Thoughts (Advice)

Enjoy Your Lane

Have you ever gotten on a crowded freeway and watched someone change lanes constantly trying to race everyone to the next exit?  What usually happens is that eventually everyone gets to the next exit pretty much at similar times.  All that jockeying for the superior position turns out to be a waste of time.  That’s what happens often in our own relationships with our guys.  If we, as women, allow ourselves to be dissatisfied, we can easily set ourselves up to being jealous of those around us.  This in itself is a huge waste of emotional energy because it doesn’t solve anything.  Instead, the smart girlfriend-wife looks for ways to admire her man and then tell him about it.  Respect and admiration are actual decisions.  We have a choice. We can always long for something someone else appears to have and live a life of discontent.  Or we can decide to enjoy the “lane” we are in and look for all the positives and enjoy them! The happiest couples I know purpose to live each day with their mate with love and respect. As Philip James Bailey once wrote,
“Respect is what we owe; LOVE is what we give.”

Second Chances

It’s a brand new year and Boyfriend-Husband is officially ONE YEAR STRONG!! Thinking about the fresh year ahead of us; it’s a great time to clear the slate and start anew in our relationships.  One of the best gifts we can give to our man is the gift of the “Second Chance.”  I remember a cool quote from the movie, “New Year’s Eve…”
“Sometimes it feels like there are so many things in the world we can’t control…but it’s important to remember the things that we can; like forgiveness, second chances, fresh starts…Because the one thing that turns the world from a longing place to a beautiful place…is love.  Love gives us hope.”
The Oxford Thesaurus defines “second” as “extra” or “additional.”  It even implies the word, “next.” What’s “next” in your feelings towards your guy?  As C. S. Lewis reminds us, “Forgiveness sounds like a lovely thing, until you are given a reason to use it.”  Start the new year out right, give your man a second chance and start again building your love story.  Second Chances often times bring the greatest gifts!!

The Wall

As I was traveling over the holidays recently, one of our family members had to get something at the drug store.  As we came upon one in a strange city, it appeared to have steel beams surrounding it like a barricaded castle.  All the windows were taped over and there didn’t seem to be a door in sight.  Sure enough, our relative who lived nearby, jumped out of the car and said it was “Open,” although very much “Under Construction.” I just marveled at the thought because entrance and movement in and out looked  “impossible” from the outside.  That is how it is many times in our relationships with the guys we love.  It looks like we can’t possibly come to an agreement over something or maybe, our man seems to have put up a wall in front of his heart and doesn’t want to talk. Yet, LOVE always finds a way.  As someone said in the movie, “Love Actually,” “It seems to me that love is everywhere.  Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there.”  Don’t give up.  Love never does.  Love never fails.  Just know that
“Love that has been tested through various hindrances and obstacles is pure and of the Divine level.”  Anonymous
Keep climbing, keep knocking, keep trusting Love and keep believing!…Love melts the most powerful obstacles and can get through the toughest walls.

My Boyfriend-Husband’s Black Boots

A few years ago, my husband and I were driving over to go have dinner at our friends’ house across town. As we were on our way, my guy noticed a man walking beside the road. The man looked very determined as he made his way by the roadside; like he had an important goal in mind. The only thing that was weird was the man wasn’t wearing any shoes. It was beginning to get dark and cold as night was falling. My man was very concerned that this man we saw didn’t have any shoes. He immediately stopped the car and got out to talk to the man. As I watched from the car, I witnessed an amazing thing happen. My man began to take off his own boots and socks and give them to the stranger. I have to admit I was shocked as I had saved and shopped to give these particular awesome boots to my man for Christmas. He LOVED these boots! This stranger it turned out was a homeless man set on walking from our city to Sacramento; 100 miles away! I’m glad I didn’t protest this spontaneous act of charity on my man’s part. It probably was the best thing he could ever do, to just share what he had with a man who had nothing. It made me admire my man even more for the compassion he showed. No matter that he showed up to a special dinner in his bare feet! I decided to forget all the shopping and saving and to experience the honor of a man doing the right thing. Let us as women encourage our men to be better and to think of others before themselves. We’ll all benefit from such acts of charity and our own relationships will become richer for it.

For,

“LOVE is a borderless country
Made for those who won’t stop running
A place with no citizens
But refugees are welcome.”

NJ Heywood

It’s Okay to not be Perfect

Being an amazing Girlfriend-Wife doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to be human. The actress Lake Bell says, “to be imperfect is to be honorable.” To be human is to give your very presence here on this earth…authenticity. I’ll tell you right now, my Boyfriend-Husband doesn’t love me because he thinks I’m perfect. The other night it was my turn to make dinner after work. We had a lot of interruptions going on with our garage door repairman coming in and out. Bottom line; I burned the chicken. My guy came up to me after dinner and told me quite honestly, “Babe, I loved the asparagus and the salad. But your chicken was literally inedible.” To this remark, I simply burst out laughing! He was just trying to be honest. If I had been a new bride, I might have been devastated. However, I’m secure in who I am & I already know I am loved. My value has nothing to do with CHICKEN!! I just thought how funny it all was and it didn’t upset me in the least. It’s just LIFE!! We just try again and love each other for WHO we are, NOT for what we DO. There’s great freedom in that. As someone once said, “Failure isn’t something not working out… We only fail if we let fear rule us… If we let ourselves go unknown…unloved.”

Good Wife, Good Fight!

In any good relationship, it is important to fight “well!”  WHAT, you say?  Yes, great love stories always involve conflict.  So if you want to keep growing and knowing well your boyfriend-husband, you need to be able to communicate the hard things without destroying the love and trust you have built.  As the great columnist Ann Landers once said, “All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love.  Good battle is objective and honest— never vicious or cruel.  Good  battle is healthy and constructive and brings to a marriage the principle of EQUAL PARTNERSHIP.”  The key to fighting well is to understand that you and your man ARE ON THE SAME TEAM!!!  Know that as you disagree on topics, both big and small; your mate is NOT your Adversary…your mate is your ADVOCATE, as you are his! This is a huge part of getting through a conflict and being capable of ending up on solid ground…TOGETHER.  In marriage, it’s not about WHO will win the argument. It’s about sharing and talking out each person’s opinion and feelings until an agreement is reached or a conclusion is respected.  Yes, you and your guy can AGREE TO DISAGREE!  That’s totally okay.  It’s more interesting anyway.  As long as you both decide that in any conflict…we either BOTH lose or we BOTH WIN!! Love matters most.

The Lover’s Stroll

I know we all like/try to exercise!  Physical accomplishments with jogging, running, hiking are all the rage in our fast-paced culture.  However, as Gwyn Thomas reminds us, “But the beauty is in the walking…we are betrayed by destinations.”  How about taking a stroll with your boyfriend-husband once in a while?  To stroll is to meander, to roam or to wander.  Some of our best talks or problem-solving have occured when my man and I go for a “stroll” together.  It seems when we are most relaxed and are not trying to get a certain number of miles accomplished; we tend to do our best “talking” and sharing of the heart.  We like to go out into a “world where (one) is free to think:  walking articulates both physical and mental freedom,” recommends Rebecca Solnit.  It seems as though we almost receive a “gift” after such a stroll with no particular goal in mind. As a couple who is slammed with a lot of “have to’s” with our jobs; it is a rare jewel to have a “meeting of the mind and heart” with no other distractions around us.  All of sudden, it’s just “us” in the world…together…like it was when we started to know each other and fall in love.  Nothing else matters.  As our overloaded minds start to clear, we engage in meaningful conversation that bonds us even deeper.  Taking a Lover’s Stroll is just another way to experience our love for one another.  As Jarod Kintz once stated, “Patience and wisdom walk hand in hand, like two one-armed lovers.”

Riding Tandem

I have found that a successful marriage is kind of like riding a tandem bike!  Marriage can be compared to a bicycle-built-for-two.  It takes two riders; one behind the other.  The word, “tandem” is defined as “together at the same time.”  In other languages “tandem” is a pair or means the chemistry of two people.  My boyfriend-husband and I rented a tandem bike in Golden Gate Park once in San Francisco.  My guy is about a foot taller than me and rode in the front…with me, primarily screaming all the way in the back!  My man loves to go fast in anything that moves and enjoys taking risks…me, not so much!  It was a fun adventure to say the least and I basically laughed and screamed the whole entire time!  Recently I ran into a woman who rode a tandem bike through-out Europe.  She said her tour guide’s one rule was, “Always listen to the captain,” the person riding in front.  Great advice if you want to get where you are going in one piece.  It’s like a famous quote I once heard, “Victory is about self…unity is about relationship.”

Use the Giraffe Idea… It Works!

I attended a beautiful wedding in a park last summer.  My niece looked amazing as she gave her vows to her man.  Between them on their little marriage table sat a stuffed giraffe.  Curious to those of us watching yet made so much sense in the end.  Skilled at “Conflict Resolution,” this dedicated couple used the symbol of the GIRAFFE to solve their challenges.  If you google “Giraffe” you will discover that it is the tallest land animal.  What makes it unique is its NECK and its HEART.  A giraffe’s neck is 6-feet tall (272 kilograms, weighing in at about 600 pounds).  The heart of a giraffe is 2 feet (0.6 meters) long and weighs approximately 25 pounds.  In a healthy relationship, a smart girlfriend-wife needs her neck AND her heart.  Like the giraffe, she needs to “stick her neck out” and take the risk of letting her guy know how she REALLY feels.  Men tend to live in a world of logic so they respect honesty.  As John Mayer sings in his song, “Say what you need to say.”  A woman also needs to excerise her heart and care enough to CONNECT with her man.  Girlfriends…speak the truth in love and keep current with how you feel.  Remember…”any time that is not spent on love is wasted.”  Torquato Tasso

Keeping Score

Have you ever met a competitive couple?  They compete with each other for attention and try to out-impress everybody they meet.  They often take this competition and thread it way deep into their relationship.  The wise girlfriend-wife wants a man to love her, not to compete with her.  The “I owe you, You owe me” mentality doesn’t usually go anywhere productive.  A couple who truly loves each other turns competition into a “Giving Game.”  Some years ago, my husband and I met just such a couple.  They were serious about loving each other in real ways.  They played a little game between
them each day to see who could OUTGIVE who in their marriage.  They played for keeps.  They went over the day’s happenings each evening to discover WHO WAS THE BIGGEST GIVER that given day.  It really took a lot of heat off the relationship and lightened it up to a magical level.  If you strive to OUTGIVE one another, you end up  building a solid foundation.  That foundation of giving will keep you strong when the challenges of life come your way.  A wise man once said, “Nobody owes me anything.” If you live by that motto you never have to entertain bitterness.  Resentment can’t land
on you and make you hard and unable to keep giving.  Be smart, and adopt that  mindset.  It will set you free to become or continue to be a good giver and not a competitor.  In the long run, “There is only one happiness in this life, to love and to be loved.”  George Sand