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Friday, July 31, 2009

LeAnn Rimes and Dean Sheremet

Rimes and Sheremet married when Rimes was 19 and Sheremet was 21. Seven years later they have separated. People Magazine once quoted Rimes as saying that marriage "is finding the one you're friends with and love, flaws and everything."
There is truth in that, but marriage also includes commitment and a willingness to work through the hard times.

Some celebrities learn to be soul mates, but it must be very difficult. It takes determination, a willingness to be faithful, and some kind of defense against the fame that follows them. Rimes and Sheremet had a lot going for them, but they may never experience the joy of being soul mates. That is a big loss.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sea Ranch--Where Romance Blooms

We have just returned from our favorite get-away place-Sea Ranch. Everyone of the 22 rooms at the lodge looks out at the ocean and acres of natural landscape. A ten mile trail follows the ocean north to the seaside town of Gualala. A solarium and dining room provide views up and down the coast. No television interferes with the peaceful solitude.

This morning we watched six or eight deer in the tall weeds and bushes outside our window. We read and write, walk and talk. We came home full of love and at peace with the world.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Crunch! Crunch!

Soul mates don't feel like they are walking on eggs around each other. If either of you feel that way, it is time to make a relationship check and consider some help from a counselor. Soul mates feel relaxed and safe with each other.

If you are easily hurt and feel you must avoid conflict, you will make it impossible to understand and accept each other. The key to becoming soul mates is acceptance, understanding, and trust.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fear Creates Distance

One of the biggest hurdles to understanding your lover is to learn to listen without fear. To let go of defenses. In order to survive as children we learn defensive skills. When we grow up and want a close relationship, we still use those skills as if we are in danger from our lover. We are afraid that he/she might not speak to us or love us any more.

Early in our marriage Everett would walk out of the room when there was conflict. I would withdraw, shut-down, and be hurt when there was conflict. We had to learn how to let go of those defenses and listen to each other. Now that we can do that, we have found that love and intimacy have increased. We can be ourselves, say what we think and feel and still know that we are accepted and loved. We look forward to coming home to safety instead of dreading to come home because we don't know what to expect.
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Courage to Say What You Feel

Learning to be soul mates can only happen when individual differences are appreciated and mistakes are expected and communication is open. It cannot happen when people feel like they are walking on eggs around each other. It cannot happen if you avoid conflict by not talking about things that might upset the other person.

You may not say what you feel because of your partner's defensive reaction. Defensive reactions can be withdrawal and refusal to talk or it can be explosive accusations of blame for feeling that way. One man I know couldn't ask his wife about finances without his wife bursting into tears and accusing him of not trusting her. The results were disastrous and they ended up divorced and deeply in debt.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Understanding and Acceptance

I keep going back to understanding and acceptance, because that is the goal of being soul mates. You cannot be soul mates without it. It requires conscious and intentional openness to understanding. This, of course, presents a constant challenge.

A good example of that challenge is the way we accept the telling of shared stories. That was hard for me. Most of the time who is right and who is wrong has little to do with acceptance of the story. It doesn't matter whose story is closest to what actually happened. How our partner experienced and remembers a shared event gives us more information about who he/she is. Open up to that and enjoy who that person is.