Make Loved Ones Feel Important

We live in a world that is chaotic. Things are not simple like they used to be. Terrorist threats are a no longer uncommon. School shootings are the norm. Cyber-attacks and identity theft happen almost daily. These situations are more of a reason to truly be connected with your loved ones.

What are some things that you are doing now to spend time together? Sitting in the same room, with either one or both of you on electronic devices is not enough. I am talking about “quality” time together. Cuddling, laughing, talking, touching, play fighting, eating a meal together, taking a walk, working out, volunteering, making love, or even working on a project together. Being fully present and engaged with your partner.

The holiday season brings a great deal of stress on everyone; financially, emotionally and physically. Ask yourself what you can do to minimize the impact of holiday stress. Discuss plans to be more involved with one another and not allow the hype of everything to get in the way of your quality time. Make a new tradition.

The concept of family has been destroyed through the years by making sex easy, marriage the new dating and divorce the first option to end a disagreement. Decide what is most important and take steps to set aside time to actually appreciate those important things in your life. Slipping a love note into a briefcase or lunch bag, ironing clothes for the next day for your loved one or even cooking a meal together are some ideas for getting that quality time in. At the end of the day, it’s better to reflect on those things that made you happy than the stresses of life and sadness. The world has enough of that as it is.

What are your plans with your loved ones?

Where Is The Love?

“Where does love go if there is no one there to receive it?” pens a dear friend of mine in one of her poems entitled, To Him Whom I Love. I was enamored with that poem. It spoke of loving someone who has pulled away, no longer giving or showing the love they once professed. The natural desire to cling to what is left of that love left the person regrettably pained, confused and concerned, betrayed and yet still hopeful for something to give; for love to persist.

That’s how life is sometimes. Regrettably painful and enticingly surreal. But, where does love go if no one is there to receive it? I’ve spoken about what happens when the passion dies, but what if the passion is just dead? Gone.

Real love, not the superficial stuff people like to call love today, isn’t always glamorous. Some days it’s dull and boring. Some days it is non-existent. But how you know real from fake is by how those feelings make you react. Love is respectful. Love is a verb; an action. It doesn’t wait around or benefit from getting from others. It is selfless and giving. Even when there is nothing to gain from that giving. Being wrapped up in what love can do for you isn’t love; it’s greed.

Love is full of moments of bliss, don’t get me wrong. I mean, that’s how Hollywood makes all of its money from us; creating movies of surreal love with passion for days and romance for nights on end. We buy into it, thinking, “If only I could find a love like that,” forgetting for the moment that you possibly do have that type of love, it’s just flawed. If Hollywood really made a movie based on real life love, no one would go view it because who wants to see real life that is lived daily? We want fantasy! We want what is perfect; even if it is in a two-hour long movie.

Over the weekend I was feeling passionless. I had watched a movie that left me feeling empty inside. Those feelings turned into thoughts and those thoughts into words to my significant other about how I wasn’t sure if what we had was ‘lasting’. In my defense, long distance relationships have never been a good look on me. But I wasn’t being fair. I wasn’t taking into account his feelings. He felt the same as I did; that it seemed we were pulling away from each other and he really missed being with me.

I was being selfish. I was also being unrealistic. Letting go of what we had, which was so magical only a few weeks ago, wasn’t the answer. The passion and love is still very much there, however, I need to go about things differently. Voicing my concern to him allowed him to understand that I wasn’t happy. He no longer assumed things were okay. So he opened up about what he was feeling. Often times we hold things to ourselves and think our significant others can read our minds, which then creates frustration when they don’t. Now is that fair?

If you are unhappy with the way something is, be the one to make a change. Otherwise, stop complaining. After voicing my concerns, he planned a trip to come visit, started sending random texts throughout the day so I knew he was thinking of me and loved me, and told me to expect something in the mail. All while I was doing the same. We found what worked for us. Now in your situation, think outside the box and find answers that work for you.

The key is communication. That will forever be the number one rule in a relationship. People aren’t mind readers. In communicating, it is important to be specific about your needs, while not coming off as demanding, but realizing you may need to compromise, at least for a moment sometimes.

I want my significant other to be here. However, until he has been accepted for a job here, he doesn’t feel comfortable moving and not being able to provide. How can I not respect that? At least this one thinks about the future for “us” and not just himself. That was a compromise I was willing to accept because at least with a visit, we get to see one another.

I know in my first marriage I stopped conversing with him because he wasn’t interested in talking. He was in the market for blaming. As long as I accepted the fact that everything wrong in our marriage was my fault, he was on board to stay together. That clearly is not a healthy relationship. Nor was him trying to fight me. Needless to say, that marriage ended based on my own safety. You have to know when to let it go and when to fight harder to keep things going.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is that you stay in the ring as long as you have someone to fight with you. Once they start fighting against you, consider if it’s worth pushing through or throwing in the towel.

Passion Deflated

We all can agree that there are those moments in life when things just don’t work out the way we would like. It is more frustrating when the things not working out are between our spouse/significant other. Finances, work, family and children can cause fallouts greater than the Hiroshima nuclear blast. How each of you handle these elements can make or break the issue.

One in particular that I want to address today is sex. We’ve all seen the sitcoms on tv where the wife withholds sex until the husband does _________ (whatever honey-do task that hasn’t been completed). Or she withholds it because of something he did do or say. Either way, it’s not fighting fair. Most women are emotional creatures by nature and in order to get the cookie you have to appeal to the mind and heart first. Most men are physical and what women are moved by have no effect on them whatsoever. Sex is sex. So what if the dishes aren’t done. I’m horny. I know the kid was suspended from school. We haven’t touched in three days. I’ll finish the yard this weekend. I need some attention.

Some men stop looking at their spouse/significant other the same way they used to in the beginning. Underlying causes can range from stress at work to their own insecurities. Maybe they feel unattractive or that you’ve lost interest in them. Maybe there is a medical condition that causes them to be unable to ‘perform’ the way they used to and rather than just talk about it they feel embarrassed and keep it to themselves. Maybe you’ve nagged so much that they have simply lost the strength to fight for your attention. Women need to understand that just as they have these thoughts in their head, so do men.

We can’t take a break from life and the revolving problems that arise daily but we can take carve out some time to break for a purpose of getting back in touch with one another. Just as work and family need your attention, so does your spouse/significant other. Their needs are starved when they become last on your list or don’t make it to your priority list at all. Sometimes it is as simple as stepping away and asking yourself how you would feel in their shoes. It seems easy to point fingers and blame someone else for being lazy or lacking responsibility or whatever the issue may be. It’s hard to consider what difficult things they may be facing in their lives or how they rationalize certain situations.

Get back to the basics. Get back to love. At the end of the day, if you only had a few hours left to live would you spend them complaining about work or the children or would you focus on what is important; the relationship between all the elements of your family? We always think we have forever until we take our last breath. This sobering reality hit home yesterday as I celebrated Memorial Day. Many people thanked me for my 13 years of military service but I had to correct them; Veteran’s Day is my day of celebration. Memorial Day is for the fallen comrades who did not come home so that I could. Their families are paying the ultimate sacrifice as they are now without that mother, daughter, sister, aunt, father, uncle, brother or son.

Some women use the excuse that they aren’t in the mood. It is a very realistic excuse. Some women have low libidos. After having a baby some women lose interest because their bodies have changed along with their hormones and they don’t feel like they still ‘got it’. For those women I will say this. If he is trying to be with you, trying to make love to you, trying to touch you – trust me, you still got it. Stop analyzing your own body and look at it through the eyes of your spouse/significant other. How do you think the phrase, ‘Mother I’d Like to F*ck’ (MILF) was coined? Trust me, he wouldn’t be after you if you didn’t turn him on.

Also realize that men go through changes, too, after you have a baby. Maybe not in the physical sense – well, some guys do have sympathy pain or gain sympathy weight which I think is cute – but seriously, your body just brought a life into this world. That is the beauty of life unfolding before their eyes. Maybe you stopped having sex because it was too painful during the last bit of pregnancy. Or maybe you felt too big and awkward. Now that you’ve had the baby and had that healing time pass think about how he might feel making love to you again. He might feel anxious, which in turn could make him not last that long. He may be afraid of hurting you or not know how to respond to your body, which could make it hard for him to keep an erection. There could be a million things going through his head, but the main one that is most important is that he still loves and wants to be with you. Stop being in your head so much and just let nature take control. Enjoy the moment. Once time has passed you can never get that back.

Some problems cannot be solved easily. Some are deeply rooted and require the specialized training of a certified professional counselor. If you feel that your relationship is beyond repair or that both of you are at your wits end then maybe it’s time to call in reinforcement. Counseling can do more good than harm. You may find that it’s just a matter of difference or misunderstanding. You may find something more. But letting it fester to the point where you both have had enough and the passion has lost its flame is not good. Flames can be reignited but it requires work from both parties and a willingness to be open minded and not stoop to the petty blame game.

Life is too short to live without passion. Especially intimate passion with someone you say you love. It all comes down to choices. You can choose to fight for and bring the passion back or you can let it die. At the end of the day, what will you choose?