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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kill Me Now

I'm sorry, but I must vent on this post today. What happened today is mind blowing.
 To help you understand this, let me start by saying that I have been married almost 13 years.  I have a best friend who was there with me through it all and I have waited for her to find the same happiness! It took 13 years, but she did it!!! She got married today!!! We finished all the pictures at the Salt Lake Temple and I said goodbye to her and was SO happy on such a perfect day and I was walking away with a smile on my face. 
As I walked past the temple, and looked over at the temple stairs, there SHE was . 
The other woman!!
The woman who has been a thorn in my side ever since the affair
 It looked like her brother had just gotten married and they were doing pictures!!!!!!
What the #^%#???? 
Mind you, this is 45 minutes from home
And I RARELY see anyone I know from my neighborhood when I'm out
Of all days for me to run into her. 
Kill. Me. Now. 
The moment I saw her, it was like a scene from a movie:
 All of a sudden all movement went into slow motion
The smile disappeared from my face
And the world around me came crashing down
Needless to say I basically ran by and found a corner and had a panic attack. 
Took a little while to calm myself down
Some of you might be wondering...
"why is she having a panic attack when she runs into her over a year after the affair happened?"
Well, first of all, you might have forgotten that it has been a little hard to move on,
I'm not sure I know how to make you understand how hard this is.
I would never wish this on another person.
Second of all, refer to my post about Post Traumatic Stress
I have this
And it's REALLY hard when I am reminded of anything to do with the affair
And seeing her is the worst for me.

On a positive note,
apparently we found out later that they saw us INSIDE the temple,
as they were going IN to a wedding ceremony
and we were coming OUT
THANK THE HEAVENS that I did not see them at that time
But still....I have NEVER ran into ANYONE from my ward while downtown
much less IN the temple!!
Of all people to run into
I just don't understand

I don't understand why I have to continue to go through this
Why the torment is never ending. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

6 ways to stay TUNED IN to your spouse

I started reading this book, Fall In Love For Life, and I've been excited about it.  I will be sharing more things from this, but one thing she says deals with affairs and also with tuning in to your partner.
On having affairs  
"Some people have affairs because they tell themselves that they deserve more attention than they get at home. Or maybe they get annoyed because they feel that all of their needs aren't getting met by their partner. Well, whoever told them that one person could meet their every need? You can actually live quite comfortably without having all of your needs met. Try thinking about it that way; you might be surprised how liberating it is. You are not perfect, and neither is your partner, but you can make a very pleasant life together if you are both serious about providing the love and support that go along with a marriage."

I do believe it's true that we can't be expected to meet EVERY need of our spouse, but we need to remember that as human beings, we NEED TO FEEL LIKE SOMEONE CARES about us.  And I believe that so many affairs could be prevented if both spouses felt like their partner was truly TUNED IN to them.  
Cutie Cooper also says : On tuning in to your partner
"I think the place where good marriages break down is when one or both parties begin to take the other person for granted. And yet it's understandable that this happens. Life is complicated and can be exhausting, so there is always a temptation when you get home to just tune out, because home is one place where you should feel safe enough to let your guard down this way. But there's a difference between relaxing and disengaging, and while relaxing is a healthy way to recharge your psychic and spiritual batteries, disengaging is a drain on you and your relationships. Nothing is more important than that you recognize the difference and stay present for all the people you love."  

I teared up a little when I read that because that is one BIG mistake that I have made over the years.  I would DISENGAGE from my husband without even knowing it.  I thought I was listening, but I wasn't always fully PRESENT. I'm a busy person!

My husband does NOT blame me for his affair, but as we go to therapy we talk about feelings and he has often felt that I don't care about him or anything he has to say or that I'm not interested.  I was flabbergasted!! Of course I CARE and am INTERESTED.  But because I wasn't fully tuning in and engaging, I gave him the impression that I didn't REALLY care. 
And all it took was for another woman to pay attention to him and it made him feel good and things went downhill from there. :(


1.  STOP AND LISTEN : When your partner starts to talk about something, STOP whatever it is you're doing or thinking and LISTEN!  No matter what it could be a joke he read out of the reader's digest.  The point IS that he is talking to you because he wants to connect and while the joke might not seem important, it is important to HIM or he wouldn't be sharing! So LISTEN and ENGAGE!  It's an opportunity to connect with who you love.

2.  EYE CONTACT : From "The Art of Manliness Blog", he says that "eye contact shows attention and creates an intimate bond.  It shows the speaker that you're tuned in to what he's saying and it creates moments where you are really able to feel what he is feeling and it leaves the receiver of your gaze feeling more positive about your interaction and CONNECTED to you".   As we go through therapy, the counselor always makes sure we are looking at each other when trying to convey our feelings. It works!!  You are also less likely to be angry or yell at your spouse if you are sitting across from them looking into their eyes.

3.  BE HONEST : If you get distracted and really can NOT listen, then kindly stop him and let him know you want to hear the rest of it, but to give you a minute or something.  The worst thing I've done is to sort of half listen because I didn't want to be rude and I couldn't stop what I was doing.  But when I would do that, I missed something he said or sometimes couldn't even remember it later! That makes the other person feel like you didn't really care what they had to say.

4.  BE INTERESTED I love how Danielle said it from her blog "Fancy Little Things" : "Get excited about the things they get excited about!  If it isn’t necessarily your ‘cup of tea’, so what!  Try a sip!  You may just like it."  I am telling you, I found this to be true!  After I found out about the affair and I dropped many of the things that were keeping me occupied, all I wanted to do was be with him and it just so happened to be football season, so I sat with him while it was on, even though I didn't really care for it and never have.  He is a huge fan of a certain team and he would tell me about the players and explain the game to me and who would have EVER thought, but I BECAME A FAN TOO! And now I really do enjoy watching.  Do I have to watch EVERY sports game? No, but I enjoy keeping up with the team that he loves. And I love to watch him get excited to tell me about it.  I feel good that he knows he can come to me and I'm interested.

5.  ASK QUESTIONS : Don't always let him be the one to come to you.  Beat him to it and ask him how his day was and then follow all the suggestions above. ;)   Going above and beyond  would be to ask questions about something he's previously talked about...FOLLOW UP on something he was working on the day before or a problem he might have been working through, etc. 

6. GO TO BED AT THE SAME TIME : Ok, so this might be a hard one and it might not be able to be done every night.  But this MUST happen at least a few times a week.  Our days are so busy that realistically there is probably no time to TALK until you are both laying in bed at the end of the day.  It's strange how just laying there together can spark conversation about things you didn't even know you might talk about.  I can't emphasize how important this one is.  Start now!

This might seem like a lot. Just remember that as long as you're making a conscious effort, you'll be just fine.  It also needs to work on both ends.  So if you are the one that feels like your partner doesn't care, you can sit down with them, make eye contact and share your feelings and maybe even share this post. ;) 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

10 ways to have the Best Date Night

The purpose of Date Night is the time to RECONNECT and REDISCOVER each other and leave the demands of the daily schedule behind. 
You've probably heard this from me before, but it is impossible stay connected throughout an entire marriage without working for it.  A marriage consists of the cycle of connecting, disconnecting, and reconnecting again.  The disconnection is inevitable.  In fact, the trouble in a marriage (i.e. an affair) doesn't stem from the DISCONNECTION, but when we don't make the effort to RECONNECT when needed! 
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People often misunderstand that in order to have a good date night, it must be well planned, elaborate or expensive.  While all of these things can contribute to amazing date nights, they are not necessary to having some of the best dates of your life.  You will find that the best date nights don't rely on what you DO on them, as much as what you FEEL from them.  We need to feel CONNECTED to each other.  And when we feel connected we feel happier and more secure in our relationship.  Here are 10 ways you can be sure to connect on date night:best date night, ways to have a good date, keep the love alive, date night ideas
1.  Touching.  Let me start by saying that it is not a true date night without touching each other.  Hold hands, touch their back, give their leg a squeeze, lean in for a kiss, the possibilities are endless.
2.  Meaningful Conversation.  Put your phones away and focus on each other!  In a world where texting is becoming the dominant way to communicate, chances for a one on one conversation are more important than ever! If you need help, you can always google conversations starters, like my 50 random questions found HERE.
3. Take turns doing what the other person loves to do.  You may not love going to a sporting event or you might despise the idea of taking a cooking class together, but if you know your spouse would thoroughly enjoy this, then let yourself find out why!!  Not only might you learn something new from your spouse, but they will feel more connected to you, knowing you care about the things they love.
4.  Planning.  I don't mean spending hours working up the perfect date.  But just enough thought into it to make sure you are not falling back on what is easiest and most convenient. It might even be fun taking turns deciding what you're going to do for date night.
5. Touch each other! PS: there are no rules on PDA when you are married. Who cares if it bothers other people, you are trying to connect with your lover!
6. Try new things.  Get out of your comfort zone.  We know you love the rolls at Texas Roadhouse, or that you crave the Tomato Basil Soup at Zupas.  But it's not going to hurt you to go somewhere NEW.  New foods and places not only stimulate new taste buds, but new growth! It may not be a wonderful experience every time, but it will at least give you something to talk about!
7.  Simplify.  No need to be elaborate.  Go out to eat and then stop at a park and play cards on a blanket. Or take the game home in front of the fire with drinks on a chilly evening.  The phrase "go big or go home" does not apply to date night.
8. Did I mention touching? Heck, find a place to park and do it in the back seat.  You'd be surprised what this will do for your connection. ;)
9.  Wake Up!  Yes, we all start to feel older as the years go by. And yes, we might like to be in bed by 9:30pm, but shake it off!  Stop thinking about how tired you are and let yourself feel alive again and have fun! 
10.  Feel the love.  Take a moment to look at your wife or husband and remember what you love about them.  Just a second to REALLY look at them and ENJOY being there with them.  It's easy to become SO comfortable in our relationship that we stop thinking about how truly blessed we are to be with the person we love.  Be thankful and feel free to mention it. Or even better, show them through touch. ;)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Bottom line is, marriage is HARD"

Let me start by saying I watch a lot of tv and movies on Netflix.  I work on the computer a lot and I used to like to listen to music while I did that, or while I cleaned the house, but now I like to watch shows.  haha  So I kind of watch whatever jumps out at me, or peaks my curiosity. 
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I came upon The Kids Are Alright and I was curious about it mainly because I liked all the actors, but also because it had been nominated for an Oscar for best picture and won the Golden Globe for best picture in 2011. 
Honestly... I didn't love it.  It was ok, but I probably won't ever watch it again or recommend it.  I give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars. BUT there were a few "moments" that stood out to me that I wanted to share. 
One of the main characters had an affair and everyone in the house was upset with her and giving her the cold shoulder and finally when she couldn't take it anymore, she stands in front of her family and says:
"Bottom line is, marriage is hard.  It's really freaking hard.  It's just two people sloggin through the crap, year after year, getting older, changing.  It's a freaking marathon, ok? So sometimes, you know, you're together so long, you stop seeing the other person and just see weird projections of your own junk.  Um, instead of talking to each other, you go off the rails and act grubby and make stupid choices.  Which is what I did, and I feel sick about it because I love you guys, and I love your mom, and that's the truth.  Sometimes you hurt the ones you love the most.  I don't know why."
A few things rang true to me in that speech. 
First, that marriage IS hard.  And anyone who says it isn't is either lying or has amnesia. 
Second, it is just a fact that we are all going to change as the years pass.  We learn, we grow, we become different people almost.  Some more than others.  But this is SO important to realize in a marriage because we don't need to be afraid of changes, but we do need to acknowledge and accept them and figure out how to work around them.
Third, when you are with someone for so long, it's easy to get stuck in the same mundane routine day after day and we start to lose sight of what is important in a marriage.  Yes, the mundane routine is probably unavoidable if you are human.  BUT You don't have to only have vanilla ice cream every single day!  While vanilla ice cream MUST be eaten every day, it doesn't mean you can't throw some different toppings on here and there to spice it up a little! Catch my drift? 
Fourth, the WORST thing you can do when the above three things are happening is to keep your thoughts to yourself.  You must TALK to each other!!  Talk about what's hard.  Talk about the changes you are feeling.  Talk about what's missing from your marriage.  Talking will help you to CONNECT again and to make sure that you don't "go off the rails and make stupid choices."
And lastly, stupid choices are probably inevitable for everyone.  Nobody is perfect.  Nobody knows how to be in a perfect marriage.  For some darned reason, we DO hurt the ones we love the most.  You don't know how many times I've asked myself WHY?!!  WHY would we do such things that break our loved ones in two?  We just do.  So the best we can do is pick ourselves up and keep trying.  Learn from the stupid choices and try your hardest to not let it happen again. 
I did like how the movie ended.  The couple decided to stay together and work on what they had.  Hopefully they were able to learn from their stupid choices and continue to love each other and live life to the fullest and find happiness again.  I think that's what we all hope for ourselves, don't you think?