Monday, January 27, 2014
Are you wistfully wishing for more intimacy with your special person? You cannot have intimacy without individuality. The closeness comes out of an open sharing of who you are. Known and being known with unconditional acceptance brings intimacy. If either of you pushes the other to be anything other than who you are, intimacy stays out of reach. Encouragement is helpful. Pushing for change or criticism is not.
The big struggle of identifying and knowing what makes us unique and different from each other may not feel like intimacy. Welcome conflict as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the other person. Recognize your tendencies toward a judgmental attitude rather than an opportunity to learn.
You are two very different people engaged in learning the skill of focusing on each other's strengths. You also begin to recognize each other's driving spirit. You share fears, fantasies, moods, memories, longings, passions, hopes, and let-downs. This knowledge brings you to a new level of knowing and understanding and supporting love and growth.
Intimacy creates a powerful nurturing source to fuel the joy of relationship and the ability to manage our lives well. Love can do what money can't do. Love God. Love life. Love yourself and love each other. Welcome each day as a chance to learn to love more. If you and your mate can stay focused on strengths, intimacy will follow. By the time you have been together as long as we have, you will adore each other.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
People often ask my husband and me how long we have been married. The answer, 58 years, usually brings another question, "What is your secret?" Harvard-educated social researcher and best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn has spent the last three years interviewing and surveying 1000 couples to get an answer to that question.
What Feldhahn found was surprisingly simple. She shares the five top things a woman wants from her man and the five top things a man wants from his woman. No one can change another person but simple easily learned ways to make your mate feel loved can go a long way toward creating a successful marriage. Everett and I can relate to many of the common areas of conflict Ms. Feldhahn addresses in her book.
Small actions carry surprising power. Focusing on the positive changes everything. When you believe the best about someone you are more likely to get the best. Keep score in a positive way. "You have worked hard all day. I will clean up the kitchen." At this stage in our own marriage we are more likely to try to get the other one to do less so we can do more.
When it comes to anger, we have found it is important to own our anger and tell our partner, "I am angry." Don't try to resolve it while you are angry. Spend time asking yourself, "why am I making myself angry about this?" Avoid blame. Cool down and then report to your mate what is going on with you.
There is much more and if you truly want to know the answer to the question, "what is the secret to happy marriage", you will find some surprising answers in this book. Relationship truly is the therapeutic process leading to maturity and a satisfying happy life.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
The beautiful Anaheim Marriott Hotel
Turn a Business Trip into a Romantic Adventure
By carefully planning you can turn a business trip into a romantic getaway. Our recent trip to the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference became an opportunity to enjoy the luxury of staying at Anaheim's beautiful Marriott Hotel. Everett, who is retired, visited the hotel's large fitness center every morning after seeing me off to a long morning of classes. The fitness center was complimentary for guests.
We enjoyed breakfast at Marriott's tasty breakfast buffet. The toppings for the steel ground oatmeal included brown sugar; three kinds of raisins; slivered almonds; and dried cranberries, bananas and coconut. What a delightful way to start the day.
Our cozy hotel room had a balcony overlooking the hotel swimming pool and the city beyond. Everett explored the area surrounding the massive Convention Center, the Hilton Hotel across the street from the Marriott and the huge area covered by Disneyland. He discovered Disneyland has an interesting little shopping center. During the mild sunny afternoons he spent time on the balcony reading and writing.
I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner with my lover. Toward the end of the week I skipped a couple of evening classes to have a leisurely dinner at a restaurant chosen by him. I wonder if many of the 8,000 therapists from all over the world who attended the conference brought mates to enjoy the romantic getaway which made learning much more fun.