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Saturday, October 23, 2010

What You Need to Know About Enmeshment

Everett shows off his fish.

When couples become so close they cannot do anything apart therapists call that enmeshment. To have a good soul mate relationship, you must also have a life of your own. That means having friends of your own as well as friends you share with your soul mate.

Everett has lunch every Wednesday with the guys he worked with in engineering before they all retired. They have a lot of laughs and support each other through the challenge of aging. I have friends I meet for lunch and occasionally I spend a weekend at a Women's Retreat. Once I went to Hawaii with a friend to a 10 day "Heal the Healer" conference. It was great.

Monday Everett went fishing with four friends at Pyramid Lake in Nevada. When the men got home Tuesday afternoon the wives joined them for a fish dinner at one of their homes. We had a good time and now we have some new friends.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Meet My Soul Mate

Let me tell you about my soul mate. He grew up the 6th child in a family of 5 boys and 2 girls. Born in 1931 in rural Nebraska in the middle of the great depression, his family struggled to survive after his father lost his farm. Struggling for just food and shelter left its mark.

Everett lives his life with intensity, constantly pushing himself to be better, to do more. No man is loved more by his children, his grandchildren, and his wife and yet he doesn't feel like enough. I see his struggle and how hard he tries to let go, relax, enjoy, and believe in himself. He is thoughtful, helpful, loving, dependable, and kind. He can be fun when he lets go of the intensity. He is able to do that more on our getaways. At those times we talk for hours. We learn together.

Everett and I began our life together naive and lacking many relationship skills, but we learned and are still learning. Our relationship reminds me of a kaleidoscope. We think we know each other and a twist or turn reveals another beautiful color. Learning to be soul mates is worth all the time and effort you give it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More from Susan Osborn

In her book, "The System Made Me Do It", Susan lists challenges that can also be applied to relationship:

.....Lead without being on top
.....Compete without doing others in
.....Learn as much as you can without getting in over your head
.....Be computer savvy without sacrificing face-to-face communication
.....Love both yourself and others
.....Respect life in all of its forms

I would add another challenge from our experience. Love God with your heart, your soul, and your mind. Getting priorities straight will make the rest much easier.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Systems Advice Applied to Relationship

In Susan Osborn'a book, "The System Made Me Do It!", she talks about how to change systems. Some of her advice can be applied to creating good relationship:

"Honor different ways of looking at the world. Eliminate unnecessary conflicts by building structures based on harmony. Convene meetings to practice using tools for conflict management. Confront differences, not each other. Engage in exercises to reduce defensive behavior. Focus on common ground rather than on who is right and wrong."

Ah! If only we had learned these principles as children growing up, there would be fewer divorces and more soul mate relationships.

Monday, October 4, 2010

What Do You Talk About?

Everett and I have spent hours talking to each other about everything from what happens to people when they die to what we like to eat. We have told each other our stories and they never get old. Last week Ev shared something I had never heard.

We were talking about how we developed a sense of self when we were children. He said when anyone came to their house to visit, he would run to the bathroom, wash his hands and face and comb his hair. He wanted to look presentable. None of his four brothers or two sisters did that and no one ever told them to. That was a part of his own developing sense of self.

Our getaways provide opportunities to sit and reflect, share our ideas and opinions, and talk about the books we are reading. As we grow older we talk about values, lessons learned, our hopes and fears for our family. We continue to be very different persons, but our connection gives us blended wisdom--a soul mate benefit.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Another Get-Away at Wally's Hot Springs

We just got back today from another get-away, our time to relax, talk, read, and talk some more. Here is my description:

Immersing ourselves in the beauty
of a high mountain valley
Big bushes, not quite trees,
gather to protect the marshes
Birds, ground squirrels, and
bunnies play in the grass
Big fancy houses pretending
to be old farmhouses catch our eyes
Three-car garages guard
the new kings of the land.

Hot springs caught in pools
bring storytellers together
from all over the world
Soul mates watch the moon rise
as they share with each other
what life is teaching.