Monday, December 7, 2015

Relationships



Dealing with Technology

We live in the technology age and it is taking over our relationships.

Our eyes are glued to our smart phone screens instead of gazing into the eyes of the ones we love. Conversations have become text messages. Emotions have become emojis (J💋 ). Heart to heart talks have become Face-time or Snap-chats.

People joke about the zombie apocalypse, yet it is already here, as people walk around with heads down transfixed by what’s happening on their tiny little screens.

While technology is a wonderful thing when used appropriately, it has become detrimental to connecting with others in meaningful ways.

How can we change this disturbing trend and keep technology from taking over our lives?

We must set boundaries. We should be the masters of our technological gadgets – not the other way around.

A few suggestions:
·   Avoid picking up your phone to check email or scroll through Facebook as soon as you wake up. Your waking moments should be peaceful, instead of being bombarded with negativity and drama.
·   Declare a “no gadgets” rule at the dinner table. Spend the time talking about your day and enjoying your food and family.
·   When hosting a get-together, collect all phones in a small basket to be picked up at the end of the night. There is nothing worse than looking around the room and watching everyone on their phones. What happened to connecting and conversation?
·   Turn your phone off at 8pm each night. Let friends and family know you will be unavailable to take calls after that time.
·   Let your family and friends know you are stepping back from technology in favor of connecting personally with them and encourage them to do the same.

Marriage/Partnerships

How happy are you in your relationship with your spouse/partner? Is there still a flame of passion burning within the relationship or has the spark died out?

Have the two of you settled into comfortable routines and grown boring and are bored with life and each other? Are there unresolved conflicts or hurt feelings that are festering?

As little girls we dream of being romanced and swept off our feet by Prince Charming to live happily ever after, but real life often turns out to be far from the fairy tale we envisioned.

Marriage is hard work. It’s not all roses and champagne. It takes patience, communication, determination, and most of all forgiveness to make love last.

The feelings of love will ebb and flow over time. Sometimes life just gets in the way, but with commitment you do not give up at the first sign of trouble. That is taking the easy way out.

We have become a disposable society. We are so quick to discard what isn’t working and replacing it with a perceived new and better (or younger) model. Unfortunately, many marriages end as quickly as they began.

For better or worse. In sickness and in health. Til death do us part. These vows have become nothing more than words to recite at the marriage ceremony. They are not taken to heart.

The definition of vow is: a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment.
In marriage you have solemnly promised, pledged, and have publicly made a personal commitment to love and honor your spouse in the good times and the bad.

Are you keeping your promise?

I am not a marriage counselor, but I have been married to one man for over 23 years. We have raised our three children together and have been to hell and back. We have had our share of hurts and disagreements.

We’ve dealt with illnesses and barely making ends meet. We’ve survived two overseas deployments during war-time and the homecomings and readjustment periods of each. We are not perfect, but we refuse to give up on each other.

Do you want to know the secret of making it this long in marriage?

We are really good at forgiving each other.

That is really it.

Do whatever you can to rekindle that feeling of love at first sight. Think back to what made you fall head over heels in love with your spouse. That person is still there.

What made your spouse fall in love with you? Become that person again. Maybe it was your infectious laugh, a bubbly personality, or the corny jokes you told.

The thing that makes people fall in love is how they feel when they are with that special someone. How did he make you feel?

It’s easy to get caught up in life. You get busy. You are raising a family. You have to earn a living to provide for your family. Fun and romance often gets last place on the agenda. You’re in survival mode.

We’ve all been there.

But the problems begin when you let your relationship stay in survival mode and the love and connection starves to death. Kids grow older and more independent.

Now is the time to reconnect and fall in love with each other all over again. We are all busy, but you can make time if your marriage is truly important to you.

Suggestions on how to reignite the spark and infuse your marriage with fun and romance:
·   Incorporate date nights on a monthly basis – at the very least. Weekly would be better. Take turns planning date night activities. Talking about the kids, jobs, or bills is NOT allowed on your dates!
·   Appreciate him. It’s easy to take each other for granted but he needs to know how much you appreciate what he does for you and the family.
·   Buy a sexy nightgown instead of going to bed in a ratty t-shirt.
·   Laugh together. Rent a comedy. Tell silly jokes. Laugh at his jokes. Laughter is good medicine.
·   Look through old photo albums together and share your happy memories.
·   Try new things together. Try some of the things he enjoys – even if you don’t think you’ll like it. You may be surprised and find it fun after all!
·   Do special things for him occasionally. Buy his favorite candy bar – just because. Give him a back massage. Cook his favorite meal.
·   Let him know you still find him attractive. Compliment him on how strong he is as you squeeze his bicep. Tell him how much you love his eyes or his smile.
·   Touch often. Hold hands while watching tv and out in public. Hug him from behind when he’s not expecting it. Pat him on the behind with a cheeky grin for the fun of it. You man needs your touch.

Toxic Relationships

We were not made to be alone. We all crave connection and love. We need to know we are wanted and needed. We were designed to have relationships and with good ones we come alive and thrive.

Part of creating a well-lived life is having harmonious relationships that support, encourage and build us up and vice versa.

Unfortunately some relationships do more harm than good. They are negatively fueled, full of drama, and induce painful feelings. There is one word to describe these types of relationships.

Toxic.

There are some relationships that cannot be salvaged because of their toxicity levels. It takes two to be in a relationship and you have the power to choose what is acceptable or not.

There are personal boundaries that should be respected. You have the right to be yourself, to not be subjected to pain physically, emotionally or mentally. You have the right to say no to anything that is not intended for your highest good.

Some will test you but you must stand your ground and be firm in your standards of acceptable behavior. If others cannot respect your boundaries, you have the right to cut them out of your life – either temporarily or for good.

You are not a bad person for doing so. It’s difficult to create a life you love under the barrage of constant criticism and negativity.

If it is something serious such as drug or alcohol abuse, you must realize that you cannot help someone who doesn’t want the help. And you shouldn’t allow yourself to become entwined in a co-dependent relationship. It’s not beneficial to either of you.

You must always do what is best for you and your family first and let others – who are toxic and unwilling to change – do what they have always done.

Usually those with dependency problems have to come to a realization on their own before they are ready to commit to change. When that time comes, then you may offer emotional support and encouragement.

Always put your well-being and that of your family first. Not in a snobbish “it’s-all-about-me” way, but with the realization and knowing that your well-being and needs are important.

After all, we are talking about YOUR life here and how you can create one that is loved and well-lived.

Relationships are important. But you have the power to choose what relationships you want to hold on to.

Choose the ones that are best for you.


Choose wisely.

Tracy Lee xx

2 comments :

  1. I totally feel you on the technology. Especially having children and a teen. We have to very serious about laying rules down and boundries for media. If not it can take over. I love the idea of shutting the stuff by 8 PM.

    Marriage is for sure hard work. I am very thankful for my husband. Date nights have been what has created us a strong bond. The only thing I would like to try is not talking about the kids. It is so hard. Sometimes that is our only alone time and it gives us opportunities to share things we may be dealing with but I believe you are right. I need to find a way to not do this every date night.

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  2. Gosh this is one of your best posts, Tracy. I agree that you have to put your relationship first.

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