Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Giving You the Best I've Got

This is one of my favourite songs. There is a way in which it is almost a biography of our relationship so far. I think I should let the lyrics do the talking...

Ain't there something I can give you
In exchange for everything you give to me
Read my mind and make me feel just fine
When I think my peace of mind is out
of reach

The scales are sometimes unbalanced
And you bear the weight of all that has to be
I hope you see that you can lean on me
And together we can calm a stormy sea

We love so strong and so unselfishly
And I tell you now that I made a vow
I'm giving you the best that I got, baby
Yes I tell you now, that I made a vow
I'm giving you the best that I got, honey

Everybody's got opinions
'Bout the way they think our story's gonna end
Some folks feel it's just a superficial thrill
Everybody's gonna have to think again

We love so strong and so unselfishly
They don't bother me so I'm gonna keep on
Giving you the best that I got, baby
They don't bother me, said I'm gonna keep on
Giving you the best that I got, listen baby

Somebody understands me
Somebody gave his heart to me
I stumbled my whole life long
Always on my own, now I'm home

My weary mind is rested
And I feel as if my home is in your arms
Fears are all gone, I like the sound of your song
And I think I want to sing it forever

We love so strong and so unselfishly
And I made a vow so I tell you now
I'm giving you the best that I got, baby
I bet everything on my wedding ring
I'm giving you the best that I got,
givin' it to you baby


1, 2, 1?

It always sad when one heart becomes two. It is so much easier to join than it is to separate what has been joined. I was speaking to an elderly gentleman yesterday and he told me 'You don't ever want to know what it feels like not to want to go home. To look for excuses not to go home.' I had so many questions for him...I'm curious by nature but the timing and setting just wasn't right. How did you go from one heart to two? From one life to two separate lives...joined together by name but as far apart as being on two different continents. I prayed for him this morning and his wife that their hearts would find their way back to each other, back home.

I sent SO a text today;

'I pray I never lose you....'emotionally' that it. Even though it's always difficult when we're physically separated I know it will be much worse if we were ever to become strangers in our own home.'

SO responded:

'I pray and hope not darling. I pray and hope that we will be a beacon for others to follow.'

Great relationships are hard work. Sometimes I feel like I've put in my 100% and surely no one expects me to put in anymore but I am learning that God gives the grace for that extra and I pray that I can always give it. Its not about perfection but putting in your very best and sometimes that means really stretching 'me' to the limit so that 'us' can reign.

I don't know what is happening to me but I am falling in love with this man more and more everyday.

Love. Live

Friday, 22 July 2011

Men and Women

I read an article entitled '7 Things Your Husband Wants to Tell You' on Yahoo Shine! I just wanted somewhere to bookmark it. Men and women have so much to learn from each other and I've always subscribed to learning more about men from men and not women. I thought there were really interesting points.

1. A small 'thank-you' makes a huge difference. 

I'm trying to form a habit of appreciating SO for specific things. Not just 'thank you for all you do' or 'thank you for being you' but 'thank you for choosing chocolate cake instead of apple pie because that's my favourite desert'  or for doing the dishes or for listening. It's not easy though, good habits are hard to learn.

2. I'm more likely to offer you concrete advice than a shoulder to cry on.

True about most men. True about SO. Men are fixers and solvers by nature...they're not too good at this emphatic listening thing. Either I roll my eyes when he goes into 'The Fixer' mode or I just tell him upfront that I just need to be held or vent and please no comments afterwards.

3. Give the chores deadlines

I think the main thing with men is about being specific about what you want. He can't read my mind...actually its strange that even though I know I actually act as if he can read my mind and get upset when he doesn't.

4. Tell me directly what's bothering you

Links to Number 3.

5. Please don't ask me how you look in that dress

Lol! I and SO have what we call 'lose-lose' situations and this has to be top of the charts! Men can never win this one.

6. I don't feel like talking all the time, it doesn't mean I don't want to be close

I am also learning not to take SO's need for space personally. I think its good that he does some things without me and vice versa. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Love is all about maturity, its also about seasons.

7. I wish you wanted sex more

I don't think I've read anything where this didn't come up in one form or the other. Well all I can say for now is Noted.

So there it is...hopefully I can remember all these guidelines.


Monday, 18 July 2011

60 Minute Marriage..

I read the above titled book by Rob Parsons yesterday morning. From start to finish. The whole book. Its one of the best books I've read on relationships, marriage and parenting that I've read in a long time. He wrote it so that it could be read in an hour. It took me a bit longer because I was furiously making notes like there was an exam after that hour! My notes were my gift to SO yesterday and he really loved it. In his words, 'this is to be studied and not merely read!' I would like to share that email with you but as I lifted every single word directly from the book I think there will be copyright issues with that!

How to transform your marriage in an hour! Definitely worth the read. What I will share are the main points of the book, he describes them as the goals partners should aim for in marriage. To get more, read the book!

Learning to talk again and to give each other the dignity of knowing that they matter. Try to have an evening once a week for just the two of you. Defend it with your life
Don't confuse your partners need for space with rejection

Make time

In the 21st century, time pressure is killing relationships. We can live in the same house and still be strangers if we don't make time to really spend time with each other. I am really guilty of this one but hopefully my 30 Day challenge is helping me look for ways to actually bridge gaps and spend quality if not always quantity time.

To Survive Conflict

There will be conflict but it doesn't have to be a horrible thing. We must learn to deal with it. Attack issues and not people. Stick to those issues and remember the magic word FORGIVENESS. Learn to be the first to apologise.

To Accept what I can't change

While life is about change, people find change difficult. Don't be so focused on who you want your partner to be that you miss out on who they really are. We must love the whole package both the bits we like and those we don't. I would rather that SO loved long phone conversations but he doesn't and he makes it up to me in other ways so I have learnt to live with it. The refusal to accept what I couldn't change destroyed my last relationship. I am learning my lessons.

To be a Ghostbuster

We come into marriage with ourselves. That sounds funny but its true. We bring our hopes, dreams, fears, most importantly we bring our past. I spent a long time on this one because I know that my reaction to certain things are based mainly on what I saw in my parents marriage and in my previous relationship. I need to be more self-aware and ask myself why I react to certain things in a certain way. My inability to share my problems, my perfectionism, my sometimes critical response to certain situations. Hmm.. He recommends sharing with our partners our past hurts, heartbreaks and disappointments. Our partners deserve this, it provides context and promotes understanding.

To Believe in Lovemaking
Rob says that we should forget the Hollywood myths. Every couple will at some point experience a 'dry spell.' He/she may not be that interested. Men want women to initiate and be more available for sex. Women want men to be more affectionate, for her lovemaking starts long before the bedroom. There must be a way we can meet somewhere and be in a win/win situation. Read a book, get counselling whatever it takes for you to get your groove back.

To Dispel the Illusions

Marriage is more than romance. Sometimes its a dance and sometimes you're fighting to keep it alive. Forget thinking that you will be happier with someone else. The grass may be greener on the other side but it still needs mowing. I want to have a wonderful marriage. I want SO to be the happiest man alive because he's married to me. Its my goal and that's what I will keep working towards.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Journey...

So today was an email. I think its easy to do things when you get some appreciation and positive feedback but I hope I can continue to do this even without it. I wrote this for SO but I guess it is applicable to most romantic relationships. As always there's some private jokes so if there's something that sounds odd just allow.


A journey of 'us' begins at a point (for all journeys start somewhere) where neither 'you' nor 'I' is aware of. When does my journey become our journey? But that is not of great importance because a journey and its destination are always of much greater importance than the origin. A commoner can become royalty, rags to riches...etc. So there's 'us' and the excitement that having someone share your journey brings. The world looks different.... for the most part brighter and happier because I see through the eyes of you and vice versa. However two people on one journey while definitely always interesting has an inherent complexity. Genetic, emotional, social and other differences...also the fact that the travelers are not perfect adds a little bit to that. Because so many times we focus on where we need to go much more than the journey itself. 

Most journeys begin with a race, a flurry of activities. Dates, even more dates, mini-dissertations via SMS...lol! This is important as 2 'strangers' have to begin a process to build connections to each other. Every word is important, we learn about likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. We need this information if the journey is to be a success. Building momentum quickly can actually be an advantage but marathons were not designed to be run like 100m dashes and eventually 'us' begins to slow down to a steady rhythm. The inherent complexity of the journey begins to manifest itself, imperfections and expectations take their toll. Sometimes 'I' want to sit down and 'you' want to walk. Sometimes 'I' think left is best and 'you' think right. Two people on one journey will definitely at certain times want different things. Adding even more complexity is that the terrain and climate of the journey is never a permanent given. Our world is a recurring cycle of winter, spring, summer and autumn and it is inevitable that our journey will experience the reality of travelling in different seasons.

Then the decision comes in..'deeply, unconditionally, forever and beyond'...its an easy decision to make but such a difficult one to live by. In essence 'us' reigns supreme over 'I' or 'you'. Its a promise that no matter how 'I' feel or what 'you' want, 'us' will always be the most important thing and the journey will never end until one of us is no longer here. It doesn't matter if we walk, some days we may crawl but we commit to the journey. We may hold hands and talk animatedly, we may drift into the world of 'you' and 'me' in certain seasons but we will always be on this journey. 'I' will give you the support 'you' need and vice versa. I will trust you but most importantly I will love you. A promise to forgive hurts that inadvertently will occur on this journey and tell you, 'You can always count on me.' That when life throws its certain uncertainties 'I will be here'...its a team effort all the way. Looking at all this, its a wonder why anyone would want to do this...one thinks it may be better to just have as many 100m dashes as one can with as many people as one can. But it is definitely so worth it. 

I know because my journey with you has 'changed everything.' In different ways. Love calls us to a higher level of living because that's what being an 'us' is. I want to be stronger, better, kinder, more supportive person because it makes 'us' stronger, better, kinder, more supportive. I have an easier time of it because the love you have for me keeps me moving forward. We do and will continue to have our differences from time to time but I'm committed to taking this journey with you (yes dear, even to Siberia...lol) because it is now inconceivable that I should walk alone. I would rather have my 'brother' by my side. So dear, this is another way (hope not too long winded and complicated) of saying I love you and I am committed to 'us' and I can't wait to be Mrs O in every sense of the word.

Love you now and always


Friday, 15 July 2011

The 30 Day Challenge

My friend AZ told me about a talk she listened to recently with the above title. Basically its about doing something everyday for 30 consecutive days. It was really interesting. Inspired by my friend, I've decided to try and apply that to my relationship as well. So for the next 30 days I've decided to consciously do something special/nice for SO. This has to be independent of anything he does in return. I just realised that I'm falling into this funny pattern of 50-50. I'll meet you where you are. This morning on my way to work a question fell into my spirit. 'Could you just love him, be giving, be kind without any expectations, any returns?' Of course love is giving and taking but like the quote in my last post. 90% giving and 10% taking. Hmm...

I was going to send him 30 letters. Vulnerability is not my strength, I know that there are still some places that I have not allowed SO into and this was going to be a way of sharing. But I guess that could get boring and mundane so I'm going to look for other ways to say 'I love you and you mean so much to me.'

This morning was a text message. It wasn't really a big thing but it was so appreciated it and I ended up feeling really good myself. I guess I need to get my creative cap on for the next 29 days. Love is much more about giving than receiving.

Keep loving..

Monday, 11 July 2011

Relationship MOT

Its been such a long time since I've been here. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to actually write here again. I can actually see the cobwebs clearing...lol! I guess after a while of writing on a blog, I've got to the point where I would like to interact. To share my thoughts and have other people share my world. Hmm. I had a huge writing project and after handing that in just found writing difficult and I am just slowly going back to my journals and coming back here.

Now more than ever, I am even more interested in relationships. What makes a good one? How do we not allow time to erode what we have? How do we keep it all together. I read the following set of questions in my devotional a few months ago and shared them with SO. We called it a 'Relationship MOT' because we believe that they are truly important things to think about and honestly search for an answer to. Wanted to keep them close so decided to post them here.

A successful marriage is a give-and-take relationship with each party doing 90% giving and only 10% taking! Here are 10 questions to ask yourself about your ability to give and take.

 1. Are you willing to give silence when your spouse needs a little quiet time?
 2. Are you willing to take a rebuke and let it rest unchallenged?
 3. Are you willing to give your spouse the benefit of the doubt?
 4. Are you willing to take on an extra chore when you know your spouse is stressed out?
 5. Are you willing to give a word of spontaneous encouragement?
 6. Are you willing to take time to spend with your spouse - alone and without interruption?
7. Are you willing to give your spouse the courtesy of 'please' and 'thank you'?
 8. Are you willing to take a 'time out' when an argument appears to be overheating?
 9. Are you willing to give a compliment?
 10. Are you willing to take a criticism?