12 Things 12 Years of Marriage Has Taught Me

Hubs and I are escaping reality for a few days to celebrate our Anniversary this weekend. In thinking about all I need to do before disconnecting and dumping the kiddos with Mimi I have been thinking a lot about what I’ve learned about marriage thus far. Sure, I specialize in relationships and couples therapy, I have read lots of books, been to many conferences and work with relationships every day.

But what have I  learned about marriage and myself in the past 12 years?

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Dear Dads

Dads,

You are so important, so needed, so powerful in our lives. In this day and age many women want to say “I don’t need a man” well, maybe you don’t need one but do you want one? The roles of men and dads in our lives are sometimes overpowered by feminism. Don’t get me wrong here I am a feminist at heart but I also find space to see and honor the role of men in our lives.

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Silence is NOT Golden!!!!

Silence is not golden…I repeat….Silence is not golden!!!

Well Said!

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got came from an old friend of mine. It came during a difficult time in my marriage, and was in response to the question: Do I continue in a relationship where my needs are not being met and my words fall on deaf ears time & time again?  It proved helpful and has guided me in relationships ever since.

“In any relationship (professional or personal), you must tell the other person what you need, want, expect, and deserve. If they rise to meet those expectations and make an effort to give you what you need, then you’ll have your answer. 

So..I did just that.

It saved my marriage.

In my work with couples and families, people often say to me…”I bet nothing surprises you anymore”. Actually, what surprises me most about humans is how little they communicate.

I’m talking NO COMMUNICATION…At all…Nothing…Zero…Nada!

Listen up people….life is messy. Relationships are messy. Humans are a lot of things, but they are NOT MIND READERS!  You may be waiting for the right words or the right time to have a difficult conversation. Guess what? There is no right time, and you may never have the right words  Stop waiting and start talking.

Do not expect others to give you what you need, want and/or expect, if you are not willing to tell them what that is!  If they make an effort to give you what you need/want and expect, they are keepers. If they don’t, won’t or can’t, at least you can walk away knowing you did everything within your power to salvage the …(marriage, friendship, business partnership), etc…You get the idea…now get to talking.

Speaking Up: What Are We So Afraid Of?

Speaking up… In my post last week on authenticity I referenced the notion of speaking up as one component to authentic freedom. Of all the 5 points I listed, speaking up seemed to bring on the most feedback. I heard things like, “I really need to work on speaking up”, “I don’t speak up enough”, and “thank you for giving me permission to speak up for myself”.

This got me thinking: What is it about speaking up – bringing voice to our feelings and thoughts – that causes so much anxiety and apprehension? I realized this is worth exploring…

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Top 5 Things My Hubby Does That Annoy the Sh!t out of me

Top 5 things my hubby does that annoy the shit out of me:

1. He does not listen

I have to say most things at least twice. I often ask if he even heard my comment because of his lack of acknowledgement. And when he did listen to me he usually tries to give me advice or tell me how to fix something.

2. He does not clean up after himself

I do the dishes 99.5% of the time. His clothes hit the floor right outside the clothes hamper. He does not clean the sink after he shaves and I am the only one who carries his shoes upstairs when they are piling up next to his recliner. Continue reading

Friendship: Comes in Different Shapes and Sizes.

Friendship. What is friendship, really? According to Merriam Webster, friendship is defined as:

One attached to another by affection or esteem; A favored companion.
There are many definitions actually but I liked this one. I’ve had friendship on the brain because, well, I think about friendship, often. In a longing way. A gratuitous way. A confused way. So, I’m finding these definitions helpful in shedding a little light on what friendship is, and what it isn’t.

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