Posts Tagged With: married

DOVE NOTE #90 – Soda Explosion


We all know (or should know) that any relationship worth having will have some issues to iron out. The following is one such issue…

Two friends of mine are making plans to get married (somewhere in the distant future, and yes, to each other). The guy is having difficulty understanding why his fiance wasn’t okay with him hanging out with an old female friend. He says she’s only a friend. Although, when pressed, he admits that this girl likes him. And though he says he doesn’t like her, it still doesn’t foster a sense of security with his fiance.

I told him that this girl is probably hoping not-so-secretly that if things don’t go well with his current girlfriend, she’ll be there to “mend his heart” and finally get her chance to date him. He found the thought of that to be somewhat ridiculous. Mostly because he doesn’t find her remotely attractive.

So I offered him a word of advice. I said, “Willfully contributing to your partner’s insecurity is like shaking a bottle of soda. Once you open it up, it’ll explode all over you and everyone close to you.” I told him to show his fiance how much he values her by demonstrating his preference for her feelings over all others. Blessed is the husband whose life consists of joyful memories upon which he and his wife can build a happy future.

Categories: Dove Note, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

DOVE NOTE #20: Healthy Inequality


(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes”)

You will rarely (if ever) hear anyone talk about something being unequal yet healthy. That is, until today…

See, I fully believe that healthy relationships thrive on the premise that the love and effort of each individual is being reciprocated, although not always in equal amounts. What I mean is that it’s not so much about what they do or how often they do it, but rather the motivation behind the fact that they do anything at all. If the only effort put into a relationship stems from a desire to store up “credits” to use when they want something, then it’s destined to fail. It is impossible to experience the benefits of cultivating a healthy relationship when the root is established by having your needs met through guilt and manipulation. Those trees can only bear fruit of disappointment and regret.

You need to start with a realistic perspective of the dynamics of your relationship. This should include accepting that any attempt to measure the equality of “give and take” in a relationship is pointless without first finding out what kinds of things really matter to each of you individually. Because your sincere efforts may go unnoticed if you’re focusing on things that may mean a lot to you but mean very little to your significant other. And vice versa. A good place to start is determining your Love Language. It also helps to keep in mind this nugget of wisdom my mother offered me right before I got married…

“Remember that relationships won’t always be 50/50 give and take. Sometimes they’re 80/20 or 30/70, depending on what you may be facing. The key is recognizing when you can be a support, and speaking up when you need to be supported.”

Go mom! ūüėÄ

Categories: Dove Note, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

DOVE NOTE #63: The Magic Pill


(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes”)

Now this may be controversial, but I’m going to make the bold assertion that there are very few things more damaging to long term relationships than unspoken expectations (I call them The Ewwies as in, “The U.E’s”). These Ewwies come about when communication is relegated to an afterthought instead of a priority in the relationship.

So what could be worse, you ask?

Well, “worse” would be people erroneously assuming these unspoken expectations will somehow miraculously be met once they get married.¬† It’s almost as if they believe marriage is some Magic Pill that will communicate all of their hidden desires and make all of their relationship issues go away. Unfortunately, it’s a recipe for disaster if there ever was one.

Just recently a friend told me that he’ll be getting married in six weeks. I’m sure he noticed my facial expression, which was an unmistakable combination of shock and concern mixed with that pain stricken face you make when you swallow something hard. I quickly caught myself and smiled. Although it certainly seems kind of rushed to me, I do realize it’s different for everyone. I mean, I’m all for marrying when the time is right. But to avoid the Ewwies I think it’s critical that some basic expectations are covered before walking down the aisle. So I just encouraged him to make sure he’s tackled some of the big topics with his soon-to-be wife, like:

  1. Children (how many, if at all)
  2. Child Rearing (spanking/discipline, education, and nutrition)
  3. Finances (separate or joint accounts, who pays what)
  4. Religion (Protestant, Jewish, Agnostic, Wiccan, Catholic?)

Disagreements in any of these critical areas can often become deal-breakers in a relationship. And failing to address them before marriage only serves to exacerbate the agony of the Ewwies. In the end, I’ve found that some of the best marriages are the ones with strong foundations built on effective communication… and successful avoidance of the Ewwies. ūüėČ

Categories: Dove Note, marriage, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

DOVE NOTE #24: Love Language


(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes “)

I was talking to a friend the other day and he asked me, “So how’s married life?”¬† I told him that this is the absolute happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life.¬† And for those who know my history,¬†that’s saying a lot.¬†¬†Because I honestly thought that I would never love or be loved like this… EVER.¬† I was deeply wounded by my last marriage, but even so there was always a part of me that believed in a deep love and still¬†yearned for¬†it.

So, in the beginning of my relationship with¬†Dre,¬†we discussed the importance of demonstrating love and feeling loved.¬† You know… that feeling that tells you beyond a shadow of a doubt that someone truly loves you?¬† It not only provides indisputable proof of your commitment to a person, but it can fan the flames of passion.¬† And who doesn’t appreciate passion, right? ¬† Anyway, we’d heard about the Five Love Languages and decided to find out which one best described our individual needs.

What was most interesting was learning that there were very different ways that made us feel loved.¬†¬†¬† For Dre, nothing says “I love you” more than spending time with her.¬† Sure… I can call her at work and say I love you every day for a month…¬†I can even have elaborate bouquets of flowers delivered to the house every Thursday at 3 o’clock… but for her these things¬†will never replace me actually being with her.

By spending time with her, it communicates to her that she is important to me, and says there’s nothing more important to me right now than her.¬† And we both benefit because it means she wants me around… she enjoys my company.¬† My friend put it best when he said, “She has chosen to love you… not like family who loves you because you’re related, but because she sees something in you that’s valuable.”¬† Amen.

For me, its very different.¬† What lets me know that she loves me is her confidence in me… her support and encouragement.¬† She can give me compliments all day, and even spend time with me, but it doesn’t replace knowing and hearing that she believes in me.¬† If I’ve completed something that I’ve worked hard on and she says, “You did a great job honey,” that’s nice and all, but what would really put me on cloud nine is if while I’m working or planning, for her to say that I’m doing a great job, that she trusts my judgment, that she believes I’m doing the right thing and I’m on the right track.¬† Build my confidence and I’ll feel loved.

With this revelation, we had to rethink what defines things for our relationship like Romance, Intimacy and Consideration.¬† The trick here¬†was remembering that when¬†demonstrating love we can find ourselves only¬†giving what¬†we hope to receive.¬† But with true love, it’s more about communicating what you need and feeling loved when that person sincerely gives it to you.

This year we’ll be celebrating our 8 year wedding anniversary… and I still look at her with wide-eyed disbelief of how incredibly blessed I am to have found her… not someone like her… but HER in particular.

Categories: Dove Note, family, intimacy, marriage, personal, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Social Distortion


I was talking to a friend the other day about music and we got onto a topic regarding my concern about how everything in life seems to be moving toward Social Media. Currently, at your fingertips you can instantaneously enjoy music, movies, and eBooks. Unfortunately, I believe that this has created a culture of impatience. Especially in the current generation of teens that never knew TVs without a remote, never used a record player when it was actually a household appliance, and can hardly believe there was ever a time when people didn’t have mobile phones, let alone caller ID. But what I’m¬†MOST concerned about is how this culture of immediacy has affected interpersonal relationships. Especially the romantic kind.

See, in an era where relationship statuses are broadcast in real time all over the world, couples are rarely given time to work out their issues before you get:

  • 50 people liking the fact that you’ve gone from “in a relationship” or “married”, to “single” or “it’s complicated”
  • a few dozen comments on how he/she was no good for you, interspersed with a handful of people making jokes about his/her appearance
  • name changed and photos of the ex-SO either deleted or untagged in less than 15 minutes

I think social media allows far too many outside influences and doesn’t give many fledgling relationship time to breathe, and the people in them time to grow and mature. I believe this causes people to make hasty decisions based on emotion instead of taking the time to come to a rational and often peaceful resolution. Instead, Social Networking promotes the “spectator mentality” so that people are drawn to online relationship conflicts in the same way that people will run to the scene of an accident. This increasing interference is what I like to call “Social Distortion”.

Sadly, it would seem that young people are more susceptible to this interference because they have so little life experience and diminishing personal references for healthy relationships. My hope is that by working to model healthy communication and interaction in my own marriage, it might help my children avoid buying into the restless lifestyle and unnecessary heartbreak.

What do you think, do you think the tide of social distortion can be turned?

Or are we headed for further deterioration of intimate relationships?

Categories: intimacy, marriage, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: