Will She or Won’t She?

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A woman I know shared the following tale about her son and daughter in law the other day.

The couple dated for several years before getting married four years ago. A little over 18 months ago their baby girl was born.

He works for the National Guard. She is a part time nursing student and stay at home mom.

A little over a month ago, the wife revealed she was having an affair with a high school flame she reconnected with on Facebook.  She told her husband she was considering a divorce.

A few days later she changed her mind and now says she wants to work on the marriage. It seems that means, “let’s pretend this never happened,” versus actually seeming to regret her affair or wanting to examine what happened. Rather than it being something big, it simply seems to be boredom.

His parents always worried about his choice, as the girl was prone to drama and conflict. The son made excuses for the behavior because of her, “tough childhood” and “parent’s nasty divorce.” She even worked very hard to win over his family before the wedding, saying how all she had ever wanted was a loving secure marriage like his parents have.

His mom and sister fear the wife is only biding her time, lining things up so she can serve him with divorce papers when the time is right.

Shes’s visiting her parents home an hour away more often these days, who also happen to live in the same area as the man she was seeing.

Of course there’s no way to know will she or won’t she pull the plug on her marriage, or if she’s continuing her affair, but it’s not looking good.

I hope she will come to her senses. I wish I could talk to her myself, warn her about what lies ahead if she persists in this foolishness. It only seems easier to start over, but it won’t be. Not even close.

If I could talk to him I would advise he take control of the situation rather than let her drive it, implement some dread and paint a good picture of what burning it all to the ground would look like if she persists.

Will they be another needless, senseless frivorce casualty? Only time will tell.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.

 

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30 Years In

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A couple I know who have been married for 30-some years are a great example of how it pays to stick it out in marriage rather than frivorce.

He works for a large international shipping company and has for most of his career. He gets up at 4 a.m. to go to work and spends his day scheduling and overseeing the routes of some 300 trucks. It’s not a glamorous job but he makes a good living, has a solid pension building, and has provided well for his family.

She was a stay at home mom until her children were grown, focused on their care and education. She helped out in the schools, occasionally working as an aide. After her children were off to college she started substitute teaching, found she had a special affinity for working with visually impaired children, and now she’s got a great job working in this niche. She reversed the more typical career then kids path, and it’s worked out well.

Despite having average income, they have slowly and steadily built a solid base and are financially set with a beautiful home and no worries. They have avoided debt and the stress it can bring. Now they have the ability to travel and enjoy life, thanks to their approach.

They have three grown children who love and adore their parents. All have completed college and are gainfully employed in their career fields. Two are now married, but no children yet. All the kids consider the parents home the central gathering place for special occasions, and they often have all family gatherings on weekends as well. As the clan grows I can see their gatherings becoming a close knit, multi-generational affair.

Two years ago the wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was in the early stages fortunately, but in order to reduce the risk that it might come back she decided to have a full double mastectomy. Her loving husband and children have been right there for her through the medical ordeal, and continue to be as she’s had a few setbacks with related complications from the surgery and reconstruction.

Theirs is a good marriage, dedicated, loving, and supportive. The couple puts their union first over themselves in a mature and healthy way and are devoted to their Catholic faith. They are young and vivacious for their age, an attractive pair. They look at each other with respect and love, so touching to see.

As she told me of her medical struggles it occurred to me how fortunate she was to have her husband and children’s support through that tough time. And how that’s a big perk of being 30 years in, of having built that solid platform for herself by building it for her family.

It’s rare to see these days but so comforting when one does. In a society where everything is disposable, something that lasts seems all the more precious.

Choosing and marrying well and sticking it out may not be the most common path today, but it’s the one I would recommend. I hope my daughters take this path and enjoy the lifetime of happiness it creates.

Self Talk

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Have you ever stopped to conciously think about your self talk? You know the voice inside your head commenting on your choices, actions, successes, and failures?

Most people probably don’t stop to think about what they are saying to themselves, but it’s well worth doing because self talk is powerful stuff.

Self talk seems to have a personality of its own almost. It can be stern, critical, and unforgiving, or it can be bewildered, unsure, and confused, or it can be spiteful, bitter, and angry, or it can be melencholy, sad, and discouraged, or it can be joyful, lighthearted, and fun, or it can be kind, encouraging, and supportive.

The good thing about becoming aware of one’s self talk is it allows you to then ask if your self talk is working for you or against you. You can change that self talk, start to direct it, rather than let it simply run wild.

Today take note of your self talk, Ask yourself if it sounds more like a friend or a foe. If you don’t like what you are hearing, make it a priority to train your self talk in a better direction.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.

 

Addiction

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My brother is an alcoholic. As in he was once drinking so much and so often that he hallucinated for days and had all sorts of health issues due to trying to quit cold turkey.

In the past ten years he’s been to various rehab programs. As is typical with recovery he will do really well and then relapse, sometimes short term and sometimes full blown.

He’s been doing good for 11 months. Works at the local VA hospital, lives in a home with other men in recovery, goes to meetings. But today, after a seemingly good visit with our mom, he left only to be brought by paramedics back to her house stumble down drunk.

She called me as he was sleeping it off on her couch. What to do? I suggested she get him home, don’t lecture or be all heavy about it in the current state, and then the next day let him know he won’t be meeting her at her house anymore, she will meet him somewhere near his.

She’s suspected for months he was drinking on the sly during his visits. She found empty alcohol containers in the bathroom trash. But she didn’t say, “No, no more here.”

Neither my mom or myself can fix my brother’s issue, only he can take that step,  but we can resist enabling it. We can have boundaries of our own to protect ourselves from his alcoholism. We can say, “No, I am not going to go along.”

I hope he won’t lose his housing, which is tied to his being and staying sober.

If he doesn’t, he could well end up one of those guys with a sign on a freeway exit, living under the overpass. God, I hope not.

Today I prayed with my mom that the Lord would ring him with angels of healing, send Raphael himself to tend to his health. And I prayed for my mom and myself that we would be granted the wisdom and strength to know how to help him in ways that will help, not further enable, his illness.

I honestly don’t know a lot about this topic but intend to read up. Our grandfather had the same issue, but was more functional.

I also prayed my brother will eventually not only belp himself but also in turn help others recover themselves.

What do you think? Have you had similar struggles w someone in your family? Please share in the comments.

 

Look Within

It is far more common in our culture for people to blame others, circumstances, the past, society, or other factors for their trials and tribulations than to look within.

Introspection does not mean self-blame, but rather self-examination. Many times it is our own beliefs, thought patterns, assumptions, habits, and frame of reference that offer the biggest opportunity to improve one’s life. Changing them can change everything.

Whether the issues are at work, home, or play, look within and ask if there are thing you can do, change, or be to affect positive change in your life in these areas?

Chances are in many cases you’ll find that understanding what steps you can take to improve things and doing so will get you much further than focusing on outside forces.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.

Verify Then Trust

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Long ago, a noted manosphereain gave me this good advice when evaluating new love or other more platonic interests (like new friends, coworkers, and such): Verify then trust.

In other words, give things some time, slow it down intentionally, let people show you who they are. People may be able to sustain their best behavior for a short time, but if they have ill intent, they will simply bounce to an easier mark than prove up.

People who do have good intent will not even question you verifying it. They have nothing to lose, there is no act. It would not even occur to them.

People who question it or try to make you feel bad about it — no matter how many sad stories of being the innocent wronged they can tell to justify this  (Red flag right there! Never wrong? Always wronged? Time and again? Really???) beware.  Reasonable and good boundaries avoid problems, they don’t create them. If someone has problems with such, take it as a sign.

Verify THEN trust. Not trust THEN verify. Good advice for anyone navigating life. It will never do you wrong, and it can head off all sorts of trouble.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.

The Healthy Card

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Much of life is a series of choices. When presented between the healthy card or not, choose the healthy card.

For example, in relationships one can choose to be emotionally healthy, regulated, supportive, and kind or one can choose to be drama driven, off the chain, unsupportive, and hurtful. One can also in turn choose or refuse these behavior traits from a potential partner.

The same goes for friendships, co-worker relations, relatives, and others. If or when things get hard, one can still choose the healthy card by refusing to participate in unhealthy, dysfunctional dynamics. Somebody choosing healthy often stops the unhealthy, or at least leads the person who won’t choose healthy to take it elsewhere.

If you have trouble choosing the healthy card, it’s something to explore, perhaps with a trained professional. Dysfunctional, unhealthy, or abusive patterns in adulthood often stem from similar ones in childhood. One may have had little choice then, but as an adult one can choose to not haunt themself or others with ghosts from the past. It takes work, persistence, and self knowledge but it is well worth the effort.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.

 

Free Flow

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Sorry for the lack of new posts this week. Long story.

In the meantime, please free flow your own ideas, struggles, insights, questions, observations, or whatever is going on this week with you in the comments.

I have often said, the posts are not where the good stuff is, it’s actually in the comments. So go ahead! Please share!

Know Where You Are Going

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This excellent post on another blog got me thinking: Do you have a life plan and are you actively working it?  (I highly recommend you click on and read the post before continuing.)

If you don’t have a plan you are working, chances are five, ten, or more years down the road time will have passed but you won’t be further ahead, healthier, more stable financially, or ahead in other categories for it.

However with a plan, and the small daily steps taken toward it, you could easily be far better off in all sorts of ways 1, 5, 10 or more years from now. Like a snowball rolling down a hill, such efforts start small but then can gain momentum, turning that small snowball into a huge one.

One never gets time back, either. And while it’s possible to start working a solid life plan at any age, the person who starts to do so early in life will always be ahead of the one who doesn’t begin until they are in their 40s, for example.

Today, take some time to write down some short (1 year), medium (5 year) and long range (10 years +) goals. If it helps, write how old you will be at each age, and visualize what you want your life (and the life of those you love) to look like then.

As they said failing to plan can be planning to fail.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.

 

Is Her Picker Broken? Or Is It Her?

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A comment by regular “Love” a few posts back got me thinking about the idea of a gal having, “a broken picker.” What I mean by that is when a gal keeps picking the same kind of guys and keeps getting poor relationship results. Or maybe it’s not that she’s got a broken picker, but that’s she’s simply broken?

“Love” brought up this interesting idea in the comments a few posts back about one reason women (and men) may find themselves in relationships that go nowhere and end badly over and over again — is because maybe they are either consciously or subconsciously picking partners who are unable to give commitment or true intimacy, and this in turn allows the gal in question to avoid her own commitment and intimacy issues, while conveniently being able to blame the guy or culture and cry, “victim!”

It is an interesting idea and one I had not considered before — what if it’s not just bad luck, a bad choice, or a con job? What if it’s not because she’s naive, or being manipulated, or mislead, or “doesn’t get it.” What if it’s not the what things have changed with dating and marriage, or the culture, or due to today’s bad relationship advice? What if in fact she’s actually picking the types of guys who cannot and will not commit and who are unable to truly give or receive intimacy because she herself can’t, won’t, or doesn’t want to either?

I know one such gal, I’ve written about my former neighbor Vixen before.  As long as I have known her, her relationship choices have puzzled me. She always has a lot of guy drama and frankly the guys she chooses never seem to be “commitment” types. So they do this dance where she says all she wants is commitment, but her actions are doing everything to ensure that even if a non-commit guy starts to change his mind,  no guy in his right mind would go there. But to hear her tell it, THEY are to blame. It’s always some story of a guy (or guys) doing her some huge injustice and how all she wants is to settle down and be with someone.

I think “Love” may have finally solved the puzzle — I think Vixen herself is unable to commit, unable to truly stop playing the dating game, unable to be faithful or true, and deep down doesn’t want the level of relationship where she would have to give up the games and actually fly straight. She doesn’t want a “real” relationship because she doesn’t want to have to answer to anyone, meet any expectations, or be a real life partner.

Well, I suppose that is a choice and if so maybe she should just get real about it, drop the victim act, and admit she’s choosing this. She’s choosing it by the types of guys she dates. She’s choosing this by the way she acts while she’s dating them. And she chooses this every time she sabotages relationships that start to go toward stability and commitment.

Vixen is still good looking enough and charming enough to get attention from the types of guys she wants attention from. Sure, it may not be for long, but it is still there. However what I can see that she seemingly does not is that window is closing. It won’t be too long from now that she will go from the hot girl at the bar to the bar fly.

In addition, right now she makes a living cleaning houses, and that combined with child support and govt. assistance pays the bills. But as her kids grow up and move out, her chronic back injury starts bothering her more and more, and she can’t do the physical labor she does now (or doesn’t want to) then what? She has no other job skills, no savings, no retirement, no assets whatsoever to sell or liquidate.

Maybe she could live with her kids? Well, sadly and not surprisingly, considering the drama soaked environment they have been raised in, they are not doing too well themselves. The oldest is in middle school but acts far older and is very much following in her mother’s footsteps by making boy drama and manipulating boys with her looks, figure, and charm the main focus of her life.  The younger sister is sullen and withdrawn, spending hours alone by herself, locked up in her room. I wonder how and when the feelings she has locked inside will come out and what the result will be? The youngest, a two-year-old boy, seems oblivious for now but it can’t be good for him to the the center of all the fighting and power struggles with his father and the other guys in and out of the picture, something Vixen doesn’t try to shield him or the older two from.  I wonder if her kids will even talk to her once they grow up?

Anyway, it’s not really about her, but I do think her story is an example of the kind of gal “Love” described in her comment — she’s a Skittles girl who goes for cads. The results are predictable, but somehow and on some level it seems to be working for her enough that she’s not making any changes. And even if she did, at this point, wouldn’t any sane, stable, solid guy just hear her stories and RUN?

I know I stopped being able to take the roller coaster several years ago, and while I hear from her from time to time, I don’t seek her out socially or get our kids together anymore because I don’t want them exposed to that. Plus,  I want to and am taking a different path myself.

In any case, “Love’s” comment got me thinking, perhaps many of these gals who are unlucky in love, with lots of sad stories, and many failed relationships are not victims at all — but are actually choosing their lot? Or if not choosing it, refusing to look at why their picker seems to be broken and what they could do about that?

What do you think? Please share in the comments.