced from his mother.  Before he went on vacation to visit his parents and family, he warned his mother that he was not going to go anywhere he didn’t want to go — no obligatory visits to this person or that event — which thoroughly upset his mother.  She was mad!  But he said, “Mom, you really want to get over this, because you really want to see your grand daughter, right?  So this is how it’s going to be.  I want a real and relaxing vacation.”

ACT A LITTLE DIVORCED

In LOVE ILLUMINATED, Daniel Jones gives the example of a couple (both were children of divorce) who were especially determined to make their own marriage last.  Even though they both did their best to be caring partners, they found themselves struggling in their marriage.  They had also defaulted to traditional marriage roles as husband and wife, which did not sit well with the wife.

So, as they watched friends get divorced one by one, rather than getting divorced themselves, they decided to try (as Daniel puts it) “cherry-picking the benefits of divorce without actually getting divorced.”

This couple began with the idea that one ought to be as able and independent within the marriage as outside it. 

So they decided to trade off leaving each other in charge of the house and children, meaning they handed off responsibilities to each other as if it was part of a custody agreement. 

Then, as the non-custodial parent, they had ACTUAL free time to get out and do things — go on weekend trips, see friends, pursue a creative interest or whatever floated their boat.  And when they came back to the nest, they felt refreshed, energized, and intellectually stimulated, and ready for another go at home life.  It worked for them.

Interesting idea, huh?  Such a creative way for remembering who you are!

On other sides of the question, what can’t you do because you’re single?  Or because you’re working?  Or because of money?  Or because you have children or you’re a single parent? 

Life will provide plenty of reasons not to do many of the things you want to do.  So, make it a practice to become more conscious and intentional about consistently doing what makes your life richer and fuller, whether it’s with your partner or on your own. 

There’s always a way to figure out how to do more of what we really enjoy!

Make a new choice this week in favor of you!  Do something you thought you couldn’t because of your circumstances. 

Act a little divorced!

I’d love to hear about it.

 

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Rise Up by Andra Day

What a great set of words for these oncoming days.

Rise Up

 
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
Bring it to its feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
And we will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh, oh
We’ll rise
I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Cassandra Monique Batie / Jennifer Decilveo
Rise Up lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

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Rippling Abs, Anyone?

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
 
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
 
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
 
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
 
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
 
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
 
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
 
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
 
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
 
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
 
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
 
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.
 

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

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Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Sometimes we ask intimate partners to do for us what is actually ours to do.

We ask our partner to give us the reassurance, love or appreciation we feel is missing in ourselves, with the hope that they will give us what we’re asking for—and then we’ll feel better. They’ll take care of our problem.

But when they do give us what we’re asking for, it can never be enough, because we have insufficient context for what they’ve given. We haven’t build the inner foundation to receive it, hear it, welcome it, believe it. They try to help, but their love for us falls into our void, our black hole, our love bucket with no bottom.

As always, there’s hope. Check out the video below.

Terri Crosby. http://www.incareofrelationships.com/.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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Terri Crosby

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