Tonight as I watched the poetry that is The Hundred-Foot Journey, a part of me broke open. As I explained to my aunt and my mom when we came home after the film - sharing such a beautiful story of acceptance of our magnificent Indian culture, in the setting of the often ethnocentrically perceived nation of France, is indicative of the hope and pockets of beauty embedded within profound change and transition.
Often spoken with absolute authority, "I disagree" places itself firmly in opposition to the other. It carves an opinion in granite, hinting that further discussion is irrelevant. In personal relationships, these two words can instantly zap the life out of open communication. The opposite of "I disagree" is exploratory dialogue. Open discussion may create more connection.
We rely on the expression around the eyes with our partners to connect. It tells us if they are feeling safe or happy or worried or threatened. Without this cue we don't know how to respond. We see this in children with autism who have flat muscle tone around the eyes; not only are we unable to understand their social engagement cues, but they are not able to understand ours either.
Sex is good. Good sex is great. And great sex... well that's the dream right? While I can't promise that the next guy you bring home will be a God in sack, I can all but guarantee that sweating it out at the gym will help turn up the heat in the bedroom. Now that's what I call an effective incentive!
I consider myself pretty lucky to be able to say that my best friend is also my boyfriend. With all that said, it isn't always dinner by flowers and candlelight. In fact, it's more often than not a daily negotiation of the cleaning duties. So, in one week...I discovered the formula for the age old question of how to get any man to do the dishes.
I threw away the only man who ever loved me, who I was in love with. I realize that this statement must elicit a bunch of questions. Ten years later, I still can't process, make sense of, or come to peace with this loss. I am alone and lonely, so much that it is slowly but surely eating me alive, day in and day out, from the inside out.
I'm not saying that if you have similar taste in food, health and romance that your relationship is doomed. What I am saying however is that those similarities are not enough to hold your relationship together. Two dear friends of mine, John and Sandy, have been married for over 15 years. They couldn't be more opposite from one another.
It is easy not to notice when a relationship is fraying bit by bit. Our relationship seemed fine, and even better than fine. But spending those weekends together made us realize just how much we had missed each other. Our resurrection weekends kept the embers of our relationship burning. It was this yearly injection of passion that kept our love alive during those kid-centred years.
You've just woken up from a deep sleep and then remember that you've been romping all night with the Sandman who may also happen to be your Ex. That's when the WTF moment kicks in. Sex dreams happen to everyone. Sometimes they are as pleasurable as riding white horses in the meadow with George Clooney or getting naughty with Mila Kunis' legs wrapped around your waist.
Being a good partner sometimes means renegotiating communication strategies so that the question "What's wrong?" isn't perpetually sloughed off. It sometimes means breathing through a bad few months and saying, "I accept this, I can do this, I don't have to fight it," even as you keep fighting for the relationship itself.
I was married two years ago. No one asked me to have or to hold my groom as per the traditional Anglican wedding vows at our wedding. I am half-Jewish and an atheist but growing up in Canada "to have and to hold" were the only marriage vows I heard. I think the author was talking about protecting a safe space no matter how heavy the abyss.
A word to the wise: one cannot scale the side of a mountain while sobbing uncontrollably. You need your breath for the exertion. You can climb or you can cry. Not both. I soon realized I didn't need to compose myself and carry on. What I needed to do was to stop and let myself have a big fat embarrassing breakdown.
Fourteen months. Fourteen months is the time I have in my head for how long I would try to save my marriage if things started to go south (hopefully it will never come to that). But once we limp past the one year mark, I think I would rationally assess whether something has shifted so irrevocably in our relationship that it was time to take it off life support.
You need to see that your partner has suffered too, not from your anger, but from the weight of his or her own actions. If you believe your partner deeply regrets his actions, knows he was wrong, and even feels he violated his own personal standards, you will feel more trusting and open to forgiveness.